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Q: Does France Arrest of a Comedian Show the Sham of the France’s “Free Speech” Celebration?

Controversial comic Dieudonné was one of those taken into custody Wednesday morning for a Facebook post in which he declared: "Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly"—merging the names of the satire magazine and Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who killed four hostages at a kosher market on Friday.

 

Does it Show the Sham of the France’s “Free Speech” Celebration? If so why West expects China to change its policy about “Free Speech”?

 

Glenn Greenwald wrote about this subject like that:

 

Forty-eight hours after hosting a massive march under the banner of free expression, France opened a criminal investigation of a controversial French comedian for a Facebook post he wrote about the Charlie Hebdo attack, and then this morning, arrested him for that post on charges of “defending terrorism.” The comedian, Dieudonné (above), previously sought elective office in France on what he called an “anti-Zionist” platform, has had his show banned by numerous government officials in cities throughout France, and has been criminally prosecuted several times before for expressing ideas banned in that country.

The apparently criminal viewpoint he posted on Facebook declared: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” Investigators concluded that this was intended to mock the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan and express support for the perpetrator of the Paris supermarket killings (whose last name was “Coulibaly”). Expressing that opinion is evidently a crime in the Republic of Liberté, which prides itself on a line of 20th Century intellectuals – from Sartre and Genet to Foucault and Derrida – whose hallmark was leaving no orthodoxy or convention unmolested, no matter how sacred.

Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”

As pernicious as this arrest and related “crackdown” on some speech obviously is, it provides a critical value: namely, it underscores the utter scam that was this week’s celebration of free speech in the west. The day before the Charlie Hebdo attack, I coincidentally documented the multiple cases in the west – including in the U.S. – where Muslims have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for their political speech. Vanishingly few of this week’s bold free expression mavens have ever uttered a peep of protest about any of those cases – either before the Charlie Hebdo attack or since. That’s because “free speech,” in the hands of many westerners, actually means: it is vital that the ideas I like be protected, and the right to offend groups I dislike be cherished; anything else is fair game.

It is certainly true that many of Dieudonné’s views and statements are noxious, although he and his supporters insist that they are “satire” and all in good humor. In that regard, the controversy they provoke is similar to the now-much-beloved Charlie Hebdo cartoons (one French leftist insists the cartoonists were mocking rather than adopting racism and bigotry, but Olivier Cyran, a former writer at the magazine who resigned in 2001, wrote a powerful 2013 letter with ample documentation condemning Charlie Hebdo for descending in the post-9/11 era into full-scale, obsessive anti-Muslim bigotry).

Despite the obvious threat to free speech posed by this arrest, it is inconceivable that any mainstream western media figures would start tweeting “#JeSuisDieudonné” or would upload photographs of themselves performing his ugly Nazi-evoking arm gesture in “solidarity” with his free speech rights. That’s true even if he were murdered for his ideas rather than “merely” arrested and prosecuted for them. That’s because last week’s celebration of the Hebdo cartoonists (well beyond mourning their horrifically unjust murders) was at least as much about approval for their anti-Muslim messages as it was about the free speech rights that were invoked in their support - at least as much.

The vast bulk of the stirring “free speech” tributes over the last week have been little more than an attempt to protect and venerate speech that degrades disfavored groups while rendering off-limits speech that does the same to favored groups, all deceitfully masquerading as lofty principles of liberty. In response to my article containing anti-Jewish cartoons on Monday - which I posted to demonstrate the utter selectivity and inauthenticity of this newfound adoration of offensive speech - I was subjected to endless contortions justifying why anti-Muslim speech is perfectly great and noble while anti-Jewish speech is hideously offensive and evil (the most frequently invoked distinction – “Jews are a race/ethnicity while Muslims aren’t” – would come as a huge surprise to the world’s Asian, black, Latino and white Jews, as well as to those who identify as “Muslim” as part of their cultural identity even though they don’t pray five times a day). As always: it’s free speech if it involves ideas I like or attacks groups I dislike, but it’s something different when I’m the one who is offended.

