Europe: Do we have the Right to Criticise Islam?

Jul 20, 2016 by

by Gregor Puppinck, European Centre for Law & Justice: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is called upon to decide on the scope of the right to criticise Islam in the case of ES v. Austria, (No. 38450/12) in which a speaker was convicted of blasphemy: for criticising the sexuality of Muhammad. The speaker who filed the case before the Strasbourg Court was convicted of publicly “disparaging a person who is an object of veneration”, namely “Muhammad” the “prophet of...

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Europe’s free speech problem: a cautionary tale

Jul 15, 2016 by

by Paul Coleman, MercatorNet: Immediately following last year’s same-sex marriage ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, Pennsylvania news site PennLive published an editorial explaining that “As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will no longer accept, nor will it print, op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.” Such opposition was equated with “homophobia,” which in turn was equated with racism. All of which made the decision “Pretty Simple.” After a...

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Europe’s Free Speech Problem: A Cautionary Tale

Jul 5, 2016 by

by Paul Coleman, Public Discourse: After it was accepted that criminalizing speech was a desirable way to produce better citizens, finding a stopping point has proven almost impossible. Although the US has the legal protections for freedom of speech that Europe lacks, a culture of censorship is emerging here as well. Immediately following last year’s same-sex marriage ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, Pennsylvania news site PennLive published an editorial explaining that “As a result of Friday’s...

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Thoughts on July 4th

Jul 4, 2016 by

by George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures (received by email): Two hundred and forty years ago today, the American people were declared to be a unique and independent nation, distinct from all others. This was the conception of the people, but the sovereign government of the United States was born in battle. The revolution lasted eight years and about 25,000 died – a higher percentage of the population than died in World War II. This led over time to the Constitution, which founded the regime...

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Five Steps Universities Could Take to Revive Free Speech on Campus

Jul 4, 2016 by

by Sean Stevens, Heterodox Academy: One of the basic missions of a university is to prepare its students to be informed citizens capable of participating in an open and democratic society.  That requires learning a wide range of ideas, and engaging with some of the most widespread perspectives and arguments on the controversial issues facing one’s society. Yet, increasingly, American universities are failing to present a wide range of views; often they make it hard for students with...

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Prof Brian Cox criticises ‘nonsensical’ university speaking bans

Jun 28, 2016 by

by John Plunkett, Guardian: The BBC’s best-known science presenter, Prof Brian Cox, has criticised the “growing intolerance” of no-platform speaking bans at universities and colleges, describing them as “nonsensical”. The Wonders of the Universe presenter also attacked the “deeply flawed … national conversation” which he said meant people were unwilling or unable to change their minds on issues such as the European Union. The “no platforming” policy of the National Union of Students, which...

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