Yes, security overrides personal freedoms

Don’t be misled into swallowing slogans in western media about the unlimited right to freedom to say whatever you want. The reality is something else altogether -- and in my view rightly so.
Belgian Army soldiers patrol next to flowers left in remembrance of terror attack victims in Brussels recently. (Internet photo)
Belgian Army soldiers patrol next to flowers left in remembrance of terror attack victims in Brussels recently. (Internet photo)

Editor,

RE: “Security overrides personal freedoms” (The New Times, March 27).

 

Don’t be misled into swallowing slogans in western media about the unlimited right to freedom to say whatever you want. The reality is something else altogether—and in my view rightly so.

 

In almost all western countries you can get serious jail time for supporting terrorism through terrorism propaganda, or making statements in support of, or rationalizing terrorist action even if you yourself cannot be shown to have engaged in any physical action or provided funding for such terrorist action. These western laws fall under the general notion of fighting incitement.

 

I find such laws absolutely justified for society to protect itself against those who would destroy or harm it.

However, what is absolutely unconscionable is the tendency of some in the West to believe or push the idea that only their societies deserve to have such protective measures; that non-western societies which have similar anti-incitement laws are just oppressive tyrannies, even when such societies have experienced much worse cataclysm as a result of incitement than any western country can claim.

Thus the reason they find it necessary to sloganize about their so-called inalienable right to freedom of expression is not because that is the reality in their countries, but because they wish to differentiate their own situation from that of others, even if there really is no objective difference in practice in western and non-western countries.

Their media play their usual role, very carefully avoiding to point out this almost universal reality or to justify it for their own countries while de-legitimizing it for non-western countries in order to maintain the fiction of a purported difference among countries based on a supposedly sacrosanct right to freedom of expression. Which leads to the absurd attempts of these same media condemning terror in their own countries but finding it justification in non-western countries, allegedly because it is caused by lack of freedom (or as they more often euphemize it “lack of political space”).

This explains why they curtail the right of terrorist supporters to incite through their propaganda, especially through the use of the internet, to spread their hateful messages, even as they maintain the fiction that freedom for anyone to say whatever they wish must be protected at all costs.

Do not fall for such propaganda.

Mwene Kalinda

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The author is conflating points that have nothing to do with the realities of the current conflict between the western world and the victims of its parasitic and imperialistic policies and wars it’s been waging in the Middle East for the better half of this century.

Europe isn’t under attack, as claimed by the author, partly because it’s not taking these terrorist acts seriously.

Europe and her powerful grandchild (British North America) directly profit from these attacks and frame the official narrative for their advantage by claiming to be the victims.

If you wish to understand this rather demonic game that’s being played, study the western military industrial complex and we’ll be having a different conversation in no time.

Ali Baba

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