Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On the 'Freedom of Expression'

At some stages of my life, I was someone trying to convince others (friends and new encounters at university forexample) that religion is nothing but a story, a fiction and is only to be read through critical eyes and within its historical and eco-social background.
It would have been easier if it was only that! I was preaching yet for another religion/ideology. I do not know the real difference between those till now and am not trying to offend anyone here but from where I stand, the lines are so blare. Refreshing my memory tells me that I was preaching back then for a trinity based on Marx, Nietzsche and Freud.I even sketched it with a base of Marx and Freud and a higher path which leads to the fullfilment of the trinity, a nietzschean path, or way of life, an existentialist one.
I refrain from that now, not because I became a believer or that I assume myself as belonging to a certain religion but because I respect the other whatever his belief. I have not really changed. I can actually say I am still an existantialist or that I wish to be and still am not.
But respecting others irrespective of their belief should at no point undermine an individuals freedom of speech (ARTICLE 19, UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS) or creative ways of reflecting on his beliefs in any way including writing. Reading through such lines, I assume, shall in no way shake the belief (Al Yaqeen) or offend readers (reading these posts that I really liked lead me to write mine) unless they are not so sure of where they stand. Any response to arguments should never miss the real track. Dialogue and communication I mean. Thats how arguments are thrown and countered. The freedom of speech is the only guarantee we all have to hear and get heard. It is the red line that should not be crossed, not the other way arround and you- dear reader/blogger especially if living accross middle east, be it in Lebanon or Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Syria and the list goes on- know this best.
I am aware though of crisis resulting from what is called hate speech though and the 'offending' writings, 'offending' caricature ...etc. There is no reason for such a fuss. There is nothing like an 'offending' way of expression, it is just expressing something in another way, in a different way that others may not like.Is it about sensitive themes? Well again that is relative and you may find 100's of highly sensitive themes. It can be no aleby for banning expressing thoughts arround them. The real thing is that there is an abuse of writing, caricature under the umbrella of freedom of expression. Again, to make my self clear, no writng or aqny other piece of art should banned or abolished. The mis-use and abuse of these materials is what really creates misunderstandings and cultural/religious clashes and gaps. Had not been for some media outlet which a certain agenda nothing would have happened arround some offending writings/other forexample. Such ways of expression along highly sensitive themes have been there since 100's of years, yet there was no fuss arround it as we see now. The problem lies in selecting a certain moment, an occassion, a wrong audience, a wrong message and squeezing in there a piece of art or a piece of writing. Only there and then, you cross the red line, you offend people, and offend the writer, the artist and ultimately you will have one aim, namely another attack on the 'Freedom of Speech'.

4 comments:

Reiting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leslie said...

Really good reflexion, the way you writte touches someone very deep.
I have a friend from Beirut and that´s how i got here, i want to know a little more about the people living there, because I wanna visit.
There is a line of yours about "offending way of expression...", that remind me a phrase from Aristotle except that ones refers to anger:
Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not easy.
Saludos!

Leslie said...

Really good reflexion, the way you writte touches someone very deep.
I have a friend from Beirut and that´s how i got here, i want to know a little more about the people living there, because I wanna visit.
There is a line of yours about "offending way of expression...", that remind me a phrase from Aristotle except that ones refers to anger:
Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not easy.
Saludos!

Anonymous said...

ooohhhh.... look when I saw this?!