‘Icky’

AFP reports:

Muslim foreign ministers called Friday for laws against incitement to “religious hatred” as they condemned a blasphemous US-made film that sparked deadly protests.

Ministers from the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said that freedom of expression had to be used with “responsibility.”

They called on governments around the world “to take all appropriate measures, including necessary legislation against these acts that lead to incitement to hatred, discrimination and violence” based on religion.

This has not worked before, and it is unlikely to work this time around either. Good luck passing that resolution in the UN. The ministers should probably read what danah boyd wrote on the subject and think about it:

I’m deeply committed to the value of free speech. I understand its costs and I despise when it’s used as a tool to degrade and demean people or groups. I hate when it’s used to justify unhealthy behavior or reinforce norms that disgust me. But I tolerate these things because I believe that it’s one of the most critical tools of freedom. I firmly believe that censoring speech erodes a society more than allowing icky speech does. I also firmly believe that efforts to hamper free speech do a greater disservice to oppressed people than permitting disgusting speech. It’s a trade-off and it’s a trade-off that I accept. Yet, it’s also a trade-off that cannot be taken for granted, especially in a global society.

Emphasis mine.

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