What is freedom of speech? [Archives:2003/645/Opinion]

June 26 2003

Freedom of Speech is a beautiful blessing, long established by Islamic dictates and statutory rulings of most states in the world today. We in the Yemen Times are pleased to be receiving all the feedback we have been getting from all over the world on what is covered in the YT and the opinions of its editors. Of course, we do not expect that we will be agreed with by everyone, for that would be silly and needless to say purposeless. On the other hand, one would like to point out that for most of the mail we have received coming from average people, who are really guided by fundamental principles and moral consciousness, the feedback has been genuine and sincere and favorable, if not fully agreeable. Having said all that, we have been receiving unusual responses that seem to come from organized clandestine sources, that are not really the personal expressions of their writer, but rather the hate mongering of those who believe that arrogance and might makes right are the facts of life. While, we are sure President George W. Bush appreciates all the support he can muster up, it would be pathetic to believe that President Bush would condone such language of support as shown by the following message received from the following address [email protected], supposedly in reaction to a friendly response to an unfriendly criticism of this observer by a supposedly bona fide American citizen named David Lynch. What is unusual here is that the response was unsigned and sent from an address that is not David Lynch's address ([email protected]). We have edited the latter to take out all the extremely insulting words the letter had about our Prophet Mohammed (Peace of Allah be Upon Him), because we feel the Prophet Mohammed to be far above such heinous language and we respect that our readers should not be subjected to such devious hatred and disrespect for man to his fellow man:
How dare you filthy Arab to send a letter Mr. Lynch and insult my president (There was nothing said about the President of the United States in the article or letter being criticized, which is shown below). You are nothing but filth who is living in a filth and wish your were here, but now that they have closed the border to terrorist loving people to you and your country men, you just don't know where to turn any more.
Shut your mouth and go rape your neighbor's 7 year old daughter under the Islam which considers it legal, you brainless animal Arab, you know how much Iranians hate Arabs, and you know why, (left out for the slander it contained about the Prophet Mohammed (PAUB), which the article this was supposedly in response to was that is why it was so easy for some brainless like him to take over that region, likes of you don't even deserve that (deleted for the same reason as above), let alone anything else for that matter.
We are supposed to be convinced that this letter was sent by an Iranian, but my letter was specifically addressed to Mr. Lynch??
We only print this to show that there are people, who really do not appreciate what freedom of speech is really all about and apparently they are backed by clandestine organizations under fictitious names, but do have some degree of official status if not backing. It should be made clear that freedom of speech is not an outlet to release all the prejudices and hatred that one may have against anybody, but requires that one sticks to the subject at hand and respect the ethnic and religious affiliations of all human beings. This is the kind of danger we think is beginning to lurk in the United States, and we hope American citizens will awaken to this ugly phenomenon that is indeed very scary for a powerful country like the United States.
The reader might also bear in mind that this is not the first letter by Mr. Lynch or his friends, nor is it the first unusually rude letter that we have received. But what makes this strikingly significant is that it does have covert and clandestine inclinations and surely does not present a positive reflection of the opinion of the people of the United States, which we have always had a high respect for.
For the background on this heinous letter please refer to the letter below and the response by this observer.