Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, February 25, 2006

How Do We Teach Free Speech?

In February, this exchange occurred between reporter Oliver Feingold and Ken "Red Ken" Livingstone, the mayor of London, after Feingold asked the mayor a question:

Livingstone: "What did you do [before you were a reporter]? Were you a German war criminal?"

Finegold: "No, I'm Jewish. I wasn't a German war criminal. I'm actually quite offended by that."

Livingstone: "Well you might be, but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard. You're just doing it 'cause you're paid to, aren't you?"

For this exchange, and for not apologizing for it, Livingstone on Friday was suspended from office by a civil service tribunal for four weeks, reports the Jerusalem Post.

What are Muslims to make of this? Are we for free speech in the West or against it? Is it OK to publish cartoons of Mohammed that might offend, but not OK to say things about Jews that might offend?

Or do we really not know what we believe in when it comes to free speech? Clearly, as they've shown time and time again, British civil service boards have no clue. Livingstone's a bull-headed idiot, but he has a right to say bullheadedly idiotic things.