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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Defending freedom of speech on Hannity Show; Mike Ghouse with Pamela Geller about Tunisian scholar Sheikh Rachid al-Ghannouchi.

My strongest argument with Hannity and Geller was – I do not want America to change for Ghannouchi, I do not want our constitution be compromised for Ghannouchi, and I do not want American character to change for Ghannouchi.

I was completely taken back that Pamela Geller and Hannity were calling for a ban on Sheikh Rachid al-Ghannouchi’s featured speech at Yale Law School, they should be instead defending it.

Freedom of speech is the most enduring, stabilizing, sustainable value of a free society.  Ultimately freedom should prevail over everything else. That is about the only thing I would die for and defend.

Ghannouchi has called for destruction of American properties and killing Americans, I don’t like it, but I will defend his right to speak.

I have defended Pamela Geller’s right to speak in London when they banned her from speaking, I have defended Terry Jones right to burn Qurans, and indeed we are making a film about freedom of speech.  I have defended Fred Phelps right to be ugly with this anti-Jewish, anti-GLBT and anti-Immigrant demonstrations. 
I have opposed Arab League's proposal at the United Nations to curb freedom of speech about religious personalities, and without any doubt Professor Ghannouchi should speak freely.

Freedom should be the ultimate winner. Indeed it is to our advantage to hear him out, understand where he is coming from and what he is going to lay it out. We should hear him and not ban him.

We cannot be hypocrites, and ban free speech for one and allow it for others.

My strongest argument with Hannity and Geller was – I do not want America to change because of Ghannouchi, I do not want our constitution be compromised for Ghannouchi, and I do not want our character to change for Ghannouchi.

Quran supports freedom of speech, there are numerous verses to that effect, but for now, I will quote two – 41:34 – Repel evil with whatever is better; there is chance that evil may mellow down, if you repel evil with evil, the conflict flares up and both sides will dig in their heels.  Verse 2:256 gives clear unambiguous guidance – there shall be no compulsion for others to believe what you believe.

Freedom of speech is birth right, that is one simple thing that separated animals from humans and I will not let it be compromised. 

I am surprised with the attacks on Twitter and floods of emails I am receiving from the right wing Christians, Muslims and Jews. Freedom of speech is an expectational America value, indeed, that is what separates us from the rest of the world. I would have expected them to defend it instead of attacking me.

Freedom of speech is a conservative value and I expected Sean Hannity to defend it, but he failed me.


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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society, gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. All about him is listed in several links at www.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10 other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

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