Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Today controversial right wing Dutch politician G. Wilders is being charged for hate speech for making a (bad, simplistic and useless) film that compares Islam with Nazism, or something of the like.
While I think Wilders is a total jerk I also think that persecuting freedom of speech to protect any stupid religion is an act of state terrorism, an act against human rights. Talking about "hate speech" to silence freedom of speech is again a dangerous slippery fall towards totalitarism, restricting freedom in favor of "political correctness" is the way to fascism.
Because freedom is not about politeness (even if it may help) , it's about speaking your mind freely even if you have the most absurd and psychotic of thoughts. When a society can tolerate the exposition of plastified corpses and sadomasochistic literature and cinema but cannot accept a piece of art just because some sector of society considers it blasphemous and responds in some cases with death threats, there is something very wrong in that society.
And I'll tell you what it is: a too high contempt for religion, be it chrsitian, muslim or whatever. Religion is nothing but superstition and brainwashing ideology and deserves no further respect than any other human opinion. Is it blasphemous to depict Muhammed, Moses or Jesus masturbating or in whatever other unidealized pose? So be it. Get used to it, your icons do not belong to you: anybody can do with them whatever they want.
You don't like it? Well, go to some extremist stinky hole like Saudia or the Vatican, where you can be praying 24/7 until you die from starvation, hopefully.
Is this hate speech? Nah. I wish I could really hate anyone. It's more like compassion speech and punk therapy by direct exposition to truth. If you're brainwashed, keep it to you, and respect people who say you are a nuthead the same they have to put up with you. But don't go hysterical and start making death threats because then the logical thing to do is either to preventively kill you or, more benevolently, to put you in a mental asylum.
The problem is that people who just came from, say, Pakistan, seem to have missed all the Punkster phenomenon. What were they doing when here everything supposedly above criticism was being teared up? Praying? Don't make me laugh.
The problem is that culturally Islam is the most backward society on Earth because one cannot spit on the Quran and get alive with it. That is a problem that those societies must adress and the only real way to go is old good Maoism. Of all historically Muslim countries in the world only one has become agnostic and tolerant: Albania. Not an easy task but if Punk cannot work, maybe the spirit of Enver Hoxa, so to say, has the answer.
And not just for Islam. I've heard that in the USA, most people still are Christians, can you believe that?! Worse: many are against scientific knowledge because it conflicts with the Jewish mythology. If you watched the oath ceremony of Obama (I did just briefly) you can't but help notice how it's all full or religious elements that would rather belong to teh 15th century.
But again it's not just the USA nor the Muslim World. Here in Europe, many countries still foot the bill of the one offcial church with poublic money. This happens in Sweden and Spain, Russia and Britain. Totally obsolete medievalist absurd remnants like the Vatican or Mt. Athos (where women are not allowed to enter, outragingly enough) are allowed to persist, in spite of being products of fascism.
These medieval remnants are given overall special privileges. Not just discussing god appears to be impossible without someone reciting his/her "holy" book of choice but this credulous behaviour is favored institutionally. Maybe the situation is worse in Egypt, Saudia or Iran. But in the West either we cannot be satisfied with the legal situation of religion and anti-religious criticism. Unlike the Soviet constitution that did grant, at least on paper, both freedom of religion and freedom to criticise religion, western constitutions hardly ever mention the latter.
And I wonder, why should I respect religious people if anti-religious beliefs and behaviour is not tolerated?
Wilders is a jerk, sure. His emphasis on "Judeo-Christian" culture only demonstrates it. But he has the right to insult Islam or whatever other religion. And if you don't like it, ask your god to throw thunder on him... and wait patiently for that to happen.
Too many people, from Rushdie to van Gogh have suffered persecution for being critical of Islam, the same that others, suffered in their struggle agains Christian totalitarism. Religion is just like any other ideology and is totally subject to criticism. Get used, grow up.