El Islam entre la libertad de expresión y el discurso del odio

La ejecución de apóstatas debe ser anulada pero insultar la religión debería ser reconocido como un crimen, escribe el clérigo Mohsen Kadivar.

En primer lugar, debería haber una diferenciación entre el Islam que está basado en los principios del Corán y la tradición auténtica del profeta y el Islam orientado a la ley de la sharía. En el primero, la libertad de expresión y de religión ha sido reconocida. En el segundo, esta libertad ha enfrentado numerosas limitaciones.

  1. Las restricciones a la libertad de expresión en la ley de la sharía

En el Islam orientado por la ley de la sharía, un apóstata es ejecutado. Un insulto o burla de las creencias religiosas se castiga con la muerte. Algunos juristas ponen la responsabilidad en las masas de reconocer y ejecutar los dos. En esta versión, los castigos como el Ta’zir y la imposición forzada de adherirse a obligaciones religiosas y la abstinencia de prohibiciones religiosas son permisibles. Publicitar cualquier otro tipo de religiones o corrientes de pensamiento, incluso otras sectas Islámicas y algunas corrientes de pensamiento filosóficas y espirituales de pensadores Islámicos, son consideradas nocivas y por lo tanto están prohibidas. Lo mismo es cierto en relación con la publicación de libros y otros productos culturales, que son de alguna forma considerados publicidad de este tipo.

  1. Principios de libertad de expresión en el Islam

Por el contrario, el Islam está basado en principios del Corán y la auténtica tradición del profeta y su familia se adhiere a los siguientes principios:

  1. Aunque el Islam se considera a si misma la verdadera religión divina, ha aceptado la diversidad y pluralidad de religiones y corrientes de pensamiento, independientemente de la verdad o la falsedad, incluso la blasfemia, politeísmo y ateísmo como una realidad en este mundo. En esa medida ha dejado la calificación de si son verdad o no para que sea determinada en el Día del Juicio.
  2. Las personas son libres de escoger sus creencias y su religión y nadie puede ser forzado a aceptar o negar ninguna fe.
  3. Nadie podrá ser castigado en vida por creer en cualquier religión. Un crimen es asociado con una acción y no con una fe o creencia particular.
  4. Nadie será castigado por cambiar de religión o abandonar una fe, como el Islam. Imponer cualquier tipo de castigo terrenal, como la ejecución, por la apostasía es contrario a los principios Islámicos.
  5. A nadie se le puede forzar a observar las obligaciones Islámicas y abstenerse de lo prohibido.
  6. Criticar las creencias religiosas es inherente a un Islam libre y no debe ser castigado, ni en la vida terrenal ni en la vida después de la muerte.
  7. Insultar, ridiculizar y el escarnio de las creencias religiosas, incluyendo el Islam, es injusto y una violación de la integridad y la dignidad de los creyentes. De acuerdo con el Corán, insultar las creencias ateísticas también está prohibido.
  • Insulto de la religión como discurso del odio

De acuerdo con el Artículo 20 del Pacto Internacional de Derechos Civiles y Políticos “toda apología del odio nacional, racial o religioso que constituya incitación a la discriminación, la hostilidad o la violencia estará prohibida por la ley” e insultar las creencias religiosas es un caso de “discurso del odio” que menosprecia a los creyentes, y debe ser considerado como un crimen. Aquellos que hayan cometido este tipo de ofensas criminales deben ser juzgados en una corte civil y en presencia de un jurado. Sin duda, el castigo por estos crímenes no es la ejecución.

