Due to the numerous riots throughout the middle east caused by the anti-Muslim film, “Innocence of Muslims,” posted to YouTube has been raising the topic of “Free Speech” in the UN up to discussion. Muslim leaders have planned to discuss the offensive online video and push for an International law that would criminalize blasphemy. Free Speech has been a “hot button” topic in the UN for almost ten years, but now there is a demand for a concrete solution for what speech is protected by law.
Many human rights groups and Western governments are very opposed to a law that would limit the freedoms that they believe are unalienable to every human being. Recently governments have begun arresting individuals, accusing them of malicious blasphemy.
Here are a few examples:
On September 13th, an angry mob stormed the home of atheist activist Alber Saber, a man accused of posting the anti-Muslim film on his Facebook profile. When the police arrived they took him into custody, not the mob. There was no actual proof of Saber posting the video so he could not be charged, but the police then charged him with blasphemy for posting an atheist video on his Facebook account. The police incited the fellow prisoners saying Saber insulted the Prophet Mohamed, leading to a prisoner attacking Saber with a razor blade. It is mind boggling that after a simple Facebook post it would lead to imprisonment and fear for your life.
Also, a 27 year old owner of a Facebook novelty account was arrested by Greek authorities for “Malicious Blasphemy and Religious Hubris.” The account was dedicated to the Pastafarian religion, a lighthearted, satirical movement. The reason for the arrest was the owner fabricated a story about a famous, deceased Orthodox Monk Elder Paisios.
It was about a teenage boy with a severe drug problem fell into a coma and had to be hospitalized. The boy’s mother prayed for days, and finally saw Elder Paisios in her dreams saying her son would be cured. The next day the boy awoke completely healed and no longer had an addiction to drugs. The Greek authorities were appalled by this post, calling for the Greek police’s “Cyber Crimes” division to arrest the unidentified man.
What is your definition of free speech and should these men have been detained?