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Free Speech

Why Suppressing Free Speech to Protect Religion Is a Bad Idea

Sanjay Sanghoee | Posted 03.21.2015 | Crime
Sanjay Sanghoee

All we will accomplish is an environment where prejudice and hatred fester and grow in the shadows, and where extremists use incitement as an excuse for their atrocities (at least in their propaganda). It shouldn't be hard to see why this is a bad idea.

I Have the Freedom to Say that the Charlie Hebdo Massacre Is Not About Free Speech

Galanty Miller | Posted 03.20.2015 | Politics
Galanty Miller

To support free speech is to accept the legality of satire without question. To oppose free speech is to support a government law banning political cartoons. Neither of these positions has anything to do with what happened in France.

Williams-Yulee Is Not About Free Speech, It's About Judicial Integrity

Yael Bromberg | Posted 03.21.2015 | Politics
Yael Bromberg

The Supreme Court is hearing a case tomorrow that threatens to further politicize the bench at a time of skyrocketing spending in judicial races.

Professor: Supreme Court Shouldn't Protect Speech I Don't Like

Evan Bernick | Posted 03.18.2015 | Politics
Evan Bernick

Statutes that distinguish between messages about different things and treat them differently are indeed content-based restrictions on speech, and the Court must clarify this in order to ensure that all speakers receive the full protections they are due.

Which Freedom of Speech Do You Believe In?

Richard Dare | Posted 03.17.2015 | World
Richard Dare

One of the principal reasons atrocities like the Charlie Hebdo massacre continue to occur is because "freedom of speech" means entirely different things in different countries.

From the Court to the Courtroom: Why It's Unconstitutional for Fort Bragg High School to Silence Mendocino's Student-Athletes

Cynthia Liu | Posted 03.16.2015 | Education
Cynthia Liu

I believe that Fort Bragg's decision restricts much more speech than reasonably necessary. I believe that Fort Bragg's decision was made because they didn't want any any disruption to the tournament.

Pope Francis: Your Mother Is Not a Religious Belief

Ronald A. Lindsay | Posted 03.17.2015 | World
Ronald A. Lindsay

Pope Francis is wrong. There's a world of difference between criticism of a religious belief and insulting someone's loved one.

Stop Poking the Bear. Je Suis Global Citizen.

Maya Mathias | Posted 03.16.2015 | Impact
Maya Mathias

In this moment of post-attack fog as the world tries to get back to normal, I urge you all, whether leaders in title or in conviction, not to poke the bear. Find a way forward that comes from a quest for understanding, soul-searching and peaceful resolution.

The Attacks in Paris Are a Clarifying Moment for Freedom of Speech

Peter Scheer | Posted 03.17.2015 | Politics
Peter Scheer

The terrorist attacks in Paris, for all their horror and barbarity, are a clarifying event. Freedom of speech, we can all see, is the ultimate soft target, as vulnerable as it is precious.

Controversial 'Ag-Gag' Charges Dropped in Utah -- But There's Still Work to Do

Michael A. Webermann | Posted 03.17.2015 | Green
Michael A. Webermann

If you aren't familiar with ag-gag laws, think of them as anti-whistleblower laws, criminalizing the act of photographing abuses on agriculture facilities or slaughterhouses. Six states have successfully passed these laws.

Vague Professional Codes Threaten Student Speech Rights

Will Creeley | Posted 03.17.2015 | College
Will Creeley

The stakes for student speech in Keefe and Oyama are high. Like FIRE and other free speech watchdogs, students nationwide should hope that the First Amendment isn't expelled from professional programs at our public universities.

'Flogging for Blogging': Official Saudi Policy

Medea Benjamin | Posted 03.17.2015 | Politics
Medea Benjamin

The U.S. is certainly no model for respecting freedom of expression -- as we saw in the streets of Ferguson where peaceful protesters were teargassed and beaten -- but it shouldn't overlook the human rights abuses carried out by a country that imprisons, tortures and executes its citizens simply for speaking their minds.

