I was interested to see what people think about free speech and especially how we treat each other under this freedom. I did a small exercise to ask a question and be a good moderator at quora, here is the swedish discussion speech
There are pro's and cons with free speach. The pros are that it allows people to stand up against the authority and also an enabler to change the public norm that is perhaps a bit too conservative with the result that some of the people are suffering. Also, it allows people to live a quite relaxed life without needing to think twice every time one opens the mouth. The down side are that it can be used to provoke violence and also attack sub groups of people in the society. in different countries the implementation of free speech is differently implemented. For example when the comedy, Life of Brian, went to the cinema, it was in many countries, that we today say share the values of free speech, forbidden as Christians felt attacked by the content. Today this movie is one of the most liked one and also very few is offended by it. The freedom of speech can still be gamed and is gamed to provoke. The main example today would probable be a Danish/Swedish provoker, Pauludan, That burns the Koran in areas where the provocation has most effects. If you listen to the theory why this is needed you would find statements where one assumes that Muslim culture and Western values do not mix and by doing these actions resulting in riots and destroyed cars and even wounded people. There by proving the point that the Western countries must get rid of the Muslims that otherwise in the end will overtake the societies values. So in the bottom there is an existential threat that these people sincerely believe in and if you know this, then the action is logical. I too values our Western's free speech, democracy, liberal values and so on, and can sometimes think about these threats, why not. Still we know that the islamistic oriented people are few compared to the whole group. The problem is that the more extreme fractions have quite a lot of support and that traditionally Swedish society have ignored the general Musslim population and let them practice by there own. Personally I think that this is the bit that can solve the puzzle. We should start to engage with the Muslim community, to sort of define a state supported version of it, that make sure that our common values are indeed something that is shared. Our free values and the Muslim culture may have att some time been unmixable, but one thing I learned, about humans, are that we are dynamic and can adapt. Muslims are humans just like us. Of cause we can do something better. I have a story told to me that in some communities in Sweden, Christians and Muslims have cooperated to teach the public what the provocation is all about and, not strangely, the provocation fails, the theory that freedom of speech cannot coexists with the Muslim culture fails. This is an important story and you can find this is the Swedish government way to treat this incident. In stead of making restrictions of the Freedom to speech, one can make sure to communicate that Sweden as a country does not support the hate and provocation. At the same time one can make sure to express that the freedom to speech is sacred (hence there will be no government action taken against the provocation) and then get Swedes to engage (I work very hard myself on this) and magnify that we do not agree with the provocation and mean it. This is actually quite an advanced idea, that we can have two sort of opposite ideas at the same time and mean it. Personally I view it like this. If someone burns the bible, God is strong enough to punish that person without me or anyone else actually doing anything against him. But by making sure that those that are hurt by the hate, get my protection. And whatever he does with word and images, I will try to undo by being a good friend and show that he is wrong. And of cause that's the best revenge there is, that the nice theory they have is not worth the paper they are written on and just burns up in flames and show how stupid they are. No need to restrict our rights which would be a big loss as I personally enjoy satire. If we do not stand up to the hate, if the prime minister was not condemning the act, then I agree we would not be worthy to have a freedom of speech like we have. We all have to earn our freedom simply put. Now we should know that our values are not shared by all. And this whole approach can be gamed by, in other countries, let the media only show one side of it, the provocation. I will only comment this by noting that such an act is equal to the actual provocation and similarly i'm sure God will have a chat with these men.
Enjoy life friends!