When the Sony story broke regarding “The Interview,” we posted “The Greatest Security Risk” and received the following comment, which has stayed with us since:
I must be missing something here? What the hell are we doing making a movie, even if it’s a spoof, about assassinating the leader of another country? If the answer is, our right to free speech or our right to freedom of the press, I say hogwash. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it.
Now as we watch the world divide once again following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, we must pause to ask again; just because we have the right to freedom of expression, does that give us the right to insult without consideration of the results?
The anti-Charlie Hebdo rallies continue to rise throughout the Muslim world. There are those in the media that seem perplexed on how to cover the story. The question of freedom of expression is absent from their discourse as they struggle to understand why some churches are being burned. Government forces are attempting to arrest the protests by firing tear gas and other forms of discouragement.
But nowhere are we hearing the obvious, the statement that hypocrisy prevents the press from asking. Is the publishing of a cartoon sketch that insults the most sacred icon of over a billion and a half people worth the divide, controversy and destruction that has ensued in relation to this story?
No freedom, including that of expression and free speech, comes without some level of responsibility. We all know and understand why laws were passed that say you can not yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. Why? Because we learned long ago that doing so can result in panic and even death as people stampede to escape the nonexistent flames.
With that point being made, we now add: One of the highest forms of ignorance is to insult or reject something you know nothing about. How much do you actually know and understand about Muslims? Here is one of many places you can learn more: The American Arab Association of New York.
We ask if the world might be a better place if we paused long enough to ask if someone were to say what you are about to say regarding something you held sacred in your life, would you feel comfortable about having it said?