‘Misuse’ of freedom of expression

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By: HUMAIRA KANWAL

PEOPLE are abusing the movie’s team and advising each other over cell phones and online social networks to share those abusing remarks to register their protest. I am not convinced. I think propagation of a good act is a healthy activity but propagation of a bad act is negative.

I believe that respect and dignity of the Prophet is mighty and no one can harm him by such acts. The point we are ignoring here is the way the Prophet used to react to such actions.

There are extremists in all religions. It is well-known that most of the non-Muslims also raised objection on this movie.

I agree that there is a need to take notice of such acts and negative minds behind them, but the protest should be peaceful. I am not fully convinced with the official stand of the US government that this act was freedom of expression and that the government is not able to block that movie.

I think considering the situation and sentiments of the Muslim world some serious and precautionary steps should have been taken by the US administration.

We are being taught that our world is a global village but, unfortunately, there is no law and set norm for the protection and respect of different religions.

It is true that religion is not an affair of the state in most parts of the world. But despite liberalism, most of the believers of different religions are touchy about their faith. What is freedom of expression and what are its boundaries is a different debate.

Today, it appears that the misuse of freedom of expression will ultimately lead the civilised world to chaos. All countries should come forward for peace. This is the only way to bring this world towards peace and harmony.

Restraint

By: NADEEM AKRAM

The answer to the blasphemous contents is not violence but a wisdom-based response. Turning violent in reaction to such attempts will be a success of the hardcore fanatics who want to draw us into this dirty game.

There are many more dirty fanatics than one can imagine, and reacting to such attempts will encourage them to toy with our sentiments that may result in an endless cycle of blasphemy and violent reaction to it.

The nonsense of hate contents does not deserve our attention. The more we pay attention to them, the more they will turn ugly. Let’s ignore these insane fanatics and soon they will realise that their ‘hard work’ is going unnoticed.

Having said that, governments and civil societies in the Muslim world should also play their due role. They should send a clear message to the West to control hate and fanaticism on their soil and legislate to curb such attempts of insensitivity and inhumanity.

In western societies, where religion is a non-issue, it is necessary to educate them about religious beliefs and personalities.

Finally, it is time for the rulers of the Muslim world to realise that they should invest maximum in education and human resource development to advance in science and technology to make the Muslim world economically and politically independent.

Before we attempt to change western fanatics’ sick mindset, let us change ourselves first by becoming good Muslims.

Violence and destruction

BY: TARIQ ALI

WHILE I can understand the anger of Muslims over the blasphemous contents in the film produced by a Coptic Egyptian immigrant in the US, the reaction and violent protests will serve no purpose other than further weakening economies of the countries ravaged by violent protests.

Let us show our love for our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by working for the betterment of the citizens by imparting them education, and providing healthcare and employment through an honest political leadership that is held accountable to the public through rule of law. The image of Muslims is tarnished when those within the faith give false evidences under the oath on the Holy Quran, when lifesaving medicines and basic food items are adulterated, or when politicians and generals having taken the oath to defend the constitution, violate their commitment and those holding public offices abuse their powers.

Pakistan Press Foundation

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