At the German Media Freedom Prize ceremony, Shirin Ebadi, the lone Iranian Nobel Laureate, admonished the award officials for the choice of one of the three recipients. Mrs. Ebadi was quite unhappy with Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist mostly known for his Mohammad cartoon, receiving the freedom award.
In her view expressed at the time, not only he did not help the cause of freedom of speech; he incited religious hatred and should be prosecuted for it.
Needless to say that did not go down well with quite a few people who hold freedom of speech near and dear.
In a subsequent Q & A with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Lady Ebadi finesses her position somewhat. She now says her ire was due to the fact that the identity of one of the three recipients, Kurt Westergaard, was kept secret, apparently to all, until her arrival at the venue the night before.
Ebadi dismisses the award officials’ explanation that due to numerous death threats on the life of Kurt Westergaard from various Islamist terrorists, and based on police recommendations, they had kept his identity secret to the last possible moment.
If her new position is indicative of a better understanding of what freedom of expression is all about, and how woefully wrong she was in condemning the Media Freedom Prize officials for their choice, she must be congratulated.
And if it is only a damage control maneuver, she must then be reminded that it only makes her advocacy of religion being compatible with democracy sound even more hollow and farcical than usual.
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"Freedom of speech near andby Sargord Pirouz on Thu Oct 14, 2010 06:45 AM PDT
"Freedom of speech near and dear" like felony convictions against persons not fully subscribing to the holocaist narrative?
You Israelis here at "Fred" scream bloody murder when persons engage in such research.
But, of course, double standard is the name of your game- isn't it.