A Canadian Muslim has put ‘free speech’ to the test via Twitter by joking about 9/11 and the Holocaust. He is now the subject of a police investigation.
Jerry Reddick took to Twitter yesterday to experiment how far he could take freedom of expression. He tweeted “Let’s test just how free freedom of speech is when it’s not Muslims being disrespected.” This was followed by a series of offensive tweets which were made the same taste as Charlie Hebdo material.
His Twitter account has been deleted and he now under investigation by the authorities.
Within hours of sending out the tweets, Reddick was reported to Halifax police and is now under investigation by authorities.
“I know you didn’t think freedom to insult worked both ways,” wrote Reddick, adding, “My point about free speech being limited was made loud and clear!”
Reddick’s free speech experiment seems to confirm that making offensive jokes about Muslims is acceptable under the banner of free speech, but insulting Jews or victims of terror attacks or crimes against humanity is not.
Many would say this highlights hypocrisy, whereas others would point out that the consequences of making jokes about Jews – criminal investigation – is far less severe than the punishment metered out by Islamic extremists to the publishers of Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week.
The main point of contention seems to be whether or not it represents an act of hate speech to ridicule a crime against humanity, which in countries like France is illegal, rather than a religion itself. In Canada, people have been charged with anti-Semitism despite it being acknowledged that this was an infringement on their free speech rights.
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