Hay un consenso internacional de que “el discurso del odio” debe ser prohibido por la ley, y que esas prohibiciones anulan o son irrelevantes para las garantías de libertad de expresión. Los Estados Unidos son únicos dentro de los países desarrollados en que de acuerdo con la ley, la regulación del discurso de odio es incompatible con la libertad de expresión. En el Reino Unido, por ejemplo, varios estatutos protegen varias categorías de personas del discurso del odio. Los estatutos prohíben la comunicación, que es odiosa, amenazante, abusiva o insultante y que tenga por objetivo una persona en razón de su religión. Las penalidades del discurso del odio incluyen multas, encarcelamiento o ambas. La falta de límites entre la crítica por un lado y el insulto, burla o escarnio de las creencias religiosas por el otro lado, por parte de ateos agresivos, ha resultado, y continuará resultando, en enfrentamientos radicales violentos por parte de creyentes conservadores. El requerimiento para un mundo sensato es respeto mutuo entre humanos. No es posible insultar y ridiculizar las creencias, es decir, la sagrada escritura y al profeta, de un cuarto de la población del mundo sin tener que soportar las consecuencias de las reacciones violentas y extremistas de algunos adherentes conservadores de esa fe. Para desinfectar la rivalidad entre la fe y la apostasía, se deben establecer líneas divisorias entre la crítica y el insulto. Estos límites dependen de la ubicación y el grado de madurez cultural. En países subdesarrollados, muchas críticas son vistas como insultos y en países desarrollados muchos insultos son vistos como críticas. En esa medida, los detalles de estos límites demandan un trabajo de campo serio e investigación teórica. Sin embargo, un mundo dinámico y maduro sólo se puede lograr con respeto tanto de las creencias religiosas como de la libertad de expresión.

Si un creyente tradicional no tiene el derecho a imponer sus visiones religiosas a otros, entonces el ateo tampoco tiene el derecho a imponer sus creencias específicas como normas universales. Junto con la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos, también necesitamos una Declaración de Deberes y Responsabilidades con las Creencias Religiosas y la Irreligiosidad, y una convención sobre la eliminación de todas las formas de violencia, insulto y discurso del odio.

Tal como la ejecución y el castigo de un apóstata deben ser anulados, el insulto y la burla de la religión por parte de ateos y no-creyentes debe ser oficialmente reconocidos como un crimen. Los creyentes y los ateos deben reconocer la libertad de critica, que los beneficia a los dos. Una competencia sana basada en el respeto mutuo es la única conducta defendible entre los Musulmanes y los seguidores de otras religiones y corrientes de pensamiento.

  1. Tres principios:

Yo creo que los tres principios enumerados abajo son, por un lado, los pre-requisitos de “respetar al creyente y no la creencia” y, por otro lado, los pre-requisitos de una creencia tanto para el Islam y para la libertad de expresión:

  1. La libertad de criticar creencias religiosas.
  2. La prohibición de insultar creencias religiosas o ateas como discurso del odio.
  3. La anulación de todos los castigos a la apostasía, particularmente la ejecución.

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Comentarios (19)

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  1. Mr Kadivar can pray for freedom to criticise religious beliefs, particularly those of Islam, until he’s blue in the face, but that will never happen in Islam. There are two reasons: there are more Muslims who take every single word in the Koran to be the pure truth than in any other religion. Secondly, Islam is a totalitarian (‘holistic’, as Muslims themselves like to say) religion that regulates every aspect of life. Since the Koran denounces unbelievers and Muslims, many of whom attend prayers five times a day, are taught a narrative of victimisation by their imams, i.e. that followers of other religions are out to get them, and also that there is only one true religion, i.e. the one that rules every aspect of their lives, it is highly unlikely that Muslims will ever be able to accept criticism of their religion.

  2. «Surely we can ban non-Muslims from visiting selected cities, without people playing the ‘hate speech’ card.»

    My question is why would anyone do that? Wouldn’t that be the same if you say «surely we can ban Muslims to go into selected states, without people playing the «hate speech» card?» or «Surely we can ban Muslims to work some selected job (or whatever selected) without people playing the «hate speech» card?» . For me freedom in its every form (in speech or something else) doesn’t have compromise. However there are obvious speeches of hate such are ones used by Hitler (I know this is most common used one) where you openly call for murdering, violence, ignorance and any other element which would contribute to misery and suffering of someone. Those speeches are usually without any proof or based on messed up ideologies or misused religious views… and sometimes insanity.

  3. The sole difference between free speech and hate speech is whether the person stating their ideals is trying to implement or force their ideologies on other.
    Any religion Islam, Christianity or Hinduism are a set of beliefs that are followed often by the masses. They work perfectly fine when in a homogeneous environment but conflict when introduced and practiced in a diverse environment.
    This is especially true for international cities and the Internet. There is always a clash of ideas and beliefs and thus conflict which could result in hatred.
    Rather than changing how everyone thinks we should open up to other perspectives and try understand where the other person is coming from.
    Free speech changes completely when the person speaking is trying to change the way you think and convince you that he/she is right regardless of everything else.
    Therefore the sole line between hate speech and free speech is whether you are trying to state your point or trying to make others change theirs and follow yours.

