Freedom of speech is something that is authorized to every person. No matter rich or poor, young or old, every person holds different opinion and it’s their right to express it. The definition of Freedom of speech is that every person has the right to express his/her opinion without the fear of government or society. This is why it is said ‘Speech is not limited to public only’. Being individuals, we are all different. We all possess different ideas, tastes and thinking. Freedom of speech is something like freedom of thoughts. If we are comfortable with each other’s freedom of thoughts like ‘every person has the right to follow his thoughts, conscience’ then why we hate when someone express their ideas or opinions despite the fact that opinions are just opinions, never right or wrong.
From today’s society, the only answer that can be considered satisfactory is that we have changed the definition of ‘freedom of speech’. We have changed our way of expressing ideas. We have become intolerant especially on the social media where we all act like having a furious debate and desperate to win it. I have myself seen a lot many cases like this, when someone does not like someone else’s article, they just start commenting criticism and disparage others by expressing their thoughts with the belief that only they are accurate. This self-centered attitude starts a never ending debate which spread nothing else but sectarianism, hatred, abhorrence and hostility.
This is why it is said ‘freedom of speech should be limited now a days’. It’s actually the reason behind needless fights when a person wants to prove his opinion right at any coast. Basically it means that now a day people insult each other for holding different opinions from them. ‘Hatred takes energy’ so why waste our energy on proving ourselves right by insulting others. Instead we should accept and respect other’s opinions and move on.
Freedom of speech is every being’s fundamental right but unfortunately, today, some people are using it to propagandize aggressiveness, intolerance and enmity. Every person should be given right to express but before expressing; it’s their responsibility to have set some limits.
Charlie Hebdo’s act which was given name of ‘freedom of speech’ was in fact a freedom to insult according to Muslim community. They published the cartoons of a highly revered personality in Islam; Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).This act is not only forbidden in Islam but also caused many Muslims to suffer emotional pain and resentment at such an open exhibition of hatred in the name of freedom of expression.Ironically the same magazine, in 2008, fired one of its cartoonists for publishing ‘anti-Semitic’ statement. On the other hand, this is also true that it has the past of issuing cartoons or articles that mock other religions. Prophet (PBHUH) is the central figure of Islam and Muslims love and respect him more than themselves, their parents and their children. Nobody likes it when some person mocks or criticizes them or their families, then how can the magazine name it ‘freedom of speech’ by cartooning a sacred human in an improper way. This defamation of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) caused indignation among many young Muslims who felt alienated at the spread of hate speech in the name of ‘freedom of expression’. Although the terrorist attack on the magazine is equally condemnable and cannot be justified in any case. But, had the magazine exhibited some responsibilities in the usage of ‘freedom of expression’ this world would have escaped a horrific terror attack.
Talking and doing are two contrasting things. No one has the mastery to change what’s in your mind but problem arise when you act on it and enforce your opinions on others. The way Charlie Hebdo chooses to express which they called their ‘opinion’ was totally wrong and unacceptable by Muslims.
Let’s take another present example in front of us. Donald Trump, a famous name and Republican Presidential candidate of 2016 presidential elections of the USA, is notorious for his racial remarks. He refused to rent homes to black people, he refuses to condemn the violence against Muslim Americans and African-Americans executed by his supporters, he asks to ban Muslims from America, he mocks Chinese and Japanese for their heritage and English. Irony is his supporters label it all as ‘freedom of speech’ but in actual it is his loathing that contains no limits.
I am not arguing that we should curtail the right of ’freedom of speech’. I espouse the fact that one should have complete liberty to describe ideas and opinions as ideas breed innovation and progress. On the other hand it is equally wrong to spread hatred, to malign and defame fellow human beings in the name of freedom of speech.
Just as the right to hold a licensed gun does not grant someone a license to shoot a human being, it is the responsibility of the gun holder to use it with extreme care, similarly the right of ‘freedom of expression’ should be practiced carefully so that we may not spread hatred and ignite violence in the society.
