Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the Internet broadcast of a video made by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, describing it as â€œoffensively anti-Islamic,â€ while he also called on those upset by the film to remain calm.
Hello, Mr. Secretary-General, these are people who get upset about cartoons. They are as likely to remain calm as they are to be rational.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson after last nightâ€™s airing of the film, entitled Fitna, Mr. Ban said â€œthere is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence. The right of free expression is not at stake here.”
This is only an incitement to violence among a set of people who are already irrational and violent. I can’t comment on the “hate speech” aspect of it, as I have yet to view the video (but I will try this weekend).
I’ll take this speech seriously when Ban Ki-Moon takes the world stage to protest Ben Stein’s cinematic idiocy, in which atheists / evolutionists are regularly juxtaposed with Nazi imagery. I’ll still think the UN should find better things to do though. As ill-informed and dishonest as the hacks behind “Expelled” happen to be, I have no desire to blow them up, cut off their heads, or ask for a fatwa.
Freedom of speech is exactly what is at stake here. No one is frightened of the words and images that Mr. Wilders is putting forth; they are frightened that a crazy, killin’ subset of Islam will go ape-shit about it and take out some civilians to show Allah how much they love him.
Is the Secretary General dishonest or stupid?
â€œI acknowledge the efforts of the Dutch Government to stop the broadcast of this film and appeal for calm to those understandably offended by it. Freedom must always be accompanied by social responsibility.â€
I agree completely.
When someone says something with which you disagree, something that even offends your sensibilities, you have a social responsibility to not kill them for it.
Man, that’s hard to get your head around, isn’t it?
Also, this is not the same as yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Hurrying to escape from a burning building is a rational action, so it is understandable that people might get injured. Blowing yourself or others up because they drew a picture of or talked smack about your Prophet is, to put it mildly, absolutely insane.
It’s bad enough that so many people in the world embrace religious myths; it’s worse that they will happily kill because of them.