07 October 2012

On Freedom of Speech and Immaturity

Last month, there has been an onslaught of attacks against embassies and consulates of the Western world, mostly those of the United States, that are located in Middle Eastern countries. This has been a reaction to the release of a video that is purportedly anti-Islam. Because of this video, masses of people sieged these embassies, even leading to the deaths of some high-ranking personnel.

So this made me think. Wow. Religion really messes up people.

It reminded me of the case of the Danish cartoon controversy back in 2006, if I remember correctly. At that time, Danish embassies were attacked because a newspaper in Denmark published pictures and caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammed.

So I think there's two things at issue here. Freedom of speech, and blasphemy.

I do believe in freedom of speech. However, I do not believe in hate speech. Just because one is free to have any opinion, that doesn't mean that one has the freedom to disturb the sensitivities of another. That being said, I believe that the reaction of Muslims in these countries show a conservative immaturity, that I just cannot fathom.

These crowds have attacked these embassies in protest to what they think is blasphemy. They think that this video has offended Muhammad and their religion. Now, seriously, if you think that is offensive, then you should realign your worldview.

Not everyone shares your beliefs. The world has billions and billions of people. Do you really think that all these people will agree with you? There are people who will, and there are people who won't. All the fish in the sea do not need to agree with your beliefs. If you seriously think that they should, and that they should not do things that disagree with your beliefs, then you're immature. Get out of your own little social bubble for a little bit, and see how diverse the world is. You should realize that there are plenty of other beliefs in the world, and that sooner or later, someone will disagree with yours. Get over it.

This instance is just another example of how religion messes up with people. Religion biases people to be fanatic and fundamentalist. Religion teaches people that one belief is correct, always correct, and forever correct. Religion teaches people that other beliefs are always wrong. Religion teaches people not to question one's belief, and instead coerces them into simply accepting what has been handed to them at birth. Religion might give hope, and have a therapeutic value, but given what's evident right now, it seems that religion does more bad things than good things in the world.

As much as I think that freedom of speech does not mean freedom to hate, I think that the mobs that attacked the embassies are too immature and fundamentalist to always create a ruckus every time something that is non-aligned with Islam comes into the spotlight.

(Weird Drawing, from my Museum of Modern Art Series)


  1. That's what I thought when I saw the news about embassies being attacked due to something that I considered quite trivial.

    Back from a busy month here. :)

    1. Charles,

      Well I am glad you're back! I'm starting to miss your blog posts!

  2. It really boils down to the individual who believes & follows the teachings of his religion. There are those who get blinded, fueled only by their ignorance of facts or distorted by others for them and they get swayed in the heat of things. These are the bad elements of Islam. Too bad they're reproducing at an alarming rate.

    1. TNP,

      I have to point out though that I only used Islam as an example, as it is the most recent. However, this problem is not Islam-specific. We also see fundamentalist Christians doing radical and crazy things. I really think that this is a religion problem in the long run, and it just happens that some religions condone killing other people, when it comes to the name of religion.