Protests and death in Middle East spark debate over religious tolerance, free speech

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  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 14, 2012 1:54 p.m.

    Freedom of expression does not come with an obligation for propriety in how you use it. The Islamic world acquiring Western style freedom will have to take what comes with it. You can't have equality without diversity and no one should expect it to always be easy.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    Individual American citizens have the Constitutionally-guaranteed "freedom of speech", by virtue of which this "Christian" filmmaker created a film that was offensive to Muslims.

    But the US Government, of the people, by the people, and for the people - including its foreign consulates and diplomats, also has freedom of speech by which they can speak out and condemn the stupid, offensive, inflammatory speech of their fellow citizens, such as this "Christian" filmmaker.

    And that is exactly what the Cairo Embassy did, in an attempt to cool things down in Egypt. It was not an "apology", and it was NOT issued AFTER the deadly attacks 1300 km away in Benghazi, as Mitt Romney and his misinformed staff falsely assumed.

    ALL freedom-loving peoples should take the opportunity to exercise their freedom of speech to denounce such bigoted speech and rhetoric as this California filmmaker expressed...

    ...and ALL freedom-loving peoples should take the same freedom to denounce the misinformed, irresponsible, and reckless statements of Mitt Romney and his foolish campaign on this tragic event.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    Tyler D great comment!!

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 13, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    Can’t believe I’m saying this but maybe Bush was right all along. Religious fanatics who can be so easily driven to homicidal rage by a cartoon, movie (especially one this amateurish) or any “insult” to the sensibilities is scary enough. The thought of these folks getting their hands on a WMD scares me in a way the cold war never did.

  • Kafantaris WARREN, OH
    Sept. 13, 2012 11:17 a.m.

    To state, “I called him [President Obama] to ask him to put an end to such behavior,” President Morsi himself must not understand our freedom of speech.
    Let's try again: Our Constitution forbids the government from stopping its citizens from making offensive films. And since the government cannot stop them, it also cannot be held responsible for any offense those films cause.
    Arab leaders need to understand this point and explain it to their citizens.
    Thus far there has been no effort to do so -- not even from the Arab press.
    Nonetheless, it's a point that needs to be clarified if we are to move forward with democracy.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 13, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    I believe in nearly absolute freedom of expression, with a few exceptions like the classic one of falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Does production of this film rise to the level of falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater? It's a close call. Certainly, the net effect is at least as bad as shouting "Fire!". We've already lost 4 valiant lives, and things look like they are mushrooming out of control. I don't know whether there is a legitimate case to be made against the pseudonymous "Sam Bacile" (whose real name is probably Nakoula Basseley Nakoula), but anyone with an ounce of sense would know that the production of such a film would lead to this reaction. Does that excuse the reaction? CERTAINLY NOT!!! The behavior of the mob in Benghazi is barbaric, inexcusable, and antithetical to everything of value in society. Sadly, the mob reaction was utterly predictable. Morally (if not legally) "Sam Bacile" and his brother bombthrowers (like "Reverend" Terry Jones) must be held accountable for their actions.