The fact that objectionable material published on the web is invoked to justify murder shows the sad state of affairs in Benghazi and elsewhere in the region. An expression of an opinion, however offensive or blasphemous, is just no justification for murder. In most of the West people are free to insult the head of the Roman Catholic or any other church, presidents of countries, CEOs, entertainers, etc. It is a mark of civilization that insults are not acceptable grounds for violence. The old adage "Sticks and stones, but not words!" applies here perfectly. That is indeed one reason for the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
These perpetrators are barbarians, one has to conclude, and they should be dealt with accordingly, not diplomatically! They should be arrested and charged and due process should be employed in prosecuting them for their acts.
Also, why is there so little discussion about the right of free expression in connection with this story? When American flags used to be burned, liberals all stood up defending the rights of the perpetrators, as they should have. In Skokie, Illinois, the rights of Nazis were defended even though they marched provocatively in Jewish neighborhoods.
But there is very little about the rights of the film makers to make their point with their movie. In a civilized society citizens are free to express even vile opinions and civil libertarians such as the ACLU usually defend their right to do so. Suddenly no word from these civil libertarians. Why?
September 13, 2012
We are delighted to present Lessons in Freedom, essays by Dr. Tibor Machan, for your pleasure.
Dr. Machan holds the R. C. Hoiles Chair in Business Ethics & Free Enterprise at Chapman University's Argyros School of B&E.