I would like to conclude with a prudent remark of J. K. Rowling in her famous book ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’
Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.
Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!
What is freedom? Is it an absolute right? We are born to become free. Freedom is defined from different aspects ,and according to different cultures,freedom varies from culture to another.Some define freedom as a natural right,the human being is born with.Everyone wants to be free and independent from others.Freedom is the right to do what one wants,live where he wants,eat what he wants,learns what he wants,and chooses the religion in which he believes,without ignoring or harming other rights.
How can we live free? From my point of view, we can live free by respecting otherُs rights to live free too.We can not ignore the rights of people with whome we live in the society.We can not simply do what we want and ignore others.We must take other people rights into consideration.
The idea behind freedom is to be respectful and useful to our society.Freedom is important to evryone.If some one is deprived from this innate right,he will definitely feel as if he is not a respectfu human being.When freedom is guaranteed,I can think freely,go where i want,say my opinion without fear from people who would not like my opinion.Freedom of opinion is among the most important branches of freedom .In some societies where freedom of opinion is not guranteed by the authority,the creativity of mind is killed and burried.Society is the largest and biggest loser from this lack of creativity.Someone once said,Freedom of opinion will never result in animosity among people if they respect each other.As I mentioned earlier,freedom is not an absolute right,and there are too many constraints on it.Firstly,the society rights including national security which is very important.Security is as important as freedom.Our practicing of freedom should never lead to threatening our national security.Secondly,freedom of belief, to believe in what you want and chooses your righteous religion.We also should have the right to establish our own places ,where we perform our religious actions.
Historically, there has been an evident proof that freedom is innate to human and that he will fights as long as he lives to restore his innate right to be a free man .The western civilization guaranteed freedom for its own people,and occupied poor nations and deprived their people from their rights,including freedom.So ,these poor nations fought without rest to restore freedom and autonomy from occupation.Abduction of rights , is not a respectful human action.Since God gave us freedom for free,we must do our best to maintain and keep this right.
Among the most humiliating ways to punish a human, is to deprive him from freedom.When one goes to jail,he is deprived from freedom ,and so he is suffering ,which is the point to punishment.lacking freedom teaches the human lessons ,he will make use of it.Freedom can not be felt right,unless one tastes lack of freedom,then he will really appreciate freedom from his deeps.
Freedom is not absolute.Freedom must be limited.You can not just do what you like and say “I am a free man”.You can not kill,smuggle drugs or violate the laws and rules for freedom sake.There should be respect to other people and their needs.Once, there were two men setting side by side, and some one lifted his own hand and touched the otherٌs nose,the latter complained,the former said “ I am free”, this was as a dismay to the latter who was ready with an appalling answer,and said”The freedom of your hand ends where the freedom of my nose begins”. Yes,the freedom of any one ends where the freedom of another one begins.
Parents must teach their youngsters to be free.They must plant in them the love for freedom.But their freedom must be watched,it shoud not be witout limits.If so, we can censor their behaviour without fear from friends of our children.
Freedom in the teen years is very important for building a good character and stable personality.Teens want to hang around with friends ,do whatever they like, or do not like.They want to experience every thing.If they are given freedom with no limits ,they can go down to the base and may be lost.So we must watch their behaviour,teach them to do what is right and leave what is wrong.Such supervision is,generally not considered a limit or constraint on freedom, it is important for protection of existence.Freedom alone may lead to bad actions and cause destruction in the society.The most important thing that we must care about is enjoying our freedom without harming our security.In hard times, like terrorist attacks, constraints may be imposed on freedom for general protection of the existence of the community, but this is only a timed-condition that shall end soon after catastrophic condition ends.
In summary, freedom is an innate right,humans are born with.Nothing should threaten our freedom,deprive us from our right.Also our right of freedom must never harm any other human being ,directly or indirectly.We must respect freedom of every one in the society.This way we can enjoy our freedom through our life.