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what's the difference between racism and offensive speech?

Incitement to violence, discrimination and/or other crimes.

and who decides?  certainly not the Muslims.

Of course religious groups don't get to define what's racism and what's not. Giving that power to the clergy would be point-blank insanity. Imagine giving Herr Ratzinger the power to outlaw unflattering speech. I doubt you'd want to live in the resulting society.

And that really is the crux of it: If you want "the Muslims" (who, contrary to your simplistic suggestion, do not agree on where the line between offencive and discriminatory is, nor on what speech is offencive in the first place) to be given the prerogative to decide what speech is discriminatory (and thus illegal) and what speech is not, then you have to give the same power to Hizb-ut-Tahrir, to the Catholic Church, to the Church of Mormon, to the Southern Baptists, to the Seventh-day Adventists and a whole host of other seriously unpleasant organisations.

Even leaving aside the fact that such a doctrine is self-contradictory (since many of the above-mentioned organisations find the very existence of other organisations on the list discriminatory), I singularly fail to see why it is desirable to put the judgement of what speech is acceptable into the hands of the most doctrinaire reactionaries on the planet.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Apr 8th, 2008 at 08:17:53 AM EST
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