Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Freedom of Speech

I hate forwarded emails (unless they contain pictures animals doing cute things--those I love). By nature they are full of misinformation masquerading to the masses as truth. Most of them are based on fear. I still check under my car when I'm walking out into a dark parking lot alone after reading the urban legend about the murderer who hides under women's cars and cuts their Achilles' tendon so they can't run away. Usually I just delete them, but every once in awhile I can't help myself.

I got one today about a supposed professor in Michigan who wrote a hateful letter to the Muslim association at that university for their protest of that over-discussed cartoon of Mohammad. It was of the "all Muslims are terrorists and hate Americans, especially Christians" variety, with the added bonus of citing the First Amendment free speech clause as support for the professor's letter. I rolled my eyes and pressed delete.

However, an hour or so later, I was gratified to see that one of the recipients respond to the group by reminding that the problem lies not with the average Muslim but with violent extremists, who btw come from all religions and cultures. Added to this response was also the First Amendment clause that ensures the right of the people to assemble peaceably.

It was a rare example of logic and thoughtfulness on the Internet. There aren't nearly enough of those...

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