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September 12th, 2012
03:11 PM ET

Reaction to anti-Islam film fuels debate on free speech versus hate speech

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - The deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans amid protests against a film that denigrates Islam has sparked global discussion and debate  about whether there is a line between free speech and hate speech and, if so, where it lies.

“They don’t regard perceived insults to the Prophet Mohammed or the Quran as being protected by free speech, they regard it as a capital offense,” says Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, referring to protesters in Libya and Egypt, where the U.S. Embassy was attacked, who were angered by the film.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the movie was made by a real estate developer who wanted to portray Islam as a hateful religion.  The attack on the U.S. personnel in Benghazi, Libya, was orchestrated by extremists who used the protests as a diversion, U.S. sources told CNN Wednesday.

“In some of these cases, the people releasing these films or cartoons are trying to make a statement about free speech, which is fair enough,” says Bergen, referring to the film and other provocative recent depictions of Mohammed, Islam’s founding prophet.

"But in some cases they are deliberately trying to provoke," Bergen says. "The film that is at issue is certainly very provocative, the way it treats the Prophet Mohammed, and people who release these things are being very irresponsible."

Read: Why Muslims are sensitive on Mohammed

Newt Gingrich told CNN Wednesday that the United States should seize on the violence spurred by the film “to teach the Muslim world about freedom,” specifically about freedom of speech.

His remarks, echoed by other conservatives on Wednesday, signaled something of a divide in reaction to developments in Libya and Egypt between the political right, which stressed freedom of speech, and the left, which added condemnation of those behind the anti-Muslim film.

"The horrific attacks in Libya & Egypt are a stark contrast to our American ideals of free speech, civil disagreement," wrote Todd Rokita, a Republican U.S. congressman who is from Indiana, on Twitter.

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Gingrich, the former presidential candidate and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that after the attacks, “We had an opportunity to stand up and say, ‘You know, it is true - some people in the United States might make a film that is totally whacked out.’”

“Sooner or later, we in the modern world have to say to those who are living in a different way, ‘Look, we stand for freedom,’” he said.

Gingrich criticized statements from the U.S. government that he said went too far in condemning and apologizing for the anti-Muslim film.

In a statement on Tuesday morning - before the violence - the U.S. Embassy in Egypt wrote that it "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

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"Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy," the statement continued. "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

Some U.S. officials spoke to the tension between U.S. support for free speech and what some have described as the film’s “hate speech,” in reacting to the attacks.

"The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

"Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” she said. “But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

Some other political and religious leaders also cited the tension between free speech and what they said was hate speech. "I support #freespeech AND believe this film is hateful," tweeted Eboo Patel, an American Muslim leader based in Chicago. "I stand up for #Islam AND condemn violence of extremist Muslims #fb #responsibility."

Others joined in venting disapproval of both the film and the attacks. "For the record, you can condemn violence in response to hate speech, and you can also condemn hate speech," wrote Jeff Fecke on Twitter. "You don't have to support either."

Some American Muslims said Wednesday that while they support the right of free speech, they believe that the U.S. applies its values selectively in the Muslim world, especially when it comes to military and intelligence operations.

“Freedom of speech falls alongside other freedoms to live and be free from bombs falling on people’s heads and to be free from occupations,” says Omid Safi, religious studies professor at the University of North Carolina, referring to American military and intelligence operations in parts of the Muslim world.

“I will take free speech comments seriously when others take people’s freedom of life and dignity and to be free from occupation just as seriously,” he said.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on the discussion around free speech and hate speech and we'll fold good ones into this post.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Violence

soundoff (1,088 Responses)
  1. therealpeace2all

    @Waaat

    " You would prefer that we all knuckle under to anyone who threatens violence? "

    No... I would prefer that we consider the ramifications and consequences of our sacred right to free speech.

    " You think we are responsible for the actions of others? "

    Again, I think we should consider what might be the consequences of our actions. It's pretty obvious, that if we do things, like was done with this video, there are certain groups that will react with 'deadly violence.'

    Just because we 'can' doesn't necessarily mean we 'should.'

    " I will never be responsible for what other people do. "

    That's fine, and I agree with you to a certain extent here, however it doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider the ramifications of what you say and do.

    Peace...

    September 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      *apologies* see post at bottom of page.

      Peace...

