Just last weekend, I found myself dragged into an intense conversation with some friends into the whole controversy of “Draw Muhammad Day” on Facebook. We all agreed that the Muslim response to this lunacy should be that of kindness and best civic behavior – just as Muhammad himself would have responded. As the Qur’an commands us, “show forgiveness, speak for justice and avoid the ignorant” (7:199). However, we disagreed, in principle, whether what these people are doing constitutes freedom of speech or something else.
Some of my friends argued that people slandering Prophet Muhammad on Facebook and on other platforms, are only exercising their freedom of speech – a price that must be paid for living in a free society like America. These friends told me that I can exercise my right to the same freedom by, say, burning the American flag in public, or even peeing over it (a reference to the expression “piss be upon him” that these people are using for Prophet Muhammad, as opposed to the expression, “peace be upon him” that Muslims use for all prophets, including Jesus and Moses).
I knew that there was something wrong with this argument but could not quite put my thumb on it. I knew I could not, for example, publically deny holocaust and not have to bear the consequences. Would the law and the media, equally protect and uphold my right to the freedom of speech in that scenario? I was told by my friends that it will.
And then I received this message from another friend http://propakistani.pk/2010/05/23/one-facebook-two-faces-one-is-real-ugly
Where does the truth lie?