Sunday, May 27, 2007

Free Speech Controversy In Berkeley

An item in the Berkeley Daily Planet, no I am not making that up, describes a controversy at the "Peace and Justice Commission", again, not making that up. What I find interesting is the reactions and comments from some of the commission members, the enlightened, educated, Peace and Justice minded representatives of the Berkeley community, who want to defend a religion that treats women as 2nd class citizens and passes death sentences on homosexuals but has a serious issue with someone with a differing point of view.

Last week, members of the Peace and Justice Commission received in their e-mail in boxes another sample of what many are calling “hate speech.” The e-mail links to a five-minute video that condemns Islam as a religion of war and its prophet Mohammad as “some rambling ancient desert nomad with a psychological disorder.”

The e-mail was not sent by a right-wing fanatical group as the newspaper drop apparently was, but by fellow Peace and Justice Commissioner Jonathan Wornick.

The video is by a British comedian, Pat Condell, who appears to have issues with religion in general. The video, Pat Condell about Islam, can be seen here on You Tube. Slight content warning.

Some of the reactions to the video are not exactly free speech and tolerant friendly. Not to mention lacking is logic and facts.
It would also be a mistake to identify Christianity by its worst representatives, such as the Inquisition or the genocide of native peoples in Latin America, Bendib said, adding that distributing such a video does not promote dialogue. Rather, “it fans the flames of hatred,” he said.

Not to Commissioner Bendib, the Inquisitions and the genocide of native peoples in Latin America happened a long, long time ago. Mr. Condell is talking about things that are happening today.

“People should not be allowed to spew racist propaganda” without others being able to respond, Cohen said. “It’s not about free speech—it’s hate speech.”
What "race" is being attacked? Last I checked, Islam is a religion, not a race.
Sherman said he did not understand why someone who consistently votes against proposals to promote peace is sitting on the commission, and Commissioner Mark MacDonald said he thought Wornick “crossed the line on this one” and should resign.
Now we are seeing the real issue. In the land of free speech, they just do not like someone who has a differing point of view.
Directing her comments to the content of the video and its claims that Islam is a religion of war, Lily Haskell, program director at San Francisco’s Arab Resource and Organizing Center, said “there is no legitimate claim that Islam is not a religion of peace.”
and this...
Khalil Bendib, Berkeley resident, cartoonist and Middle East commentator for KPFA, further described radical Islam as a “grab bag.” In fundamentalist Islam, there are many schools of thought, he said. Only a few on the fringe justify violence by the religion.
In unrelated news, a new Pew Research Poll says U.S. Muslims more content, assimilated than those abroad but 1-in-4 youths sympathize with suicide bombers

If you would like to see more Berkeley "tolerance", and a whole lot of people who would be beheaded in an Islamic country, visit Zombie's site. STRONG CONTENT WARNING!!!!!

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