Free Speech

Free speech is as French as … the Statue of Liberty

French General and nobleman the Marquis de Lafayette, helped us during our revolution. The Statue of Liberty was given to us by the French. We were allies in WWI and WWII, Korea and the war against terrorism (Gulf War).

The French have a long history of free speech – protected free speech. The same as exists in America. Here’s the rub. The extreme Muslim, aka terrorist, wants respect for their prophet and their God, but cares less about the right to speak freely as is common in many Western countries.

In the not to distant past, I was upset that certain “artists” portrayed Jesus Christ in many disgusting ways under the guise of protected free speech. Though we live in a country with deep Judeo-Christian roots, mocking Jesus Christ is still allowed.

I can say that the vast majority of Americans think mocking Christians, Jews and other religions is not a very nice thing to do, yet we allow it. It is protected speech.

The same thing happened in the early 60s regarding pornography. Whether this sort of "artistic” expression or “adult education” meets your personal standards is a moot point. It is legal and that’s that.

Two weeks ago, a French teacher was beheaded after showing his class a caricature of the prophet Mohammed. Last week three French church-goers were killed as a reprisal for the same incident. Not letting a teacher teach about an incident that occurred in 2015 (the Charlie Hebdo magazine massacre where 12 were killed) is patently both anti-education and anti-free speech.

Five million Muslims live in France. The liberal theory is that they shouldn’t be painted with the same broad brush as radicals who murder their fellow French citizens. The right wing theory is that immigration should stop and has already allowed too many Muslims into France, thus sullying the French culture.

The left will tell us that most French Muslims are poor and politically marginalized, thus they need pity, understanding and empathy from the other citizens, especially government.

The right will tell us that these Muslims are making little or no effort at adjusting, fitting into French society, preferring to be an island unto themselves. The left wants love to rule the day. The right states love is a two-way street and that love cannot be given to those who return hate in response.

The left, as is their want, proclaim the joy of sweetness and light, unicorns and rainbows. The right would prefer Muslims remain in Muslimland (read – anywhere but France).

If I were king, or even just a prince, I would suggest cooler heads prevail somewhere in the moderate middle. It is imperative that “senior” Muslims, such as the well respected clerics, teach their “children” that, as abhorrent as it might be, the French culture allows for free speech, even mockery of  the prophet Muhammed.

The right wing almost won the presidency last time around. I suggest they either win it outright the next time or at least introduce legislation to protect its vast, super-majority population of Judeo-Christians.

They can tighten their immigration laws and demand that its Muslim population behave and police itself or face the consequences. No one is advocating for the free speech that offends millions of others. On the other hand, that is why it must be protected by the majority so that the minority can still have a voice. It is a voice they are entitled to by law.

We in America have the same laws and the same protections. I never liked those who mocked Jesus, but I doubt if Jesus would approve of me beheading his detractors.

The extremist Muslim adherents seem to want a religious war, but the extreme right wing will be happy to oblige, thus assuring that no one can pursue their own prayers in peace.

Muslims in France must follow the laws of France … as it has always been said, when in Paris, do as the Parisians do. French citizens who visit Muslim countries don’t pack suitcases full of brandy as alcohol is forbidden in many Muslim countries.

Beheading anyone anywhere is a ghastly proposition, but what are French authorities to do – ban all knives? President Macron of France is correct, free speech rules the day and radical opposition to same is also opposition to the French government and culture itself. It cannot be tolerated.

American Hindus and Buddhists shun meat, but they are not killing kids at the local McDonalds who are eating Big Macs. The same is true in France. Vegans of any religion are not murdering meat eaters. If the predominant Judeo-Christian population needs to protect itself from these bad actors, then so be it. If the government doesn’t intercede, then vigilante justice will become the new status quo.

 

 

 

 

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