  4. Intresting.

  5. I think that the expression of religious criticism can be named as hate speech, however it depends on the perspective. As a person receiving the criticism of the religion they follow it would be considered hate speech, but in contrast, the individual delivering the criticism about a religion is freedom of expression. The expressing individual has all rights to deliver criticism, but in these days due to certain “criticisms” that we’ve encountered such as violence, an eye over criticizing religion should be emphasized. As an act of disrespecting a religion, such as burning the Qur’an in ground zero, leads to violent acts as the extremists have been angered. Therefor, society should be aware of the publicity they use when performing such a criticism as it can cause damage to the society that did not express their opinions. Perhaps free speech in reference to religious topics should be permitted to be expressed in areas where people share the same opinion, or inside their own walls in order to prevent violence

  6. It seems odd that a muslim cleric is proposing banning publication of the Quran. Regarding his three principles:

    «2. The prohibition of insulting religious and atheistic beliefs as hate speech.»

    If he reads the Quran, he will notice that it goes out of its way to insult unbelievers/atheists/polytheists – referring to the people themselves, as well as their beliefs. It also says that the perfect god has selected them to be tortured for eternity.

    As you cannot have an omnipotent god that is not responsible for what happens in the universe, and you cannot have a perfect god whose actions should be disapproved of by its followers, then the only logical conclusion I can draw from that statement is that, from an Islamic perspective, unbelievers deserve to be tortured – and not just for a while, but forever.

    If that isn’t hate speech, I don’t know what is.

    The Bible would also be banned, as would quoting from many texts in the Bible, Quran and possibly others.

    Half my extended family is muslim – I’m well aware of how unpleasant it is to be abused in the street by strangers. However, there are plenty of ways of dealing with this, without resorting to suppression of basic freedom.

    You have an absolute right to hate me because of my religious or political affiliations, and to express that hatred. It is how you behave when expressing that hatred that should determine whether you are breaking the law or not.

  7. ‘5) if you are muslim you cannot enter this place’

    You mean if I stated that ‘Non-muslims cannot enter Mecca’, this would be counted as ‘hate speech’?

    How on earth can that be hate speech? I find that incomprehensible.

    Surely we can ban non-Muslims from visiting selected cities, without people playing the ‘hate speech’ card.

  8. in prior comment appeared a emoticon i didn’t put in !
    In any case I apologize for that.

  9. I think that a «hate» speech is something like:
    1) if you are muslim you are a bad guy
    2) if you are muslim you are stupid
    3) if you are muslim you deserve prison or death
    4) if you are muslim you cannot have this job
    5) if you are muslim you cannot enter this place
    6) if you are muslim you cannot speech
    These are expression of judgements for which religion (or other beliefs) is not relevant ( a man can bad or stupid regardless of religion), or simple denial of human rigths because of religious belief, or reputing having or not a beliefs make a man guilty of a crime ( not of a sin !), or discriminating (allowing or not allowing to do something ) because of beliefs.
    These expressions should be allowed.
    On the other side:
    1) I think god doesn’t exists
    2) I don’t think jesus christ ever existed
    3) I think that on friday you can eat meat
    4) I think women are badly treated (in a sociological sense ) by catholic church
    5) I think that religious men shouldn’t run a country
    6) I don’t think that religious schools should ave money from the governement
    7) I think abortion should be permitted
    8) I don’t think women should wear niqab
    7) Religion is the opium of peoples
    are expressions allowed, because we can discuss these themes on logical and\or empirical grounds tryng to persuade each other .
    There a third category of expressions making fun of religious themes; the acceptability of this expressions varies
    in western countries too; I think that would be wise to abstain from using these expressions for religions that are not the ours. It is not a freedom issue, it is a wisdom issue.
    If we could agree on this , we had made a big progress.
    (sorry for the bad english)

    • By your definition of the criteria for hate speech, I believe that both the Bible and the Quran qualify on points 1 to 3, and possibly some of the others as well, in their description of those who do not believe in Islam or the god of the Old Testament.

