Free Speech Has Limitations

By Harvey Tobkes

You cannot yell “Fire” in a crowded theatre.

Jesus heartYou cannot shout obscenities in a public place.

You cannot enter a house of worship and berate the minister or the congregants because you disagree with their religious beliefs.

You cannot print instructions for building an atomic bomb and publish it in a newspaper.

Therefore, the 12 caricatures mocking the Prophet of Islam, that were published today in a Danish newspaper, were perceived by Muslims worldwide as nothing less than irreverence toward an Icon considered sacred and inviolable, or worse an act of blasphemy*. I fully agree with their outrage, as they rightfully feel the ugly cartoons mock the Most Holy Muhammad, the messenger of God, and therefore violated their faith. The most egregious of the lot showed the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a slow burning fuse at the very top. The derogatory inference of course, was the portrayal of the prophet and all Muslims as terrorists..


Imagine the outcry, if the same type of inflammatory cartoons were made of Jesus or Moses or Buddha. Just to make my point with a sledge hammer, how would Catholics react to seeing a cartoon of the Pope having oral sex with a young boy. Could the cartoonist claim “Freedom of Speech?”


I say we must be more circumspect; this vicious, outrageous and provocative campaign, aimed at the founder of a religion, cannot be justified in the name of Free Speech and Freedom.

The malevolent use of the rights of Free Speech and Freedom, can easily lead to anarchy.

* Note: Muslims consider any images of Muhammad to be blasphemous.

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