Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Copenhagen: the bloody, murderous denial of free speech

Another month, another murderous assault on those who believe in and exercise the freedom of speech. Today’s shooting at a free-speech debate in a cafe in Copenhagen may not have been as bloody as the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in January: according to reports, one person is dead, and the cartoonist who was presumably the target – the Muhammad-mocking Swede Lars Vilks – survived. But the intent seems to have been the same: to punish those who blaspheme, who dare to say offensive things, who refuse to bend the knee at the altar of PC and instead either say and draw scurrilous stuff or defend the right of others to do so. In the second decade of the 21st century, a couple of hundred years since those dark days when it was the norm in Europe for the spouters of strange or ‘wicked’ or simply unpalatable things to be executed, a fashion for killing the free-speaking seems once again to be stalking the continent.

What is especially disturbing about the shooting in Copenhagen is that it was an assault not only on Islam-ridiculing cartoonists — which would be, and has been, heinous enough — but on what seem to be ordinary, engaged citizens, keen to discuss the value of freedom of speech. This gathering of people, who had come to hear not only Vilks but also the French ambassador to Denmark, who was speaking about the post-Charlie Hebdo situation, found themselves under a hail of bullets simply for taking part in a debate on ‘Islam, blasphemy and free speech’. This should feel chilling to everyone who is interested in public debate and the liberty to think and say and discuss what we please. For now, even those of us who aren’t especially interested in drawing cartoons of Muhammad, but who do want to speak and argue in favour of other people’s absolute freedom to do so, find ourselves to be potential targets. Today, it seems, it isn’t only the exercise of freedom of speech that can earn you summary punishment; so, too, can simply thinking about freedom of speech.



Anonymous said...

Islam is evil !

Anonymous said...

The culprit also followed up with another shooting at the Jewish Synagogue in central Copenhagen killing a Jewish guard and wounding some policemen. It seemed to be a copycat reflection of the events in Paris - attack cartoonists and then a Jewish location.

Bird of Paradise said...

God created Chrisianity satan created islam

Anonymous said...

Are not those who condemn people who denounce Islam as a false religions as bigots equally bigots by not recognizing other religions?