Right and freedoms, because of their value, must be defended from time to time. For free speech to ‘work’, it must allow for all opinions to be heard no matter how distasteful or offensive.
Anything short of that – the oft-repeated conflicting phrase ‘limited free speech’ for example – isn’t freedom of speech at all.
Canada is still buzzing over last week’s Al-Quds day gathering in Toronto. The special day, created by Iranian madman Ayatollah Khomeini, is really nothing more than a yearly anti-Jewish protest full of lunatics carrying flags of terror groups. This year’s festivities were marked by an Islamic idiot who suggested the idea of giving Israeli’s in Jerusalem a ‘two minute warning’ before the shooting starts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9bk8O09WA8.
Sounds like something that would fall under the category of ‘hate speech’ as defined by Canada’s Human Rights Commission which, up to this point, thankfully has not pursued any action against the Islamic dumbass.
It is important to note that this jerk was given an open forum by which to spew his intolerance, while others are restricted.
Enter the Pamela Geller situation.
Scheduled for a speech at a York, Ontario synagogue, her appearance was cancelled due to pressure exerted from the local police. Rabbi Mendel Kaplan scrubbed the event ‘almost at the last minute’. Why? It turns out Rabbi Kaplan is also a volunteer chaplain with the York police. According to the YPF’s Inspector Ricky Veerappan, had the good Rabbi gone ahead with the event, “…we would certainly revisit his relationship with York Region Police.”
Shorter Veerappan: Hold the event and you’re out.
Geller is one of the foremost ‘exposers’ of Islam and has built a reputation for speaking what few others dare say. Perhaps what annoys her critics the most is Geller’s terrible habit of backing up statements with actual documented facts.
Opponents, naturally found mostly on the progressive ‘social justice’ camp, cry out for the silencing of people like Geller on a regular basis. Free speech is effortlessly sacrificed by these people in favor of their concept of ‘inclusion’. What Geller has pointed out is the reality: often times, tolerance of the intolerable is nothing more than capitulation.
Geller did end up speaking at an alternative site, but has rightfully not let the issue drop and has launched an official complaint against the York police chief and the officer responsible for the blatant act of censorship.
I’ve often accused cops of overstepping their legal and ethical boundaries, and this is another unfortunate example I can use.
The point is this: if someone can stand up in front of a crowd, fill the air with rants threatening a specific group and not face any ‘hate crime’ consequences – which he shouldn’t – then that freedom must be extended to all people, including more tolerant views from folks such as Pamela Geller.
Agreeing or not with a certain opinion is irrelevant. If freedom of speech isn’t available to all, then it isn’t freedom.