Is free speech merely a symbolic talisman, like a country’s flag or a sentiment? Is it just one of many values that we trade off against each other? Raising a voice for a cause is Blasphemy or Act against the State? Or is free speech fundamental a right which, if not absolute, should be abrogated only in carefully circumscribed cases?
We could have people spouting homophobic, racist, nationalist and downright offensive views, their defense is usually “Free Speech”. But It’s when freedom of speech isn’t freedom of speech. “Hate Speech” is freedom of speech to the extent that the language used incites or encourages violence or violation of the law. But then again the world changes, freedom of speech helps the world to change. Without this kind of expression, the world wouldn’t be aware of all the problems we have, and wouldn’t help to change them. For example, with the Charlie Hebdo problem, the world and France got aware of the problem of religion, Mashal Khan who talked about his University’s corrupt system (we all know what happened afterwards) as well as Nelson Mandela.
To conclude, our freedom ends where the other’s starts, one must be free to give its opinions, with coherence and respect, but must be consequent with the sensitivity of people.