'Frihed'

Is Danish for freedom. The demonstration on Dam Square on the 25th of February will be held to endorse the unlimited freedom to express thoughts and ideas in word and print. In Holland, it means anything goes, 'behoudens de wet', meaning, 'within the boundaries of the law'. In practice this translates into no racism, no call to violence or hate. Lately, events have made some politicians including our prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende, the British minister of foreign affairs Jack Straw and the European High Commissioner Javier Solana utter language which cast a doubt over the continued freedom of speech. They emphasized this freedom but called for respect to people's religious feelings.

The struggle for freedom of speech has been a hard won battle over centuries. No religion, old or new to Europe, can claim more 'respect' than others. If individuals, political parties or religious groups speak out and express their ideas or doctrine, others have the right to criticize or even ridicule it. That is a fundamental part of the freedom of speech. If a journalist, columnist or cartoonist writes or draws something critical or satirical, he or she should not have to fear life threatening repercussions because some are insulted beyond reason. An insult is like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. Read the rest of the invitation here at nekklachten.  Also more info in recent posts on this blog.

Update! After the demonstration. Reports, impressions, comments and images


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»Goethe notes... that when the Jews killed the Egyptians it was the reverse of the Sicilian Vespers. In the latter case the host murdered the guests, but in this case the guests murdered the host. But it is certainly the situation with respect to the Jews in our time.« - Soeren Kierkegaard