If this post had a subtitle, it would be "give 'em enough rope to hang themselves with." This week has brought one of those perfect examples of why free speech is important, and why it is especially important to let even stupid and evil people voice their opinions. In what, incredibly, represents a moderation of the response to the Danish cartoons by Muslims (at least vs. shooting priests):
Iran's best-selling newspaper has launched a competition to find the
best cartoon about the Holocaust in retaliation for the publication in
many European countries of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad....
daily paper Hamshahri said the contest was designed to test the
boundaries of free speech -- the reason given by many European
newspapers for publishing the cartoons of the Prophet.
question for Muslims ... is this: 'does Western free speech allow
working on issues like America and Israel's crimes or an incident like
the Holocaust or is this freedom of speech only good for insulting the
holy values of divine religions?'" the paper said on Tuesday.
Why would anyone want to stop them from doing this? It will be thoroughly educational to see who steps up and declares their position on this. Whenever people want to ban hate speech, I always try to point out that Hitler was telling everyone in the 1920's just what he wanted to accomplish, if only anyone really listened. Hateful screwed-up people need to be put on the record with their most egregious work. Censoring them only tends to moderate the public view of them and disguise the true dangers they may pose. In fact,it is sometimes the case that when the media refuses to publish the most hateful or violent of speech, they are actually doing so because they have sympathy for the speaker, whose public image they are concerned about tarnishing, rather than just protecting the sensitivities of the speaker's targeted victims.