Wednesday 29 July 2015

"Free speech must not incite violence"

Yes, but...
Free speech must not incite violence by literally inciting violence: that is, calling for rioting or killing of people.
Any other free speech, be it satire, cartoon, even objectionable or confronting articles, must be allowed.  In these cases, if violence ensues, it is only when it is incited by those taking offence.  It is not incited by the free speech itself.  Any other take on this is to blame the victims of violence, as many have done, implicitly or explicitly in the Charlie Hebdo case.
This sadly misguided SMH editorial quotes Dr Anne Aly of Curtin University, who claims that "right wing extremism is emerging as an equal or even greater threat that Muslim radicalisation in Australia".
But this is nonsense.
Crazies from the Ku Klux Klan or other right-wing racist nutters aside (and they're a vanishingly small number in Australia), the so-called "right-wing extremists" we're talking about here are those that are against the spread of Sharia law in Australia (as we should all be), against the Islamisation of society (halal slaughter, sexual segregation in schools, limitations on free speech, etc), against Islamic extremism and terrorism (again, as we should all be, surely).
These are liberal principles, and the "right wing" label is just a slur.
In effect, Dr Aly is conflating those Australian who are against the Sharia, extremist Muslims and jihadis, with those very extremists and jihadis that are calling for Sharia, whether violently or otherwise.
Piers Ackerman has more on this at "Getting it wrong on right-wing extremists and jihadists".