Freedom of speech should not be free.
Freedom of speech is the right to express oneself without limit. Everybody is entitled to freedom of speech as they are allowed to air their views on issues and topics surrounding them. This sees to it that democracy is exercised. Speaking freely ensures that everyone’s opinion is considered. In this manner, there is equity in the society. However, what people fail to understand at times is that, freedom of speech is not only about speaking freely to ones level best but rather putting the right to use responsibly.
A cartoonist may draw an offensive comic and claims that it run unedited or was not meant to be offensive. The information is received by different people who interpret it in their own unique ways. Some may find it offensive and react in response to the publication. The uproar borne by such an act may be far reaching and have tremendous consequences. In this case, freedom of speech have been betrayed in that the person involved exercise their right irresponsibly.
In Islam, it is well thought-out to be exceedingly sacrilegious to portray a depiction of Prophet Muhammad. A publication in a Danish newspaper on September 30 2005 of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad caused uproar and massive protests in some Islamic countries. The depictions were provocative. The consequences were far reaching. The violence borne by the protests led to a number of reported deaths. This in turn damaged Denmark’s reputation. Though the Danish paper later published an open apology letter, the former had already caused massive harm.
This form of freedom should not be exercised. Sensitive information should be filtered before release to the masses. This would ensure that it retains its meaning and airs that in a manner that will not cause disapproval by a group of people. Information from the media reaches people who differ in many ways. In case a people of a certain: race, culture, religion, feel that an publication is talking ill of them and better of another party, it is likely that the two parties may become rivals. People should be allowed to express themselves freely. However, their expression should not infiltrate into other peoples’ rights.
Freedom of speech should not be free. It should be monitored closely to ensure that other people’s interests are not compensated when another one’s rights are exercised. Both parties should be put to full consideration. Anything harmful of with far reaching consequences should be confiscated and not allowed to be aired. It may diminish other people’s well-being. In cases of mass media, the government should monitor closely what the masses are fed with to know what may come of it.
Mohammed cartoons produced in jyllands-posten. (2008, 09 30). Retrieved from http://arbejderen.dk/artikel/2008-09-30/30-september-2005-muhammedtegningerne-bringes-i-jyllands-posten