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Columns

September 29, 2012

Violence over film goes much deeper than blasphemy

(Continued)

The criticism of the “Innocence of Muslims,’’ however, is not that it is false, but that it is blasphemous. YouTube’s rules limit free expression by barring content that it considers “hate speech,’’ but it has argued that the video is more a promotion of ideas that question the authority of Mohammad.

The U.S. courts have a long history of protecting individual free speech over the objections of groups that may be offended. That tradition now is clashing with a culture and a religion that place the institution Islam far above the rights of individual expression.

We have to encourage Americans to be more tolerant and urge Muslims who loathe U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East to understand that they can openly condemn free expression with which they don’t agree without resorting to deadly violence.

Cary Brunswick, of Oneonta, is a freelance writer and editor of carybrunswick.com. He can be reached at brunswick@earthling.com.

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