Mohamed, Dieudonne and the Freedom of Expression

04 Feb, 2006
 None    Philosophy

Tolerance cannot be one-way

Dieudonn The following is a statement made by the Prophet Rael today.
The French press, dragged along by the newspaper "France Soir", admirably resumed and published the caricatures of the Prophet Mohamed in the name of freedom of expression and the vast majority of the French, as well as the French government, supported that, rightly. But when "Dieudonné" the famous French stand-up comedian, allowed himself not so long ago, to caricature on television a Jewish Zionist fanatic claiming to be part of "the axis of good United-States -Israel", the same press unanimously condemned the humorist, some legal proceeding were set in motion against him, (he was fortunately exonerated), his shows were boycotted or cancelled, and he was even the victim of physical aggressions.

Why such a double standard? If it is true that a modern and secular society must respect the freedom of expression of the media and artists to caricature absolutely everything without any limit, as long as there is no message of physical incentive to violence or to hatred, then why is it that, what applies to Mohamed, would not apply to the Jew Zionist fanatics? Why does the French press suddenly unanimously enthusiast for the defense of the freedom of expression when the subject of caricatures is an Arab and Muslim prophet, and condemns with the same unanimity some time before, another caricaturist having for target the fanatic Jew Zionist? The ones could be thus caricatured at will and the others absolutely untouchable?
If "Dieudonné" had, at the time of his TV show, personified a Moslem extremist, no media would have criticized him and all the "defenders of freedom of expression" would surely have praised him. The freedom of expression cannot be selective, if so it does not exist any more.
One must have the right to caricature without any limit absolutely everything, god himself, all the prophets, Mohamed, Jesus, Moses, Buddha and others. I am the first to laugh at the caricatures of myself that are published.
One who does not laugh of himself is in the process of losing his mind.
That Muslims or Jews have rules that prohibit their disciples from reproducing the image of their god or their prophets, no problem, but these rules could apply only to the members of these religions. The others are in no way obliged to respect whatever religious bans. Muslims are not offended when non-Muslims eat pig... why so for caricatures?
Tolerance is to recognize that others have the right to different beliefs, and it is the only solution for the planet to live in peace. But this tolerance cannot be one-way. If it is essential to tolerate that some believe in a god, it is necessary also that the latter tolerate that others do not believe in it. Tolerance for believers inevitably implies tolerance
for atheists, apostates and caricaturists. A tolerant atheist must fight so that those who believe have the right to practice their religion and to even proselytize as the "Universal Declaration of Humans Rights" requires it, whether dominant or minority religions like those called contemptuously "sects". But a believer has also the duty to fight so that atheists or members of other religions have the right to practice their atheism and to
Only on this condition can believers claim for them the sacred-holy tolerance. But if they encourage by their remarks and their writings, be they sacred, the assassination of members of other religions or unbelievers or those who caricature their prophets or their gods, then they immediately lose the right to be tolerated by society. Any intolerant person is intolerable in a modern society. It is only when believers respect those who have different beliefs and those who are completely non-believers that society can live in peace, harmony and in the love of differences.
But as long as supposedly untouchable religious writings will be propagated and taught to children, who call to the assassination or the hatred of those who believe differently or are non-believers, then society will not achieve peace and fanatics will grow.
The only and unique solution to the problem is the censuring of religious writings, of all the religious writings, to remove from them the texts that encourage to hatred and crime; even and especially if these remarks are supposed to come from a prophet or a god. Because nothing will influence more one individual than to hear, from his childhood on, that it is necessary to kill Jews, Christians, Muslims or unbelievers. A special UN subcommittee should be created made up of philosophers and clerics in charge of censuring the world religious writings and to extirpate from them the incentives to hatred and crime contrary to the international laws and the Humans Rights.
It is unthinkable that currently and because of these supposedly sacred writings, people can be imprisoned or condemned to death because they apostatize their religion, convert to another, as in many Muslim countries, or do not have the right to proselytize for another religion as in Israel.
With 1.5 billion Muslims, 1 billion Christians and 2 billion non-believers, world peace depends on the censorship of religious writings that dictate the interactions between these communities. A new spiritual world order is more than ever necessary, teaching reciprocal tolerance and not a one-way tolerance. And this tolerance includes the right to caricatures, be they graphic or verbal like those of "Dieudonné" and whatever their targets are.