      September 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  2. lamb of dog

    Muslims that are offended by non Muslims need to calm down.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  3. champagneinhand

    So sad that ignorance and the teachings of false prophets, namely imam's and wahbee followers give Islam and the muslim populations no room for discussion about "the will of Allah." So many in Islam are ready to act as the sword of Allah, yet he is Allah, or God in Christianity or Eloheim in Judaism. Fear is what prevails in most Muslim heart when in comes to trying to have any rational discussion about who carries out any break in the tenets of this faith. I look at how much satire their is about Catholics or the play "The Book of Mormom", yet one never sees follewers in groups setting fire to buildings of people they blame for hate speech. Let Allah, defend his tenants. I never see palaces of Saudi prince's burned because there is alcohol consumption going on. I have defended the majority of Muslims, but its time for ignorance and the vigilantes to stop the killing.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  4. really

    We need to have another 'draw Muhammad' day.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  5. Cindy

    America should lead by example. We are suppose to stand for religious tolerance. But a right-wing group headed by Reverend Terrance Jones, of Gainsville Fla. preach only "hate." Every 9-11 he comes up with something to insult the Muslim faith. 9-11-10 Pres. Obama talked him out of buring the Koran. 9-11-11 He burned the Koran creating an uprising in Afganistan, 9-11-12 he uploaded this anti-muslim film on "You Tube." This man is all about hate speech and is having an effect on US Intl. relations. He needs to be jailed for inciting "hate."

    September 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • CW

      Stop paying any attention to Mr Jones and the problem goes away. Pretty simple.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  6. Jeb

    Violence pays apparently is the message CNN is sending.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
  7. dl324

    I support freedom of speech, but I hope the people who create the inflamatory material can deal with the fact that they contributed to deaths just to make their point. They're dealing with a group that is known to have members who are fanatical, extreme, irrational, ...

    I feel sorry for people who are so fanatical about their religion that they can justify killing in to protect its "honor". It shouldn't need protection by humans. I feel equally sorry for people who belong to a religion that considers mocking it or burning it's book a killing offense. Extremism in anything is generally not good.

    Whatever happened to live and let live, turn the other check, sticks and stones, ...?

    September 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • el rob o

      Good point... but "turn the other cheek" is generally practiced by Christians which is why you find liberals bashing them all day long and CNN remains silent on that. The will only speak out if it's violence against Islam, Christianity is open game for hate speech. (I give you Bill Mahr as an example... Imagine if Jesus also taught violence whenever his name was blasphemed... Bill would be dead today, or at least living in exile. But he and others enjoy the freedom of speech mostly Christians provided them).

      September 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • what?

      "BAAAWWWWW, LIBERULLS!!!"

      September 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Muslims and Christians are all delusional. Both believe in fairy tales.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • really

      ""turn the other cheek" is generally practiced by Christians"

      Hilarious.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  8. Langor

    There is no hate speech, just attempts to stifle free speech with thought control laws. You must be bigger than the words and embrace or ignore the thoughts behind them. There will always be people of ill intent who want to use words as weapons, but they must be allowed to exist so that resonable people can use words as weapons against true enemies of freedom. Without that we will all be in a position of being placed in a box when we want to speak, right or wrong.

    September 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  9. Jon

    "Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy,"

    B.S. We have zero obligation to respect stupid ideas, no matter how sacred they may be to someone else.

    Respect people, not ideas.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • TallinOK

      Well said.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • camd

      There are very few beliefs regarding any religion that are not considered stupid by someone.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  10. Jesus was a hunchback

    Mohammed, Jesus, and Abraham walk into a bar...

    September 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • koimim

      Go to http://www.jesusandmo(dot)net if you like funny cartoons that make fun of Jesus and Mohommad. Moses even shows up sometimes. Funny comic.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • POD

      Mohammed orders a glass of water......Jesus turns it into wine......Abraham gets drunk and decides to kill his son Isaac as a sacrificial offering to God/Allah/Yahweh....just cause some hallucination told him to do it

      September 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • ME II

      "Mohammed, Jesus, and Abraham walk into a bar..."

      ... and everyone yells ZOMBIES! and runs out. right?

      September 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • lamb of dog

      Nice

      September 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  11. Colleen Oakes

    It's amusing to me that while Jesus is mocked every day in a million different ways (in movies, in Southpark, in cartoons and books), there is never a violence response about it. No attacks, no riots – maybe some complaints and whining, but that's to be expected. And yet, for some reason, we are tip-toeing around saying what is true: That this religion is one that does not tolerate ANYONE speaking ill or disagreeing with it. Art is art, even if it's a terrible film. The fact that a bad film released here can cause the death of someone there shows that there are some very basic fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam in the current day.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • taint

      No actually there is no difference, both religions call for killing, both are fiction. Any more questions?

      September 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Colleen Oakes

      Yes, show me where Christians are killing people who disagree with them within the last 300 years. Jesus preached "Turn the other cheek", "Love your enemies" and "Love your neighbor".

