Friday, October 19, 2012

Freedom of Expressions

Got this from a post on Facebook.
Worth a read.
Written by the former Prime Minister or Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed

My verdict: A very brave statement by Tun. Well said.


1. We are often lectured by the West, their leaders and journalists on freedom of speech, of expression, freedom of the press and media. These are part of human rights which Governments, and certainly Governments which accept democracy and the accompanying rights must respect and uphold.

2. Yet this is an area which the West displays the greatest degree of hypocrisy, of double-standards. We know of many instances when Western Governments regulate and control their media. We know that the press often self-regulates in their wish to uphold Government policies or practices.

3. But the most blatant example of control over public expression is with regard to the protection of the Jews. Not only will any criticism of the Jews be condemned, but laws have been enacted in many European countries which makes it illegal for anyone to dispute any aspect of the Holocaust. No one may question the claim that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

4. Thus when David Irving a British historian doubted the 6 million figure, he was arrested and jailed in Austria even though his opinion was not expressed in that country. Since then no one has dared to openly question the veracity of the claim on the number of Jews killed by the Nazis. And David Irving himself has not been heard to question the legality of his arrest and incarceration for all the beliefs in freedom of expression. This extra-territorial enforcement of a country’s law is most unusual although we are seeing now such extension of the laws of powerful countries to other countries in the world.

5. The action of the Austrian Government and the existence of such a law forbidding free expression not only in Austria but elsewhere is a blatant example of total negation of free speech. And there are many other examples.

6. The American press is extremely good at investigative reporting. They will go to great length to expose the truth about any scandal or event.

7. One of the most newsworthy event of the last century is the 9/11 destruction of the World Trade Towers in New York. Such an event would have been thoroughly and repeatedly investigated, analysed and reported in the media even after years have passed. But very little has been reported about this event except for the first few weeks.

8. The results of investigations by private individuals and organisations have never been published in the media. The peculiar manner of the building collapsing on itself, the similar collapse of a third building which was not hit by the aircrafts; the total absence of debris where planes were said to have crashed into the Pentagon building and in the open field where the fourth plane was said to have crashed into the ground, the total absences of reports and recovery of the black boxes which all these planes must have carried; all these seem not to be in keeping with America’s talent for investigative reporting. There seems to be a conspiracy of silence. And this silence negates the loud claim of press freedom by the West.

9. And yet when an American spent large sums of money to produce a film to insult the Muslims and denigrate their Prophet in the most insulting manner; when the producer of the film knows full well that there would be violent reactions to the screening of this film; their deliberate provocation of the Muslims is defended by the American Government as a manifestation of the freedom of expression.

10. The reaction to this film by Muslims, including the killing of United States diplomats is condemned as extreme and indefensible. Muslims should understand that the film producer was only exercising his rights.

11. If that is so then why are there laws in many Western cities banning any adverse comments against the Jews. Why was David Irving arrested and jailed for doubting whether 6 million Jews were killed in the holocaust? Was he not also exercising his freedom of expression!

12. The West condemns the lack of restraints among Muslims to such puerile provocation. They are asked to be rational and not be violent.

13. Should not they also advise their own people to exercise restrain regarding provoking the Muslims. If they expect the Muslims to be rational, shouldn’t they request their own people to be rational as well? Better still if they can pass laws regarding the sensitivities of the Jews, surely they can legislate similar laws regarding insulting the sensitivities of the Muslims.

14. But instead of restraining their people, at the very time when Muslims reacted violently over the insult to their Prophet, the Europeans published cartoons to insult and provoke the Muslims further.

15. Truly the hypocrisy of the great advocates of freedoms of all kinds is beyond compare. Such people should not take the high ground to lecture the world on anything.