Sunday, February 05, 2006

Oliver Wendell Holmes

"The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing a panic. "
Schenck v. United States (249 U.S. 47)March 3, 1919

Dear Sage, Yesterday, February 4, 2006, a stampede cost the lives of almost a hundred Filipinos. A crowd of 25,000 was encouraged by the producers of a TV game show to line up in the streets outside a stadium, with a capacity of only 15,000 seats, for almost a week. Some say the panic was started by somebody who shouted “may bomba! May Bomba!” (There’s a bomb! There’s a bomb!) It was a believable, plausible and PREDICTABLE threat considering that the Philippines has had more than its share of Terrorist Attacks.

Freedom of Speech does not include the right to shout “FIRE” in a crowded theater. That’s the reason why I decided not to post a controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a Terrorist. It was very disappointing to see those members of the Moslem Faith reacting the way they did to the Danish Newspaper’s decision to exercise its journalistic freedom. So far radical arabs, who claim to be followers of Islam, have attacked or burned down Danish embassies in some parts of the middle east.

Our Islamic brothers must learn from the mistakes of those of us who practice the Judaeo-Christian Faith. The period called “dark ages” was marked by the absolute power of religious leaders, demonization of rationalism, and absence of separation between science and religion. It was an age where ignorance triumphed over reason- Ignorance waving the Bible and Papal encyclicals.

Fortunately, members of Islam have yet to equal the brutality/barbarity of our “Missionaries” who were responsible for the “Christianization” of the world. Christianity has a Dark history. It also has a Dark underbelly. There are Christians who believe with conviction that it is better to be good “Amway” Sales Representatives rather than good neighbors. What’s worse, there are still “Christians” who are more brutal and murderous than Usama Bin Laden. If Our Muslim brothers do not start to recognize the need to liberate themselves from the petty TYRANTS in their midst, they might end up like the ones they hate most: Slaves of religion forever in bondage to ignorance like that “Christian,” Brother Eli Soriano.

I wish Someday, when you are old enough to read and understand the entries in this blog, our Moslem brothers will see God not just in the Islamic mosques, but also in the eyes of non-Moslems who respect their rights to their beliefs as well as civil liberties.

And someday, sana naman wala ng kinakailangang magtiyagang pumila sa mga game shows tulad ng eat bulaga at wowowee. AT sana naman hind maging senator si willie revillame (reputedly a misogynist pig)


Screwed-Up AKA SnglGuy said...

I very much agree with you about the caricature incident. The way I see it, it's much ado about nothing.

Those newspapers containing the said cartoons aren't even circulated in the Middle East, so why should they care? It's not like the Arab newspapers don't print out anti semitic and anti Christianity cartoons. Does this mean that Christians should start burning down Mosques and embassies everytime a derogatory cartoon of Jesus is printed in an Arab newspaper?

Screwed-Up AKA SnglGuy said...

As for the Wowowee/ULTRA stampede, this incident I believe, just shows how many desperate Filipinos are in our midst, and how big corpoartions (and politicians) are using them for their own gain knowing that they will do anything, even at the expense of their own dignity for a buck.

CL said...

The Price to pay for Freedom of Expressions and Free Speech

I hope every journalist and the media learn from this incident if they do not wish such violence repeated. Religious bigotry caused most of the chaos among people. Two wrongs does not make it right. To retaliate only adds fire to the mold and seeking revenge just because an individual or group had crossed each other only infects the rest of the human civilization.

Ronald Allan said...

I wish that too...:-)

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Letters to my kids about their childhood adventures

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan

To Sage, Sabe, Sade & 3Stan