The Youth League of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* launched a competition to defend free speech in light of last week’s Charlie Hebdo attack, according to YLE in English. It is surprising that an anti-immigrant and especially anti-Islam party like the PS are the only ones who are organizing such a contest and so eager to defend one of our most important civil rights.
The contest is being organized by the youth wing’s Rahvas magazine.
Writes PS youth league leader and Rahvas editor Sebastian Tynkkynen: “We are worried about the state of freedom of speech in Finland and Europe. The Islamist attacks against a magazine over caricatures have put many other publications on their toes. It is outrageous to limit press freedom and freedom of speech with threats of violence.”
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One valid question that we should ask in light of the attacks in Paris is if what happened had anything to do with press freedom and if the attackers represented all Muslims.
According the Tynkkynen, the answer is in the affirmative. He stated outright that Charlie Hebdo was an “Islamist attack” even if it was widely condemned by Muslims.
Moreover, why is insulting some group testing the limits of free speech? Why would you want to insult somebody in the first place? Would we further the cause of free speech if we chose to insult conservative Christians by publishing an explicit pornographic cartoon and splashing it on the first page?
A Muslim called Jerry Reddick in Canada tested the limits of free speech after the Charlie Hebdo attack by spreading jokes on Twitter about 9/11 and the Holocaust. He is now under police investigation.
“I know you didn’t think freedom to insult worked both ways,” Reddick is quoted as saying on infowars.com. “My point about free speech being limited was made loud and clear!”
While Reddick’s tweets are tasteless and insensitive to horrendous human suffering, it shows why insulting an provoking groups is a tasteless idea.
One matter that the PS youth league’s contest reveals is a smelly red herring. Sorry, folks. The PS youth league would care less for free speech because their real aim and interest lies in feeding their Islamophobia and prejudices.
It’s clear that Finnish politicians like their European counterparts are aiming to opportunistically exploit the Charlie Hebdo attack.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.