Freedom of Speech or Abetment for Violence?
LAW is defined in Marrian-webster Dictionary
“A binding custom or practice of a community: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority”
Thousands of Years ago when man learned to live in societies he realized the need for regulations to regulate and live a peaceful, progressive life; so irritants are removed and system runs smoothly.
History of law defines history of civilizations. About 3000 years BC, Egyptians codified their civil law based on law of MATT which Based on social equality and impartiality, after Egyptians Samarians and Babylonians also had their codified laws .
In modern world civilized states are govern by laws. One of the measurement for peaceful society is how much it is governed by RULE OF LAW. laws can be those made by Legislature or Judgments by courts which are called precedents.
Law is divided in two main branches (a) criminal law and (b) private or civil law, also known as law of torts. Criminal law deals with punishments and crime. In criminal law; a crime is always considered as an offense against society and therefore in absence of 'complaint the state or society also becomes complainant against the accuser.
Whereas; civil law deals with offences where private right of an individual citizen is breached by other citizen or organization not amounting to crime.
Crime has two parts:
1. Actus Reas
2. Mens reas
Actus Reas is actual act but until the second part Mens Reas or guilty intension is not asserted the crime is not complete and penal punishments cannot be awarded. For example; if A shoots B intentionally it’s a homicide or murder but if A was shooting a deer and B unintentionally got shot the nature of crime changes and punishment of first case cannot be awarded to second case. In fact intension makes crime serious or not serious.
Muslim world is engulfed in protests from past few weeks due to a satirical film made by an Egyptian American Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, defaming and abetting Muslim Ummah into violence. As the defamation of Islam by this hateful film was not enough an unknown French satirical Journal “Charlie Hebdo” published defamatory cartoons, again torturing Muslims and abetting them to protests which became violent in many cities throughout the world. Both perpetrators of these disgraceful acts took plea of FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and ironically Government of France and United States in actions seem to accept their pleas. Before presenting our case lets first see what freedom of Expression is.
According to Wikipedia
"Freedom of Speech is the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas via speech. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity, copyright violation and provocation to commit a crime"
From above quoted definitions we know that there are limits for Freedom of Expression which is
1. Libel and Defamation
2. Provocation to commit crime or abetment.
According to Word web Dictionary
Libel is defined as false information in order to defame any person. Whereas defamation is an offensive statement or a malicious misrepresentation of someone's words or actions. It’s also an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
Proceedings of Libel can be initiated under civil law whereas for defamation it’s up to complainant to initiate it under civil or criminal law. Every person has an instinctive moral compass which guides him/her to initiate or un-initiate an action.
Then there offense of abetment which is dealt under criminal law can get an offender jail sentence or even a death penalty depending upon the nature and results of abetment crime committed.
According to penal laws of most Commonwealth states, abetment is a punishable crime or in simple words it is "the act of abetting or inciting another to commit a crime"
According to Pakistan and Indian penal codes;
"To constitute the offence of abetment it is not necessary that the act abetted should be committed, or that the effect requisite to constitute the offence should be caused “
According to Section 111 of Pakistan Penal Code:
Liability of abettor, when one act abetted and different act done; When an act is abetted and a different act is done, the abettor is liable for the act done, in the same manner and to the same extent as if he had directly, abetted it:
Singaporean Law defines abetment as
"Abetment – A person abets the doing of a thing when he or she —
(a) instigates any person to do that thing;
(b) engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that thing; or
(c) Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.
What happened in past 3 weeks and most recently in France is not freedom of expression but an abetment for violence for which defamation is used and that too to create an atmosphere in which objectives of abettors become easily in reach.
The Mens Rea for the acts is not hidden and there is plenty of evidence that all these two acts were done intentionally for inciting fury in Muslims to react and to make mockery of 1.5 billion Muslims in Islam phobic and anti Islam satire.
So far more than 60 lives have been lost and that to due to abettors who knew the reaction and intentionally did it in ‘Islamophobia’ and tried to hide it in name of Freedom of Expression.
Why they did it?
Globalization is causing nationalism in whole world and at one side where world is becoming global village on other nationalism and Identity consciousness is also increasing.
There is also U.S. elections nearing and some hardliners who wish to re write the world order according to their likings ,for which they need Muslim reactions to show their People dark face of Muslims , in order to build consensus against them.
Let’s not forget tensions in Middle east especially crisis over Iranian Nuclear Program and Israeli eagerness to involve U.S. to attack its nuclear installment for which so far U.S. is not agreeing , Situation in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan, Muslim Brotherhood Govt getting in power in Egypt, and of course Arab spring which seems to be gotten out of hand.
WHAT SHOULD MUSLIMS DO?
The abettors’ intention is violence by Muslims and then exploiting it for their strategic, apocalyptic agenda. Muslims should
1. The best strategy will be to fight legal battle on the line that what constitutes freedom of expression and what constitutes defamation and abetment.
2. Secondly, a peaceful protest by all Muslims, who should come out on streets peacefully conveying the message that we all love our beloved Master and Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), more than our lives or anything. These protests will also force Muslim governments to convey sentiments of their masses and make policies accordingly.
It is also duty of Civilized West to see the efforts from the angle of abetment and arrest and punish the perpetrators accordingly. The sad events in Libya and els where and the advertisement run on Pakistani TV channels by US state Department shows that US government feels that a criminal move by a Bias Producer is instigating Anti Americanism. Now US government should arrest and punish the man and those involved and prosecute them against Criminal law of United States.
Summing up Civilized world cannot play in hands of Fanatics. In words of Churchil
“Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone else says anything back, that is an outrage.” ― Winston Churchill
There should be legislation in UNO against Defamation and International Abetment. There should be same law for all and no double slandered as era of colonial and imperial empires have ended. Civilized western nations who call denial of Holocaust as crime because it hurts Jewish sentiments should realize that 1.5 billion Muslims are hurt and gets angry when someone shows disrespect or defames our holy personalities. Denial of Holocaust is less an offence then disrespect to a religion followed by 1.5 billion humans.
At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. --Aristotle
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.