      September 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • sam

      Oh, don't worry. Christians don't kill; they're much more subtle than that! They just vote the right people into power to push their right wing agenda and start making it illegal for infidels to go about their dirty, sinful ways. LOL

      September 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • ME II

      @Colleen Oakes,
      You mean besides the IRA, Lord's Resistance Army, Army of God, KKK, etc. ?

      September 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Dave

      Well said Colleen, couldn't agree more

      September 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • really

      Colleen – You've essentially proven that real Christians do not exist.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • sam

      @ME II – those can't possibly be TRUE christians. Everyone knows a true christian would never, never never act like that. Ha.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Tom

      Oh ya, christians don't kill. Drones kill

      September 12, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  12. thecollegeadmissionsguru

    What most Westerners don't understand is that people who have grown up under the Sharia Law and in the Middle East do not understand the concept of free speech. The reason they hold the government of the US responsible for the content on Youtube is that they expect, like their own governments do, for our government to police the content of social media, internet, etc.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  13. Scott

    Free speech – When a liberal says biased and hateful things
    Hate speech – When a conservative says those things
    God speech – When Obama says biased and hateful things.
    Political ads – see God speech

    September 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • taint

      Lunacy= When a right winger attempts humor or any kind of rational definition.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • what?

      "YUK YUK LIBERULLS OH GAWD." Are you feeling super marginalized today? Hopefully you're a christian white boy who has zero idea what it means. Cry harder.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • ME II

      slurred speech – Disciples asking Jesus for just one more bottle of wine.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  14. louis

    Free speech, even offensive free speech, must be protected. But I think the film maker was irresponsible, especially when one considers the timing. But his point was proven, Islam is not a religion of peace.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      There are factions of the Religious Right in America who would react much the same way, if given the chance or if our governement was a weak as the governments in Egypt and Libya. What this proves is that there is a faction of the Muslim religion that is more reactive than others. For the most part, the people of Libya and Egypt have condemned this act.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  15. IK

    What is amazing to me, is that the word "hate" or "hateful" is being used against this film and people that produced it ( I am not saying it is not ). BUT no one, and I repeat no one is calling the killing of 4 innocent American diplomats as "hateful." This film hurt religious "feelings" no one died over that. 4 people killed somehow makes it an equal retribution.........

    September 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Doodlebug2222

      This > "This film hurt religious "feelings" no one died over that. 4 people killed somehow makes it an equal retribution."

      I see as emotional blackmail in an effort to better control .. whom ever they wish to. If someone insulted the god I worship > then I am taught to turn the other cheek, to even ignore > but not mortally wound innocents because of someone else's actions or words.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • CW

      Thank you. How sad that we lose sight of the 4 dead people and worry about whether someone was offended by a film they themselves chose to see.

      September 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  16. LWJR

    A country killed our Ambassador. I feel like we are right back to the EMBASSY Fiasco and Jimmy Carter w/Iran again. When Reagan got elected, the Iranians knew he would FLATTEN TEHRAN unless they released the hostages. What is Obama going to do? Blame Al Qaeda and vow revenge. Here is what should be done....take over the oil wells in Libya.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      I agree, EVERY time people in a country overreact we should just go over and go to war with them. We should just take over the country, bomb them back to the stone ages, WAR WAR WAR!!! NOT! We should, through diplomacy and using whatever channels we have available, find those responsible for these attacks and bing them to justice, by whatever means necessary. What we should NOT do is go around killing innocent citizens in their own country.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • taint

      LWJR is of course forgetting that Mr. Obama has killed the guy who caused 9/11 and most of his officers. How cute that he is reaching back thirty something years for a frame of reference. This folks is why the GOP is nothing but ancient old nostalgic white men.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • really

      You believe this is the action of a country? Are you just being silly?

      I am glad you are not in charge of the nukes.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Ju Ju Bee

      That statement issused by the Embassy – before and / or after the violence – was damning. Obama's Administration would either have to stand behind it and support the Embassy, or condemn it and pretend that they knew nothing. For anyone to believe that an Embassy would release a statement that was not reviewed by the head of the department or anyone in the Administration is crazy. The Embassy was tipped off on the violence as they had already evacuated the Embassy. They knew tensions were high and this had the potential to errupt and they expect us to believe that NO ONE REVIEWED the statement. Please.

      This is classic Obama – point your fingers at someone else and don't accept responsibility for the actions of those under your watch.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • what?