  10. Although ‘hate speech’ brings upon society several problems I think the main concern in this topic is who draws the line between ‘hate speech’ and ‘freedom of speech’ this is because perceptions vary from cultures and religion. What some may consider hate speech others may simply take it as freedom of speech- their right to express their opinions.

    Expressing opinions about other religious beliefs of course should not be punishable by execution if we abide by ‘Universal Human Rights’ and whether it can be considered a crime in the eyes of the law should take into consideration points such as:

    – government actors promoting a ‘hate speech’ is the first concern due to the ability to influence masses.

    – a ‘hate speech’ repeated by a group within a community- against a particular religion or belief- can become embedded within that group and violence towards people following a religion can become a normalised act.

  11. ‘ According to the Qur’an, insulting atheistic beliefs is also prohibited’

    May I ask where?

  12. Of the three points listed above, the second seems to be a deliberately vague caveat upon the first, and the third, which has nothing to do with the first two, shouldn’t even need to be stated.

    The key line seems to me to be: «It is not possible to insult and ridicule the beliefs i.e. the holy book and the prophet, of one-fourth of the world population without having to bear the consequences of the violent and extremist reactions of some conservative adherents to that faith.» The implication is that the fault lies with those who mock, not with those who murder. I wonder if that rather pointed last sentence would be classed as criticism or insult?

    • I don’t understand what you mean when you say «The implication is that the fault lies with those who mock, not with those who murder.»

      I believe that freedom of speech should not be threatened by radicals from Islam or any other religion for that matter. By this phrase it seems as if you are stating freedom of speech is compromised by radicals and extremists, therefore, we should watch what we say.

      Who gets to decide what for one person is a mere opinion for another person is an insult?

      Different perceptions of opinions can cause misunderstanding between ‘hate speech’ and ‘freedom of speech’ Again, who draws the line between what is correct to say and considered your right to free speech and what should be condemn as ‘hate speech’?

  13. ‘Just as the execution and punishment of an apostate should be annulled, the insult and mockery of religion by atheists and non-believers should be officially recognised as a crime. ‘

    And what should be the punishment?

  14. ‘ Though Islam considers itself the rightful divine religion, it has accepted the diversity and plurality of religions and thoughts, regardless of truth or false, even blasphemy, polytheism and atheism as a reality in this world. It has therefore left the qualification of their truthiness to be determined on the Day of Judgment.’

    Really? Does Islam accept that child pornography is a reality in this world, and therefore left it alone until the Day of Judgement?

    By the way, there will be no Day of Judgement. That is something somebody made up.

    And I will say that until somebody produces evidence that it was not made up.

  15. What is ‘insulting religious beliefs’?

    Why should be people be allowed to criticise political beliefs, but not religious beliefs?

    If somebody believes that the Earth will end in May 2012, because a Holy Guru said it would unless he was given 5 million dollars, why are we not allowed to criticise such a belief as irrational?

  16. Sounds reasonable at first sight, but it’s easy to spot that sneaky «second principle» which is of course the point of the whole debate. Those with a totalitarian bent have no compunction about labelling any criticism of their behaviour as an «insult». It is precisely this term that is used everywhere to stifle criticism and to whip up the fury of the baying mob. It is a weasel word which can be invoked at every opportunity to shut down discussion.

    On the contrary, the right to mock or insult the ideas of others is a vital component of the right to freedom of expression.

  17. Tu comentario está pendiente de moderación

    I do not understand the difference between free speech and hate speech. Is it that hate speech is free speech intended to generate hate in others? If so surely those who hear or read free speech have the right to accept or reject it. What is the point? I for instance reject the piss Christ but acknowledge the right of the artist and gallery to act as they have otherwise I would not truly believe in the freedom I advocate. On the other hand employees of the gallery where the work is or was have perhaps been wrongly denied their freedom. I do not know the answer to that.

    • You look for the different evidence. In the hate speech case you have to prove that someone wish to use «speech» to start hate. And it happens. Can we hate people who are believers of some religion? It is absurd, but we can use «religion» to start hate.

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Debate sobre la Libertad de Expresión es un proyecto de investigación del Programa Dahrendorf de Estudios para la Libertad en el St Antony's College de la Universidad de Oxford. www.freespeechdebate.ox.ac.uk

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