Think about the “defending terrorism” criminal offense for which Dieudonné has been arrested. Should it really be a criminal offense – causing someone to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned – to say something along these lines: western countries like France have been bringing violence for so long to Muslims in their countries that I now believe it’s justifiable to bring violence to France as a means of making them stop? If you want “terrorism defenses” like that to be criminally prosecuted (as opposed to societally shunned), how about those who justify, cheer for and glorify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, with its “Shock and Awe” slogan signifying an intent to terrorize the civilian population into submission and its monstrous tactics in Fallujah? Or how about the psychotic calls from a Fox News host, when discussing Muslims radicals, to “kill them ALL.” Why is one view permissible and the other criminally barred – other than because the force of law is being used to control political discourse and one form of terrorism (violence in the Muslim world) is done by, rather than to, the west?

For those interested, my comprehensive argument against all “hate speech” laws and other attempts to exploit the law to police political discourse is here. That essay, notably, was written to denounce a proposal by a French minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, to force Twitter to work with the French government to delete tweets which officials like this minister (and future unknown ministers) deem “hateful.” France is about as legitimate a symbol of free expression as Charlie Hebdo, which fired one of its writers in 2009 for a single supposedly anti-Semitic sentence in the midst of publishing an orgy of anti-Muslim (not just anti-Islam) content. This week’s celebration of France – and the gaggle of tyrannical leaders who joined it – had little to do with free speech and much to do with suppressing ideas they dislike while venerating ideas they prefer.

Perhaps the most intellectually corrupted figure in this regard is, unsurprisingly, France’s most celebrated (and easily the world’s most overrated) public intellectual, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. He demands criminal suppression of anything smacking of anti-Jewish views (he called for Dieudonné’s shows to be banned (“I don’t understand why anyone even sees the need for debate”) and supported the 2009 firing of the Charlie Hebdo writer for a speech offense against Jews), while shamelessly parading around all last week as the Churchillian champion of free expression when it comes to anti-Muslim cartoons.

But that, inevitably, is precisely the goal, and the effect, of laws that criminalize certain ideas and those who support such laws: to codify a system where the views they like are sanctified and the groups to which they belong protected. The views and groups they most dislike – and only them – are fair game for oppression and degradation.

The arrest of this French comedian so soon after the epic Paris free speech march underscores this point more powerfully than anything I could have written about the selectivity and fraud of this week’s “free speech” parade. It also shows – yet again – why those who want to criminalize the ideas they most dislike are at least as dangerous and tyrannical as the ideas they target: at least.

 

Source:https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/14/days-hosting-massive-free-speech-march-france-arrests-comedian-facebook-comments/

 

5 years 24 weeks ago in  General  - China

 
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I have been thinking about this for a while now.

 

When the Paris attacks happened, my first thought was "jail them all, jail all the hate preachers and their ilk".  Once the anger died down I recognized that my thoughts had been a knee jerk reaction.

 

In a calmer frame of thought, here are my own personal feelings:

 

First up, I don't like the term "Islamic terrorist". They are just terrorists.  They are not representative of the 1.6 million Muslims on this earth.  Just as the KKK are not representative of Christians.

 

I think the number of Islamic fundamentalists is relatively small.  And it seems that every time an attack happens it is soon reported that they can be linked back to one of a handfull of high profile "hate" preachers. Of course, this could be propaganda. 

 

Would I support removing, or gagging, these hate preachers?  Yes I would.  Even though that goes against my belief in free speach and freedom to practice ones Religion.

 

Why would I support removing or gagging them?  Because every individual should have the same rights without having to live in fear of the handful who want to abuse these rights.  Lets be precise, if I use my freedom of speech to stir up hatred and violence against innocent people who have no interest or knowledge in what I believe, then it is a crime.  It goes against the moral code of free speech because the victims have no chance to argue back against the attackers.  The are executed without redress.

 

So maybe there should be an ironic crime of speech against free speech.  After all, these terrorists and hate preachers are using their freedom of speech to attack the right of people having free speech.  They are demanding by violence that our free speech is removed.