      "BAAAWWW IT'S OBAMA'S FAULT!" Shut up Ju Ju.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  17. SJP

    Hate speech isn't free speech... clearly it can cost innocent lives. A very heavy price to pay, indded.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • bd

      That's a very slippery slope. The moment you start banning any form of speech, those that want a topic protected (say for example a gov't policy) will simply declare any dissent against it hate speech.

      History is rife with examples of exactly that.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • RealityCheck101

      SJP – I have not seen the film, but unless it is promoting violence against Muslims, then the film is an exercise of free speech that should not be suppressed. We may not agree with what is expressed, but we should protect free speech no matter what the cost – anything less is bowing to tyranny.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @RealityCheck101

      I am in agreement with you. The only point I'm having a bit of trouble with is... "we should protect free speech *no matter what the cost* "

      Because we have the right to free speech here in the U.S. means that we should be and act responsibly with this right, otherwise... you might get someone killed.

      Just because we 'can' say something... doesn't necessarily mean that we 'should.'

      Point being, let's consider the consequences before we exercise those rights. Even SCOTUS has put some limits on free speech, some of which are for these very reasons.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      September 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • sam

      Sure, if it involves reactionary extremeists. I have to say hate bombs are still a bigger problem than hate speech.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Ju Ju Bee

      We're in a pickle on this one... On the one hand, as Americans – we value our freedoms, one of them being the most precious to us – free speech. To give that up, in any form, goes against everything that we stand for. I agree that free speech should be used responsibly (you don't say "fire" in a theater) – the problem is who defines "responsibly"? I see many people ridicule, name call and display many other religions in a very unfavorable fashion. With Romney jumping into the political scene – how many derogatory remarks have you seen about Mormons? A lot of this I see right here on CNN's boards. But what you don't see are those who are being made fun of or ridiculed running around killing people over this. It doesn't happen because their religion is not based upon this.

      The problem we have, as Americans, is that we think everyone else and every other place in this world is like us. And it's not. We do not understand the value of what we truly have over here and I don't think you can understand it until it's taken away from you. This is what we know and it's all we know. Just as we can't understand why Third World countries repress their masses with religion and control, they can't understand why we can walk around freely saying whatever it is we want to say, where what we choose and believe in what we want to. Throw in technology – and the differences between the West and Middle East are shoved right in everyone's face. That is not their way of life – period. We may think it's harsh and cruel – but if they choose to live their lives to glorify Allah – who are we to say that's not right?

      The only option that I can think of it a mutual understanding that – we live our lives here, they live their lives over there and we do everything we can to stay as far apart from each other as we can. We should strive for coexistence, as opposed to integration. We are not going to change them and they are not going to change us. Since the governments over there control the internet and technology – they should put controls in place to limit content that they believe their citizens should not see. So our "free speech" cannot be viewed by them.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  18. Julie

    What's wrong with denigrating the religious beliefs of others? We are FREE to do so if we want. I will continue to denigrate the belief that human's are just alien souls trapped in human bodies trying to get free. I think that's ridiculous and that L. Ron Hubbard was a con artist. I will also denigrate the belief that if I show my ankles to a man outside my family I should be stoned to death. I'm from the evil western world where we believe I should be able to say that and that we will fight to the death to protect that right. It would be nice if our government would remember that.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • bd

      well said.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Julie

      " What's wrong with denigrating the religious beliefs of others? We are FREE to do so if we want. "

      Yes, 'we,' (american citizens) are 'free' to do so if we want.

      However, it's not that cut and dry... obviously. Look what happens if someone just shoots their mouth off.

      We must consider the potential *consequences* of our right to 'free speech.'

      Your "denigrating the religious beliefs of others" just might get an American killed for your lack of forethought.

      Peace...

      September 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • nadinesh

      Well there you go. Ignore all the complexities of life and plunk for the blackest and whitest options, blithely ignoring both the practicalities and the realities of the world around you. (BTW, you're only "free" to denigrate (whatever) in the sense that the US government can't throw you in jail for it. CNN has every right to delete your remark and your employer has every right to fire you for it when they read it on Facebook. Short of anything criminal in retaliation, you still bear the responsibility for what you said. You can't shrug that off. That's the trouble with most bozos: they try to. Like the moral degenerates who made this "film" calling themselves (quite rightly) "Americans." If several dozen people die in incidents in the Middle East because of these terminally bigoted halfwits, should they not also bear responsibility for it? I say YES.

      September 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @nadinesh

      Well said.

      Peace...

      September 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  19. Jed

    Christians and Muslims both claim to religons of God, yet they continually kill each other over who God's "deciple" was on this planet. God is not pleased.

