Take A Stand For Free Speech!
April 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
Does our government respect our right of free speech no matter how harsh or indifferent to others feelings on religion and the “holy texts” that go along with them? This week pastor Terry Jones of the Stand Up America Group associated with his Dove World Outreach Center burned a stack of Koran’s (the holy book of the Islam religion). This caused a major uprising in Afghanistan that led to the deaths of about 11 people.
Below defines the term “free speech” given by wikipedia.com
Freedom of speech
|Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on “hate speech“.|
The right to freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The ICCPR recognizes the right to freedom of speech as “the right to hold opinions without interference. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression.” Furthermore freedom of speech is recognized in European, inter-American and African regional human rights law.
The right to freedom of speech and expression
Concepts of freedom of speech can be found in early human rights documents and the modern concept of freedom of speech emerged gradually during the European Enlightenment(Voltaire). England’s Bill of Rights 1689 granted ‘freedom of speech in Parliament’ and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted during the French Revolution in 1789, specifically affirmed freedom of speech as an inalienable right. The Declaration provides for freedom of expression in Article 11, which states that:
“The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.”
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states that:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Today freedom of speech, or the freedom of expression, is recognized in international and regional human rights law. The right is enshrined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Based on John Stuart Mill‘s arguments, freedom of speech is understood as a multi-faceted right that includes not only the right to express, or disseminate, information and ideas, but three further distinct aspects:
- the right to seek information and ideas;
- the right to receive information and ideas;
- the right to impart information and ideas.
International, regional and national standards also recognize that freedom of speech, as the freedom of expression, includes any medium, be it orally, in written, in print, through the Internet or through art forms. This means that the protection of freedom of speech as a right includes not only the content, but also the means of expression.
President Obama has come out publicly and denounced Pastor Jones and his affiliations actions. In a statement released by the White House, Obama says “the desecration of any holy text, including the Koran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry.” Never once did the President say ” I do not agree with the burning of any holy text but it is our right to free speech. That is what our troops are fighting for in your country of Afghanistan, in Iraq, and the air strike coalition in Libya”. In the Presidents defense he did denounce the killings in Afghanistan as “to attack and kill innocent people in response” to the burning of a Koran is “outrageous” and “an affront to human decency and dignity.” The President also added “no religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act.” http://www.google.com/urlsa=t&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CC0QqQIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rferl.org%2Fcontent%2Fafghanistan_violence_over_koran_burning%2F3544600.html&ei=yweYTaWHKNCP0QGr04D1Cw&usg=AFQjCNHnkYo1-0l0BScT8GS3mptDfLJd-Q
It would have been nice to see our President stick up for all Americans and defend out right to free speech no matter what the context or religious tone. This is a right that my grandfather fought in world war II for, and the right my father fought in the Vietnam for. it despises me when public figures bow to the pressure of “political correctness”. I do not believe that the burning of the Koran was necessary to make the point of Stand Up America. But I would die for their right to do so!
Pastor Jones remains unapologetic about the burning of the Koran. http://www.goddiscussion.com/44491/pastor-terry-jones-issues-unapologetic-press-release-demands-retaliation-against-muslim-nations And I don’t really blame him for holding that opinion. The point is that as an American citizen he has exercised a right we are all blessed to have. In the official statement of Stand Up America they do make some valid points.
Dr Terry Jones:
“In regard to the riots that have just taken place in Afghanistan at the UN headquarters, the actions of breaking in, setting on fire, and killing of at least 10 individuals so far is highly unacceptable for the government of the United States.
We, at Stand Up America Now, find this a very tragic and criminal action. The United States government and the United Nations itself, must take immediate action. We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities. The time has come to hold Islam accountable.
Our United States government and our President must take a close, realistic look at the radical element Islam. Islam is not a religion of peace. It is time that we call these people to accountability. We demand that our United States government stand up and speak out against these acts. These people must be called to justice.
We demand action from the United Nations. Muslim dominated countries can no longer be allowed to spread their hate against Christians and minorities. They must alter the laws that govern their countries to allow for individual freedoms and rights, such as the right to worship, free speech, and to move freely without fear of being attacked or killed.
The Associate Director of Stand Up America Now, Wayne Sapp, has this week been banned from the UK. This highlights the stranglehold of political correctness that Islam has on the West.”
MEDIA CONTACT: 352-371-2487 or 352-871-2680 (Stephanie Sapp) or INFO@STANDUPAMERICANOW.ORG
All the point’s I highlighted in bold print above I believe are valid points and stances that our government and the Obama administration needs to be taking. I want to make this very clear! I am not an advocate for Stand Up America! Nor do I believe in their principles of religion! But I do believe in our constitution! Our constitution gives them the right to speak freely about what they believe in our country. Just because you do not like their message does not mean you can’t stand behind them and support their constitutional right’s! WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE!
Brian Dant, editor