There’s a meme going round, and I’m not sure what to make of it.
One recent example forms the lead in to an article in Forth, and goes as follows:
“We have to defend Lars Vilks because free speech matters but he’s a fool and his alleged would-be assassins arrested in Ireland are bumbling idiots, says Finbar Rosato in Sweden.”
Heres another quote from the article along the same lines:
“We must defend the right to free-expression, no matter what the content of that expression is – but that doesn’t mean we have to take that content seriously. The question is, why do people think this is a serious contribution to dialogue?” [Sorry, full article is behind a paywall].
In fairness to Finbar (and others expressing similar sentiments), they does make it clear they are not equating terrorists and cartoonists. But the meme is there: Free speech should be worthwhile.
Finbar draws a parallel between Salman Rushdie and the cartoonists. The former is Art, the latter merely “scribblings” by a “small child”.
Naturally, Finbar concludes by supporting cartoonists free speech rights. He just wishes they were classier.
Maybe he should read this article, free in Forth.