Thursday, February 02, 2006

the freedom to flail my arms about

My freedom to flail my arms about and to punch the air with my fists ends at the tip of your nose. I can flail and punch all I want, but if a guy is standing next to me, I will have to be careful.

So, this kind of freedom, flailing about, comes with responsibility. If I disregard that responsibility by causing injury to someone---for instance disregarding that guy next to me as I flail away---there will be consequences.

I may have all the right in the law protecting my flailing, but if I flail irresponsibly.....well....I could pay the price for it.

Some members of the European press haven’t learned this it seems. Protected by laws that preserve freedom of speech, some European newspapers have exercised this freedom without regard to responsibility by printing caricatures of Muhammad, which is forbidden within Islamic law, thereby causing grievous offense.

How grievous an offense?

Well, ambassadors have been recalled; Islamic nations have denounced the images; Islamic leaders have condemned the newspapers; threats have been made against Western captives; fears of increased terrorist activity are rampant.

All of this in the name of freedom of speech, without responsibility.

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