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Sunday, February 17, 2019 ARCHIVES  |  SEARCH  |  POST ADS  |  ADVERTISE  |  SUBSCRIBE   |  LOGIN   |  CONTACT US

Is hate free speech...?

By Haamed Fakhro

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering - Yoda

falcon perched proudly with one claw on the ground and the other dug deep into the neck of a squawking crow. It looked hungrily at the shrieking bird and leaned in for a bite. As its beak neared the hapless crow the ugly squawks increased in volume and intensity as the frantic victim fought for its life: Shrill, irritating, annoying screeches that pierced the falcon’s brain. 

Each time the falcon tried to dig in the crow fluttered and cawed like a bird out of hell, temporarily postponing the inevitable. The annoyed falcon looked around in disgust and its eye fell on a pot filled with rainwater. Spreading its majestic wings the falcon dragged the noisy pest towards its final tomb, powerful talons dug deeply into the desperate critter’s neck leaving nothing to chance. Unceremoniously and mercilessly our falcon dunked the agonised nuisance into the water, and waited patiently for the fuss to end. Peace returned. The noisy irritant was no more. 

As I watched this scene on YouTube my mind began to drift: The amount of crows on social media is growing and nothing is being done to separate illogical tirades from fair arguments. Hate is an emotion so contagious and so powerful, it transforms sensible people into terrorists and murderers. 

Is hate a weapon? I wonder about so-called “freedom of speech” and its role on social media the world over. As the globe churns with intolerance, and mud is flung from one corner of the Earth to another we desperately need a calm, strong, logical force to counter that confusion. Is freedom of speech the right to say anything? Is freedom the right to do anything you like? I think many have confused freedom with anarchy, and I don’t think they know how devastating their ideas and words can be.

To be a leader you must be rational. You must be calm, knowledgeable, qualified, seasoned, and well versed in the game of politics: The game of kings and jesters that has existed for thousands of years. A game which many play but few master. Will we allow fanatical jesters and clowns with no legitimacy to keep on squawking? As we learn with dangerous predictability the impact haters with followers have on the world, we need to note the lessons of the past and be aware that history will repeat itself if left unchecked. Can we, the regular folks do anything about it?

A waterfall is composed of nothing more than single droplets of water. Water is a terrific force that shapes the landscape, erodes boulders into sand, and can be as hard as concrete if hit hard enough. If every person says one word against hate and spreads the idea then that trickle can turn into a waterfall, as long as the water follows one direction. 

I for one will not accept any hate or division, and will speak for my right to have a peaceful atmosphere of love and acceptance. Only the strong can silence the noisy, and hate is not free speech. The sooner we realise that, the quicker we can drown the crows in a pot filled with rainwater. 

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