Free Speech

1:28am

Fri September 28, 2012
Africa

Tunisians Battle Over The Meaning Of Free Expression

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 8:14 pm

Tunisian artist Nadia Jelassi with two of the sculptures from her exhibit that were attacked by a hard-line Muslim group. Secular Tunisians and Islamists have clashed over multiple issues related to freedom of expression.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring last year, and many regard it as the most Western-looking nation in the Arab world. Yet it's also waging a roaring debate over how to define freedom of expression in an evolving society.

Tunisian protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy recently in response to the anti-Muslim video Innocence of Muslims. This was just the latest of several episodes in which hard-line Muslims have acted out publicly to what they see as attacks on their religion.

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3:32pm

Mon September 24, 2012
The Two-Way

New Yorkers Rush By As Embattled Anti-Jihad Ads Hit The Subway

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:44 am

Ads condemning radical Islam went up in the New York City subway system today. The transit authority posted them after losing a legal battle with the ads' sponsor.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Starting today, New York commuters are passing controversial new ads equating radical Muslims with "savages."

New York's Metro Transit Authority posted the ads in 10 subway stations today after a losing a legal battle with the pro-Israel group the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

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4:28pm

Wed September 19, 2012
U.S.

Held Dear In U.S., Free Speech Perplexing Abroad

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Arab-Israeli men protest a video mocking the Prophet Muhammad, in front of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty

The French government announced Wednesday that it will prohibit demonstrations planned for Saturday to protest the anti-Muslim video that has sparked violence in Muslim countries around the world.

The decision came after a French satirical magazine published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

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9:48am

Fri September 14, 2012
The Two-Way

What Anti-Islam Film Says About Free Speech And The 'Hecklers Veto'

Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 11:47 am

After the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya earlier this week, Google took down the YouTube video said to have sparked the violence — but only in Libya and in Egypt, where anti-American protests also flared up.

It's an example of the challenges of balancing U.S. free speech concerns and of something known as the "heckler's veto."

The Innocence of Muslims isn't the only YouTube video that can be seen in the U.S. but not elsewhere. Nazi propaganda is banned in Germany, for example, and slurs against Turkey's founder don't appear in that country.

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3:57pm

Thu September 13, 2012
The Two-Way

The First Amendment: Why The Muhammad Film Is Protected Speech

Protesters carry an American flag pulled down from the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt on Tuesday.
Nasser Nasser AP

The First Amendment guarantee of free speech is in the spotlight this week. If you haven't kept up, a U.S.-produced film depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a less than flattering way has inflamed the Arab world.

In a lot of ways, the story is showing how the sweeping nature of the First Amendment puts the United States at odds with most of the world.

That rift was perhaps most evident when you compare the statements of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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