It is not only Hollywood celebrities that are accused of hurting people’s sensibilities when it comes to religion (Natalie Portman). Pat Condell, a comedian who has been featured on Richard Dawkins Website, had his video on Sharia Law flagged by users and complained about by Muslim Groups when posted on 30 September. YouTube have reinstated the video stating:
“YouTube is a platform for expression of all kinds. Our Community Guidelines prohibit speech that promotes or encourages hatred or violence towards certain groups or individuals, and the video was flagged by our community on that basis. Upon further review of the context of Pat Condell’s comments, we’ve reinstated it.”
Richard Dawkins welcomed the decision:
I congratulate YouTube on an excellent decision. Pat Condell is hard-hitting, but always quietly reasonable in tone. That some people say they are ‘offended’ by something is never a good reason for censoring it. Incitement to violence is. Pat Condell never incites violence against anybody. He always signs off with “Peace” and he means it.
Freedom of speech can not be limited based solely on people saying they are offended. There is a huge difference between not respecting ideas and inciting hatred and violence towards people. That distinction needs to be kept in mind and free citizens need to be vigilant against that distinction being eroded at the cost of all our civil liberties.
Here is the video:
[N.B. Only British Citizens can sign these petitions – the first one runs out today; the second one 1 January 2009 – thanks to Stephen Gash for comment]
The circular argument – the con artist (features Pat Condell video on atheism at bottom)