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.
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.
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.