    September 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • EPGG

      Muslims are firm that there should only be one religion. If you are not a Muslim, you are an infidel (one without faith). It is something that cannot be put on bargaining table. So, you think we can achieve a peaceful co-existence? Disagreement will be non-ending, whether verbal or violent discourse. This is what it is.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Ju Ju Bee

      Jed – what Christians are you referring to that are killing in the name of the "disciple"? Are you referring to current events or is this in reference to the Crusades? Christians today do not go around killing in the name of religion. Pretty sure that we don't have a Christian Bin Ladin in our mix.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  20. therealpeace2all

    Yes, I agree... that we can and should condemn both. The people that made the video and most certainly and overwhelmingly the people that committed these horrific acts of violence.

    We, in the United States, have our sacred right to 'free speech.' We must act wisely with that ability to basically say what we wish.

    With that comes responsibility. In my opinion, the people that made this video acted extremely irresponsibly, knowing full well that extremist Muslims quite often act with violence when Muhammed is involved.

    I am certainly *not* in any way condoning the Muslims that believe that violence is o.k. anytime someone makes fun of or paints a portrait of Muhammed. It *is* absolutely barbaric and inexcusable, and they should be taken out of the gene pool as far as I'm concerned.

    However, we, as Americans should know better about the ramifications of our actions before we use our wonderful right of 'free speech' as it could possibly get someone killed by some murderous fanatic half way around the world, or... even possibly here in our own country.

    Some of you may think that we are giving up our right to free speech by giving in to the extremists. I would argue... what would you do ? If you continue to post these kinds of videos, we will most likely reap similar results.

    My point is... I'm not saying I have all the answers to this problem here, but let's think about what the ramifications might be before we say or do something.

    **I am sincerely curious to anyones opinion**

    Peace...

    September 12, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • RealityCheck101

      therealpeace2all – The film is an exercise of free speech that should not be suppressed – this is not a case of yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. We may not agree with what is expressed, but we should protect free speech no matter what the cost – anything less is bowing to tyranny.

      September 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Reality Check 101

      I appreciate your opinion, and basically agree with you.

      However, as I said to you above in a reply, we need to be 'responsible' about what we say as it could and does get some people killed.

      Just because we 'can' say something, doesn't mean we always 'should' say it.

      Even SCOTUS and puts some limits on 'free speech,' for some of these very reasons.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      September 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Waaat

      You would prefer that we all knuckle under to anyone who threatens violence?

      You think we are responsible for the actions of others? Seriously? That is fucked up, man. You are nucking futs.

      I will never be responsible for what other people do. NEVER !!! DO YOU HEAR ME YOU BIG WEENIE? NEVER!!
      Now if you murder me for yelling at you, is it my fault or your fault? Are you really so simple-minded?

      September 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Waaat

      " You would prefer that we all knuckle under to anyone who threatens violence? "

      No... I would prefer that we consider the ramifications and consequences of our sacred right to free speech.

      " You think we are responsible for the actions of others? "

      Again, I think we should consider what might be the consequences of our actions. It's pretty obvious, that if we do things, like was done with this video, there are certain groups that will react with 'deadly violence.'

      Just because we 'can' doesn't necessarily mean we 'should.' We have Americans over in the ME. I'm saying we should be careful about what we say and do, as it may get someone killed over there.

      " I will never be responsible for what other people do. "

      That's fine, and I agree with you to a certain extent here, however it doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider the ramifications of what you say and do.

      Peace...

      September 12, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Ju Ju Bee

      I agree that we should use our "freedom of speech" responsibly, but how responsible are we being in this case? This film-maker puts out a movie that is offensive to a group – who then react violently. So – we don't put this out under fear that we may offend someone. But – what if this is the truth and, worse, what if people can be harmed by not knowing this truth?

      For example – if you have a rapist that is on the loose in your community. The media tells you everything about this rapist – his weight, height, etc... everything, except the color of his skin. They fear that disclosure will offend a group. By not giving all of the facts and claiming "responsible" freedom of speech – who are you protecting and who are you hurting?

      September 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Ju Ju Bee

      I am in basic agreement with what you are saying.

      The 1st amendment to me is 'sacred.'

      So, it's on a case by case basis, yes ?

      In this particular case, concerning Muhammed, etc... it's hard to believe that the makers of the video didn't know the potential consequences of their actions.

      Should we just keep putting up these videos and then see how many more Americans get killed...?

      To me, in this case, i believe they acted irresponsibly by putting up this video.

      You wrote above in another discussion thread about keeping our country and the ME separate.

      It just may come to that... as they really don't keep the same value of 'free speech' there.

      Anyway... thanks for your opinions, -Ju Ju Bee... you make some very salient points.

      Peace...

      September 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.