The terrorists hate our freedoms. So what do we do in response to a terrorist attack? We clamp down on our freedoms! Can there by any worse capitulation and humiliation than this? And we in India are doing exactly the same thing.
<br>flickr photo by CharlesFred https://flickr.com/photos/charlesfred/3828019118 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license</br>

The terrorists hate our freedoms. So what do we do in response to a terrorist attack? We clamp down on our freedoms! Can there by any worse capitulation and humiliation than this? And we in India are doing exactly the same thing.
flickr photo by CharlesFred https://flickr.com/photos/charlesfred/3828019118 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license

The Burkini Fiasco Plays into the Terrorist’s Hands

What do the terrorists want? They want you to become like them. They hate free countries – their speech, their ways of dressing, their liberal lives. Their security. Their fearlessness.

And how are the liberal nations responding? By giving the terrorists exactly what they want! France banning the burkini is no different from Islamic countries banning shorts. No different from Indian khaps banning jeans. In its eagerness to defy Islamic nations, France is well on its way to becoming just like them.

We do the same in India as well. We are handing over our rights in the name of “security”, and that is exactly what make the terrorists most happy. The crackdown on JNU in the name of “nationalism” is just another instance of the state trying to take away the rights of individuals to express themselves. It doesn’t matter that others don’t like those forms of expression. Freedom of expression doesn’t mean “as long as it doesn’t offend anyone”. It means, freedom “despite the fact that it offends someone”.

The real test of freedom comes when it protects speech that others hate. Every country in the world allows nice, happy speech. Even the most strident Islamic countries don’t ban speech that everyone agrees with. That everyone likes. The test is when a government goes out of it’s way to protect speech that others detest. It’s a test that only the US has passed.

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, France arrested a comedian for hate speech. In all the world, only the US doesn’t have hate speech laws – a triumph of liberty. France is digging its own grave with its Burkini antics. Terrorists will be rejoicing that they can now point to real discrimination against muslims. And muslims will be right to feel persecuted, making the atmosphere even riper for radicalization.

Both France and India need to learn from the US. France’s “secularism” goes far beyond no interference from the government. It involves active suppression. India’s “secularism” has a completely different meaning where the state sticks its finger into everything. We need neither. We need a government that completely ignores religion and pretends that it doesn’t exist. We need a government that ignores clothes. That ignores speech (unless it’s leading to immediate and specific violence).

We want a government that minds its own bloody business.

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Comments

  1. i dont agree that they should not be allowed to wear Burkinis….but .tomorrow it will be that they want to impose Sharia….please comment

    Reply

    • In reply to tusna

      Sharia is against the Constitutions of all free countries.

      Reply

    • In reply to tusna

      Women don’t have the power to impose anything. They quite apparently aren’t even able to dress or not dress in what they want!

      Reply

      • In reply to Fem

        we the people of India.
        and we hav to be proud we are indians. it’s not neccessary to fight against your religion is great, our religion is great like this things make our country’s reputation bad in internationally.. we hav to feel that this country is our religion… “plz bhai blogger… kya aap muslims ko terrors samjhtey ho yaa kuch aurr…
        i need your answer sir….”
        sorry my english is poor.. if i do any mistake plz pardon me….

        Reply

  2. The real tragedy is that Indian intellectuals are more worried about the right to wear burkini on beaches in France than the rights of Indian Hindus to celebrate Dahi Handi in Mumbai. Muslims on French beaches matter, Hindus in India don’t…

    The test of free speech is when you tolerate those you disagree with. So is the test for intellectual honesty… When you speak out for French Muslims but not for Marathi Hindus…

    Reply

    • In reply to Sumit

      There is no ban on dahi handi in Mumbai. Regulations have been put in place to make it safer for participants. Or do you actually want people to die or get hurt during this auspicious occasion?

      Reply

      • In reply to Fem

        Regulations had been put in France to save women from patriarchal oppressive religions. Do you want women to think they need to cover up so that men don’t get aroused?

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        No, I don’t want that. But disrobing them is hardly going to help the case. It would be a good thing to first stop racism against them and then to spread awareness and give the women sufficient help when they want to rebel.

        Reply

  3. Your freedom of speech stops where my freedom to life starts. It has been proved that hate speech has been used throughout history to whip up mob frenzy against people and communities. One of the most terrible examples is the genocide in Rwanda where the radio was used as a means of spreading hatred. It resulted in hundreds and thousands of murders. The US “freedom of speech” too has come at great cost to its minority populations, especially the blacks and in the past, the gays. I would hardly hold up this country as a model for a free civilisation!

    I agree with you about not banning the burkini, though. Giving women incentives and encouragement to reach out and help them whenever they want to leave behind the burkini or any other restriction on them is a much better way of empowering the people.

    Reply

    • In reply to Fem

      I think absolute freedom of expression is a great thing. The US has as much (or as less) minority tension than any European country with strong hate speech laws. Europe is on the boil right now against muslims, and they have real strict restrictions on freedom of expression.

      Yes, it can be used to whip up mobs. But as a society, we have to treat adults as adults and not infantalize them. If an adult chooses to be “whipped up”, then it’s their own fault. They can’t point to a third party and say “They made me do it!”.

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        And in the meanwhile, thousands can die? I think we need safeguards against this, adults or not.

        Reply

      • In reply to Fem

        Personally, I would say that the only safeguard we need is an efficient law and order mechanism.

        My view is that the law must describe ideals – it should be a statement of Constitutional morality. And in this context, the right statement is that people are adults. Violence will be punished as per the law. That’s it.

        Reply

    • In reply to Fem

      Let me paraphrase what you are saying Fem. There should be a free speech pyramid, with the free speech rights of every group subject to the approval of those above in the pyramid.

      Muslims have the most “liberal capital”. They sit at the top of the pyramid. Everyone’s free speech is subject to their approval. Muslims get absolute freedom of speech.

      Then come gays, then women and blacks.

      Hindu males sit at the bottom of the pyramid. They cannot choose to even climb on each other’s shoulders and celebrate Dahi Handi.

      Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        That’s pure male entitlement talking. I can’t even believe you actually believe in this rubbish you are spouting. I have nothing to say to you.

        Reply

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