Saudi Blogger Sentenced To 1,000 Lashes To Endure 2nd Round Of Flogging

The Huffington Post | Dominique Mosbergen | Posted 01.15.2015 | World

A Saudi Arabian blogger imprisoned for starting a liberal online forum to encourage discussion and debate in his country may not be able to withstand ...

The New Wild West

Bruce Weinstein | Posted 03.17.2015 | Business
Bruce Weinstein

Tolerating uncivil behavior, unfortunately, is the price we have to pay for virtual communication. I don't like reading hateful responses to the things I online, but the alternative -- a policy that stifles speech -- is a lot worse.

Pope Says There Are Limits To Free Speech

AP | Nicole Winfield | Posted 01.15.2015 | Religion

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Thursday there are limits to freedom of speech, especially when it insults or ridicules someone's fa...

Why God-Fearing Social Conservatives and Politically Correct Liberals 'Are Not' Charlie Hebdo

H. A. Goodman | Posted 03.16.2015 | Media
H. A. Goodman

Murderous rampages aren't usually difficult events to judge. Sadly, both conservatives and liberals have found ways to tepidly condemn France's terror attacks, while simultaneously shoving their politically motivated diatribes into the narrative of this tragedy.

We Need Free Speech Because We Are Ignorant

Michael Shammas | Posted 03.16.2015 | Politics
Michael Shammas

We are all ignorant; none of us have all the answers. That fact is not only a strong argument in favor of free speech and against those who would suppress it -- it is a spur toward greater wisdom.

Egyptian Student Sentenced To Jail After Revealing He's An Atheist On Facebook

The Huffington Post | Carol Kuruvilla | Posted 01.14.2015 | Religion

In Egypt, doubting God could land you in jail. A Baheira province court handed an Egyptian student a three-year prison sentence after he allegedly ...

Limiting Hate Speech Is Important, Even After Charlie Hebdo

Erik Bleich | Posted 03.14.2015 | Politics
Erik Bleich

Freedom of speech is vital, but it is not the only value we have. We can defend Charlie Hebdo's right to offend, understand the social reasons why the New York Times did not publish their cartoons, and support legal restrictions on far right attempts to incite hatred and violence.

Charlie Hebdo, Voltaire, and Us

Lex Paulson | Posted 03.15.2015 | Politics
Lex Paulson

Paris has a way of drawing one's gaze to the past. As we marched southeast yesterday from Place de la République, crowds singing and banners flying, we asserted proud and ancient sentiments against a tragedy that had blown us all back.

Why Four Million People Are Right to Say 'I Am Charlie'

Delphine O | Posted 03.15.2015 | World
Delphine O

In the midst of an exceptional show of solidarity and grief, there have been some dissonant voices to criticize the "I am Charlie" slogan, endorsed by millions of people around the world.

Spaces of Freedom in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Jake Threadgould | Posted 03.15.2015 | Travel
Jake Threadgould

On my second night in Iran, I was invited to a party in a middle-class area of Tehran. Since we were a mixed gendered group with a foreigner in their midst, we had to be reasonably inconspicuous. As soon as we stepped over the threshold of the house, however, we were no longer in the Islamic Republic.

Resist the Tyranny of Silence After Charlie Hebdo Attack

Flemming Rose | Posted 03.14.2015 | World
Flemming Rose

We could search for a false harmony, like they do in unfree societies, by continually criminalizing new forms of speech according to the following maxim: If you accept my taboo and you don't speak critically or offensively about all that is sensitive and sacred to me, I will do the same for you. In societies like ours, where diversity is growing, this road leads to a tyranny of silence.


Daniel Maidman | Posted 03.14.2015 | Arts
Daniel Maidman

The magazine Charlie Hebdo was -- is -- a house of guardians. Its staff pledged themselves to guarding one of the bedrock requirements of our civilization: its freedom of speech.

How Not to React to Charlie Hebdo

Kashif N. Chaudhry | Posted 03.14.2015 | Religion
Kashif N. Chaudhry

Much has been written since the tragedy. Here, I only wish to address and respond to two extreme reactions to it.