Thursday, 15 January 2015

i letter on free speech

Simon Kelner rightly argues that "if society is to function", the right to freedom of speech must be accompanied by "responsibilities". (I am not Charlie and the same goes for most of us who support freedom,14/01/15) Of course it is right to ridicule politicians and celebrities, the more the better as far as I am concerned, but when it comes to lampooning religious beliefs which have been held for centuries, which form the backbone of peoples` lives, and which provide security and solace to millions, there is an essential need for respect. It`s not as though there aren`t sufficient idiots around to target!
 At a time when extremists and fundamentalists are keen to display their anger, the need for tolerance, as Kelner says, is evident, and it can only have the desired effect when it "works both ways". Air attacks and bombings in the Middle East will not end the conflict, any more than invasions, as history tells us repeatedly. Ending hostilities with Isis, Al Qaeda and the Taliban will only be achieved after peaceful talks and compromise on both sides, and these are made less likely with every insult, and deliberately offensive cartoon, to Islam. 


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