Pop Quiz: U.S. Official, College Professor, or Advocate for Blasphemy Laws?
posted at 4:01 pm on September 26, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham
These questions are all multiple choice. Who said it? A) U.S. government official, B) a blasphemy law advocate, or C) a college professor? Answers are hyperlinked below each question. Tell me how you did in comments. It’s trickier than it should be, unfortunately.
1. “It is frustrating. On the other hand, we [have a] government of laws and so we have to abide by those laws. My understanding is that he can be cited for public burning. But that’s the extent of the laws that we have available to us.”
2. “Bacile’s movie is not the first to denigrate a religious figure, nor will it be the last. The Last Temptation of Christ was protested vigorously. The difference is that Bacile indirectly and inadvertently inflamed people half a world away, resulting in the deaths of U.S. Embassy personnel…While the First Amendment right to free expression is important, it is also important to remember that other countries and cultures do not have to understand or respect our right.”
3. “Let me be clear. In a world faced with the menace of terrorism, the implications of not evolving a normative framework to respond to hate speech and other forms of incitement to hatred, discrimination, and violence, cannot and must not be ignored.”
4. “We find them offensive, and we certainly understand why Muslims would find these images offensive. Anti-Muslim images are as unacceptable as anti-Semitic images, as anti-Christian images, or any other religious belief.”
5. “We stand for religious freedom. And we reject the denigration of any religion — including Islam.”
6. “Incidents like this clearly demonstrate the urgent need on the part of states to introduce adequate protection against acts of hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation and negative stereotyping of religions, and incitement to religious hatred, as well as denigration of venerated personalities.”
7. “We insist that freedom of expression should not be abused to insult others or condescend on other cultures. This is the bottom line and we insist on this: dignity and honor are human rights.”
8. “I also respect the right of freedom of speech. But of course freedom of speech is never absolute. It entails responsibility and judgment.”
9. “We have to remember that our First Amendment values are not universal; they emerged contingently from our own political history, a set of cobbled-together compromises among political and ideological factions responding to localized events. As often happens, what starts out as a grudging political settlement has become, when challenged from abroad, a dogmatic principle to be imposed universally. Suddenly, the disparagement of other people and their beliefs is not an unfortunate fact but a positive good. It contributes to the “marketplace of ideas,” as though we would seriously admit that Nazis or terrorist fanatics might turn out to be right after all. Salman Rushdie recently claimed that bad ideas, “like vampires … die in the sunlight” rather than persist in a glamorized underground existence. But bad ideas never die: They are zombies, not vampires. Bad ideas like fascism, Communism, and white supremacy have roamed the countryside of many an open society.”
10. “______ condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions… Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
11. “There is no justification for hate speech or incitement to violence. The right of free expression is not at stake here.”
12. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.”
13. [A writer’s mocking tweets about the Prophet Mohammad] “ha[ve] gone beyond the limits of what is acceptable in society.”