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Archive for 'Freedom of Expression'

Stigmatise, Shame, and Silence: Progressive Authoritarianism & the Death of Debate

This is a cross-post from Jacobinism
Before I get into describing the abysmal state of disrepair in which progressive thought currently languishes, I should start by pointing out that there never was a time when Leftist politics existed in a state of harmonious consensus. From the birth of the concept of left-right politics, when internecine quarrels [...]

Abortion debate cancelled following protests

A debate between Brendan O’Neill and Tim Stanley on ‘abortion culture’, scheduled for today, has been cancelled following reports that a large number of students would be demonstrating in protest.  This was the response of Christ Church JCR Treasurer, Will Neaverson:
Neaverson told Cherwell, “I’m relieved the Censors have made this decision. It clearly makes the [...]

Opening night of Klinghoffer faces protests and disruption

I’ve got a lot of sympathy for those who are protesting in New York because they consider The Death of Klinghoffer to be an opera which distorts politics and history, and find its depiction of Leon Klinghoffer exploitative.  People should of course be free to express such views about the Met’s production. Here’s Rudy Giuliani:
“The Met, [...]

Siding with the Philistines: Exhibit B and Index on Censorship’s Julia Farrington

This is a cross-post from Jacobinism
On the 24 September, the UK saw the closure of yet another controversial artwork in response to the mobilisation of protests. The installation Exhibit B, conceived and directed by the South African artist and provocateur Brett Bailey, takes as its starting point the 19th century phenomenon of ‘human zoos‘, and is described [...]

Exhibit B and artistic censorship

Some time ago someone suggested I might like to write about the ‘Jew in the Box’ exhibition in Berlin.  I found the questions this raised so difficult – was it undermining or participating in antisemitism? – that I decided not to write a post.  The idea of making any kind of judgement on the meaning [...]

Geller’s latest – and eleven more free speech controversies

Pamela Geller is at it again. Her latest ad campaign features three posters, all targeting Islam (and Muslims) in different ways.
One focuses on antisemitism.

The relationship between Islam and antisemitism, the links between Hitler and the Grand Mufti, the high levels of antisemitism in Muslim countries today – these are all legitimate topics for discussion.  But [...]

Raif Badawi’s sentence upheld

Following an unsuccessful appeal, the Saudi activist faces 1000 lashes (to be administered at intervals) as well as ten years in prison for ‘insulting Islam’.  He helped set up the Saudi Arabian Liberals website back in 2006, a forum in which ideas (including religion) might be discussed freely. He had initially been charged with apostasy [...]

In post-coup Thailand, a fear of George Orwell

In the wake of a May 22 coup, Thailand’s military regime seems to have developed a fear of a 65-year-old work of fiction by a long-dead English author.
One form that anti-coup protests took in Bangkok was public and silent reading of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
Bangkok’s City News reported:
On Sunday, 22th June, a lone [...]

Freedom of speech: a round up

New legislation allowing requests to be ‘forgotten’ by Google has many troubling implications:
This morning, BBC journalist Robert Peston received a “notice of removal” from Google, informing him that an article that he had published in 2007 about former Merrill Lynch boss Stan O’Neal would no longer be shown in European Google search results

As Peston pointed [...]

Defending the Indefensible Honour Killings and the Limits of Free Speech

This is a cross-post by Jacobinism
In the first part of his post Jacobinism analyses events leading up to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas’ decision to cancel Uthman Badar’s speech. In the second half, cross-posted here, he turns to examine some of the wider free speech implications of this decision.You can read the full post here.
Nevertheless, [...]