Freedom of Speech do come with a price! Ask yourself, are you game enough to take it and bear the consequences?

US powerless to act against anti-Islam inciters


AFP
Friday, Sep 14, 2012

WASHINGTON – As anti-American protests erupt in the Muslim world, the United States is powerless to act against those who incited the violence due to the freedoms enshrined in its cherished constitution.

The catalyst for the conflagration, which is spreading across the Middle East and North Africa, was a privately-made film denigrating the Prophet Mohammed linked to evangelical and Coptic Christians in the United States.

The suspected producer is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Copt living in California. It was promoted on the websites of two other Americans, extremist Christian pastor Terry Jones and another Copt, Washington-based lawyer Morris Sadek.

“I know it is hard for some people to understand why the United States cannot or does not just prevent these kinds of reprehensible videos from ever seeing the light of day,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.

“Now, I would note that in today’s world with today’s technologies, that is impossible. But even if it were possible, our country does have a long tradition of free expression which is enshrined in our constitution and our law, and we do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be.”

The Justice Department refused to be drawn on what avenues it may be pursuing to punish Nakoula and others, but experts said there was nothing they could do to restrict people from exercising their constitutional rights.

“The US government is powerless in the specific sense that the constitution allows Americans to speak this way without fear of being thrown in prison because some people find what they say blasphemous,” professor Eugene Volokh, an expert on free speech law, told AFP.

The First Amendment to the US constitution states that: “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech.”

Link: AsiaOne :  US powerless to act against anti-Islam inciters

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Don’t let events overseas undermine harmony here: DPM Teo

SINGAPORE – Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean has said that Singaporeans should not let events overseas “undermine the peaceful and harmonious relationships we have built up over the years in Singapore”.

He was responding to media queries on the film, “Innocence of Muslims”, which has sparked violent protests across the Middle East, and resulted in the death of a US diplomat and three others.

Mr Teo added: “Freedom of expression does not mean that one has unfettered rights to insult and denigrate another’s religion or race.

“Rather, we safeguard this freedom only through mutual respect of the views and beliefs of others.

“Responding to this inflammatory and offensive film with violence is also wrong and counterproductive.”

He said he is confident that Singaporeans will react to the film rationally and calmly, “as they have done previously”.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) today also strongly condemned the attack on the US consulate in Libya that led to the deaths of a US ambassador and three other Americans.

Said an MFA spokesperson: “Singapore strongly condemns the violent attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the tragic deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his colleagues.”

“We express our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families and friends of the victims in their time of grief.

“The properties of foreign diplomatic missions and safety of foreign diplomatic staff should always be protected and guaranteed under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” MFA said.

In response to further media queries on the film that sparked the storming of the Benghazi consulate, the MFA Spokesman said that Singapore likewise strongly condemns the video.

MFA said Singapore “deplores” the actions of the makers of the “insensitive” video which denigrates Islam and is highly offensive to Muslims.

“Freedom of speech must be balanced with respect for religious sensitivities. At the same time, extreme acts by individuals should be dealt with in a calm and rational manner, and can never provide the excuse for any acts of violence,” the spokesperson said.

Source : Asiaone : Don’t let events overseas undermine harmony here: DPM Teo

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Comments from Netizens :

  •  Freedom of Speech do come with a price! Ask yourself, are you game enough to take it and bear the consequences?
  • Liberal democracy equals liberal and free killings. The West can keep theirs.
  • I think singapore has done well in maintaining the important and delicate balance between personal freedoms and responsibility for actions.
  •  freedom of speech without due regards for society and respect for government will only invite chaos , disturbances , blood sheds. The west like to propagates the right to ‘human rights’ and this often leads to more wrongs than rights , the society & community is the bigger picture which imbeded individuals within it…
  • “Animals don’t hate, and we’re supposed to be better than them.” …Elvis Presley…….It’s a sad world out there….let us be just…human and humane….why can’t we???
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