Salman Rushdie And Pussy Riot: Amnesty International’s Free Speech Hypocrisy

via Flickr - Amnesty International
via Flickr – Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a globalist United Nations proxy organization which receives heavy funding from highly morally dubious figures such as George Soros, among others. Like all “human rights” groups, its principle goal is to serve as an extension of Western imperialism and warmongering under the guise of “human rights,” which is perhaps the most Orwellian term in the modern political lexicon.  Nonetheless, Amnesty International has, of course, duped plenty of wannabe philanthropists into supporting it so that they may pat themselves on the back and feel like they’re being charitable. But, like all “human rights” groups, Amnesty International is characterized by selective outrage, and there is no better an example of this than their stance on freedom of speech.

What is freedom of speech, you ask? From Amnesty International themselves:

Free speech is the right to say whatever you like about whatever you like, whenever you like, right? Wrong.

Wrong? Really? Because I was under the impression that freedom of speech was indeed the right to say whatever you like about whatever you like, whenever you like.

In postmodernist “human rights” discourse, however, “free speech” is a category of speech, with the “free” being an adjective.  Only government-approved speech is “free” speech.  Anything else is “hate speech” and/or “incitement”. Every “human rights” group strongly supports “hate speech” laws, and Amnesty International is certainly no exception.

Free speech and the right to freedom of expression applies to ideas of all kinds including those that may be deeply offensive. But it comes with responsibilities and we believe it can be legitimately restricted.

In other words, it’s only “free speech” if it’s “responsible.” What constitutes “responsible” speech is, of course, decided by the government.

Governments have an obligation to prohibit hate speech and incitement. And restrictions can also be justified if they protect specific public interest or the rights and reputations of others.

What is “hate speech and incitement” according to Amnesty International?  After all, there is absolutely no objective criteria for defining such incredibly vague and abstract concepts.

Well, after the release of the infamous Muhammed cartoons in Danish newspaper Jyllends-Posten, Amnesty International released the following statement:

However, the right to freedom of expression is not absolute — neither for the creators of material nor their critics. It carries responsibilities and it may, therefore, be subject to restrictions in the name of safeguarding the rights of others. In particular, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence cannot be considered legitimate exercise of freedom of expression. Under international standards, such “hate speech” should be prohibited by law.

AI calls on the government officials and those responsible for law enforcement and the administration of justice to be guided by these human rights principles in their handling of the current situation.

In other words, publishing cartoons of Muhammed is “hate speech and incitement” according to Amnesty International, and the cartoonists responsible for such work should be legally punished.  It is not “legitimate” (i.e. United Nations-approved) freedom of speech.  This sort of outrage is nothing new.  When Salman Rushdie’s controversial book The Satanic Verses was published and a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death was issued by the Ayatollah of Iran, “human rights experts” at the United Nations attacked France for not banning the book, calling Rushdie’s novel an “incitement to racial hatred.”  By calling for the Danish Muhammed cartoons to be banned, Amnesty International is merely echoing the sentiments of the United Nations, which they are essentially an extension of.

Contrast this with Amnesty International’s reaction to the incarceration of Pussy Riot band members, who were arrested for “incitement to religious hatred” after staging a protest performance in a Catholic church. Amnesty International made “free Pussy Riot” their number one campaign, citing the arrest of the band members as a gross violation of “freedom of expression.” But here’s the thing: Pussy Riot’s members were arrested under the very same “hate speech” legislation that Amnesty International believes governments have an obligation to enforce.

What’s different between Pussy Riot’s protest and the Danish cartoons of Muhammed? I think you know the answer to that. The difference is that Pussy Riot’s members were attacking Catholicism (an acceptable target), whereas the Danish cartoons were attacking Islam (an unacceptable, protected target). If Pussy Riot were a far-right band that staged a protest performance inside of a mosque, would Amnesty International have campaigned for their release? Of course not. If anything, Amnesty International would have campaigned for their incarceration.  After all, every branch of Amnesty International firmly supports “hate speech” laws, with Amnesty International Australia being a strong supporter of the country’s federal law making it illegal to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” minorities (Amnesty International Australia loudly complained when the Australian government announced its plans to slightly weaken that draconian law after popular columnist Andrew Bolt was convicted – those plans were later abandoned due to massive outcry from the Australian public and from “human rights” groups like Amnesty).