 

There is no free speech in China of course.  Is that good or bad?  I don't know.  Are the interests of the masses best served by the limitations of the individual's rights.  I am undecided. In the west, hate preachers have an option open to them that is not an option here.  They could stand for election to Government on their religious manifesto. They would never be voted in of course, so they use violence instead.

 

In China, we all know the rules.  And we are all uncertain of what would happen if we broke the rules.  The terrorist knife attacks were dealt with.  People were executed.  Something was done but we will never really know what.  Is that an end to it? Probably not, but any future terrorists will now be aware that their acts will not get them the global coverage they wanted.

 

Should the hate preachers in the west be whisked away to a place where they can't be heard?  Yup.  What about the comedian?  Not sure. I have not read what he wrote.

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Oui

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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He condoned what the terrorists had done, therefore he was inciting violence. Charlie was not.

Perhaps you cannot see the difference, but I bet the Muslim police officer who was killed protecting Charlie H could.

Je suis Charlie. Though I didn't understand the need to intentionally offend Muslims.

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As a student of mine offered in our class this afternoon...."Life is challenging."

I was proud of her for being capable of such an utterance.

In fact, here's to me....I'm her teacher!

 

Oh....the topic.  All I can offer is life is challenging.

 

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Try standing up in a public square in China and attempt to have an open and honest discussion about Tai or Tib orTi. But yes France is the country that does not have free speech. 

As stated above inciting violence is illegal in any civilized country.

And he will have his day in court and be judged fairly.

 

Side note: The majority of Muslims support the principles behind the Islamist terrorists. They believe people should be killed for leaving the religion. They believe women should be killed for having sex out of wedlock. 

They should be taken to task just like anyone else

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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Why nobody talks about these that Glenn Greenwald wrote and double standards?

 

 

1-I was subjected to endless contortions justifying why anti-Muslim speech is perfectly great and noble while anti-Jewish speech is hideously offensive and evil (the most frequently invoked distinction – “Jews are a race/ethnicity while Muslims aren’t” – would come as a huge surprise to the world’s Asian, black, Latino and white Jews, as well as to those who identify as “Muslim” as part of their cultural identity even though they don’t pray five times a day).

 

2- If you want “terrorism defenses” like that to be criminally prosecuted (as opposed to societally shunned), how about those who justify, cheer for and glorify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, with its “Shock and Awe” slogan signifying an intent to terrorize the civilian population into submission and its monstrous tactics in Fallujah?

 

3-Despite the obvious threat to free speech posed by this arrest, it is inconceivable that any mainstream western media figures would start tweeting “#JeSuisDieudonné” or would upload photographs of themselves performing his ugly Nazi-evoking arm gesture in “solidarity” with his free speech rights. That’s true even if he were murdered for his ideas rather than “merely” arrested and prosecuted for them. That’s because last week’s celebration of the Hebdo cartoonists (well beyond mourning their horrifically unjust murders) was at least as much about approval for their anti-Muslim messages as it was about the free speech rights that were invoked in their support - at least as much.

 

4-France’s most celebrated (and easily the world’s most overrated) public intellectual, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. He demands criminal suppression of anything smacking of anti-Jewish views (he called for Dieudonné’s shows to be banned (“I don’t understand why anyone even sees the need for debate”) and supported the 2009 firing of the Charlie Hebdo writer for a speech offense against Jews), while shamelessly parading around all last week as the Churchillian champion of free expression when it comes to anti-Muslim cartoons.

 

 

 

 

 

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theoretically, it is as simple as ABC

Excess of everything is bad.. whether it be freedom of speech or religious extremism

everything should be exercised at an average level..

If you die in extreme hot weather you can't survive extreme cold as well.... be moderate

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Interesting topic but what does this have to do with China? This site is Echinacities not Efrancecities.

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There is a fine line between incitement and free speech. There is a also a fine line between being an anti-zionist and being an anti-semite; I believe Dieudonne crossed over this line long, long ago. I don't think that he should be prosecuted, well not over the comment mentioned above. I do think he is sailing very close to the wind in regard to incitement of racial violence.

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5 years 24 weeks ago
 
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