Free Speech Debate

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1We – all human beings – must be free and able to express ourselves, and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of frontiers.»
2We defend the internet and all other forms of communication against illegitimate encroachments by both public and private powers.»
3We require and create open, diverse media so we can make well-informed decisions and participate fully in political life.»
4We speak openly and with civility about all kinds of human difference.»
5We allow no taboos in the discussion and dissemination of knowledge.»
6We neither make threats of violence nor accept violent intimidation.»
7We respect the believer but not necessarily the content of the belief.»
8We are all entitled to a private life but should accept such scrutiny as is in the public interest.»
9We should be able to counter slurs on our reputations without stifling legitimate debate.»
10We must be free to challenge all limits to freedom of expression and information justified on such grounds as national security, public order, morality and the protection of intellectual property.»

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Home | Audio/Video | Irshad Manji on Allah, Liberty and Love

Irshad Manji on Allah, Liberty and Love

The director of the Moral Courage Project says so-called "respect" for Muslims is often lined with fear and "low expectations" of those practising the faith.

“Offence is the price of honest diversity,” says Irshad Manji, director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University. According to Manji, different ideas will inevitably offend different people and we should therefore strive to be pluralists. What does she think the limits to free speech are? Absolutely none when it comes to the publication of content. Putting this idea into practice, Manji asked YouTube to repost a death threat made against her on the video-sharing website. Speaking at the event, Manji also takes issue with some of the responses given by Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, in his interview with Free Speech Debate on the BBC and religion. She describes the “sense of offence” cited by Muslims in controversial religious matters as a “ploy” to shut down dialogue. Furthermore, she adds, so-called “respect” for Muslims often goes hand-in-hand with fear and is “lined with low expectations” of those practising the faith.

(Main image: Professor Irshad Manji, director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.)

Published on: March 9, 2012 | 1 Comment

Comments (1)

Automated machine translations are provided by Google Translate. They should give you a rough idea of what the contributor has said, but cannot be relied on to give an accurate, nuanced translation. Please read them with this in mind.

  1. ThinkRights says:

    Absolutely fascinating dialogue. Manji expresses really key ideas eloquently and succinctly. I completely agree with the point made that individuals in minority groups can be oppressed. We will only be able to live together in harmony, in ‘open liberal pluralism’ when we appreciate that minority groups (or any groups for that matter) are not entirely homogenous. It makes the construction of the ‘other’ a great deal more difficult…

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Free Speech Debate is a research project of the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom at St Antony's College in the University of Oxford.