As I have stated before, true freedom of speech is an equalizer. If you can say something about one group, but not about another group, then people are not equal. If one group can say something, but not another group, then that’s not equality.  And, if you’re not prepared to defend freedom of speech even for those whom you profoundly despise, then you do not believe in freedom of speech.

People who support censorship laws always manage to convince themselves that those laws will only be used to silence speech that they disapprove of. But that is never how it actually works out in reality. When you give the government the power to censor speech, it is 100% guaranteed that this power will eventually be used to silence you and/or something that you approve of. That is absolutely inevitable.

Ultimately, what constitutes “hate speech” and “incitement” is decided entirely by the government. “Human rights” groups are the biggest supporters of censorship legislation, but they are always outraged when they find that legislation being inevitably used to silence speech that they consider “legitimate”.  They utterly fail to consider that giving the government the power to decide what kind of speech is “legitimate” will always result in that power being abused.

The “international standards” banning “hate speech” that Amnesty International refers to are provisions in UN documents that have their origins in the Soviet Union. Stalin saw “hate speech” legislation as a powerful tool that he could use in order to undermine freedom of speech on a global scale and to attack democracy, and he lobbied heavily for international bans on “hate speech”. Initially, every democratic country was highly opposed to having any kind of laws against “hate speech”, but the Soviets won the battle in the end and “hate speech” became part of “international human rights law”, which is why every “human rights” group and “human rights activist” now pushes “hate speech” laws worldwide.

As a result of Stalin’s efforts at the United Nations, most countries (with the notable exception of the United States) now have laws against “hate speech” and the “human rights” movement is now all about censorship of speech rather than freedom of speech. Right now, Islamic dictatorships are attempting to use “international human rights law” in order to pass a worldwide ban on blasphemy in a perfect example of how, once “hate speech” laws are in place, they inevitably expand and grow more restrictive over time. “Human rights” has not only become an extremely powerful weapon that dictatorships can use in order to erode liberty worldwide, but it has also become a mighty shield that dictatorships can use in order to justify their own excesses.  Pakistan and Egypt, for example, prosecute blasphemy with the justification that “international human rights law” requires legal sanctions on “religious hatred”.  “Human rights” groups across the world take their orders from the UN.  Should the UN decide to pass an “international human rights law” against blasphemy – just like it did with “hate speech” – then “human rights” groups will begin demanding blasphemy laws and the prosecution of blasphemy will become an internationally-accepted “human rights standard”, just like “hate speech” laws have become due to Soviet lobbying.

Like all “human rights” groups, Amnesty International is a massively hypocritical and anti-free speech organization which nobody who genuinely cares for liberty and democracy should ever support.  It is a sad reminder of how the Soviet Union subverted the concept of “human rights” to make its primary goal into expanding the powers of the government rather than limiting them.  Most of all, Amnesty International is a perfect example of the absurd double standards that one will find among advocates of censorship legislation.  When it’s speech that they approve of – such as attacks on the Catholic church – it’s “freedom of expression” and must be allowed.  When it’s speech that they disapprove of – such as drawings of Muhammed – it’s “hate speech and incitement” and must be outlawed.

One of the core aspects of the international “human rights” movement is that any speech which opposes “human rights” must always be outlawed, whether it’s racism, homophobia, or “propaganda for war”. Like all tyrannical ideologies, the “human rights” ideology sincerely believes that it is 100% objectively good and thus must never be questioned or opposed in any way. With any luck, the “human rights” approach to freedom of speech will never find its way to the United States. But, if “human rights” groups like Amnesty International have their way, we may very well find cartoons of Muhammed banned on our own shores as “hate speech and incitement.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This post originally appeared at MoonMetropolis.

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