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Editor’s Column: Freedom Of Expression Is A Delicate Issue

By Kassondra Granata

On September 17, 1787, the delegates met at the Constitutional Convention for the last time to sign the document that would stand as the backbone of our nation.

Under the First Amendment, it states that congress is not allowed to make any laws regarding religion, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and so on. The First Amendment protects the freedom of individuals.

There have been violent protests this past week triggered by the anti-Islam film that was released. The California man that was believed to be the creator of the film brought chaos to the Muslim world, resulting in demonstrators attacking U.S Embassies in Yemen and Egypt. In Libya, our country lost an ambassador, Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The video, entitled, “Innocence of Muslims,” mocks the prophet Mohammed and also deems Muslims as violent, immoral individuals, according to a report by Fox News. One Internet regulator, Google, has blocked the video from Indonesia, Libya, India, Egypt, and other countries in the Western World.

The video has been blocked from all media outlets. Protestors are enraged by this film, and it has been reported that many are forming riots in response. In Indonesia, police fired tear gas and water cannons to scatter demonstrators who gathered outside of the U.S Embassy in Jakarta, the capitol of the most populated Muslim nation. Much of the uproar and blame is directed towards the United States. Muslims are blaming the U.S for what they consider an attack on the Muslim religion. People from Afghanistan and Indonesia are burning U.S flags and chanting, “Death to America.”

This event along with the backlash rises many questions. One is how limited should we be when it comes to posting our beliefs on religion and other religious practices? For years now, the Western World has dealt with incidents where religion and it’s flexibility of opinions come into play. There have been countless circumstances, such as this one, where the uncertainty of how a topic as fragile as this should be covered.

It is arduous to put a restraint on what individuals can post or voice on media outlets. Freedom of expression should be closely observed, as it was in this situation. If there is a citizen that wishes to post against a certain religion or background, they are entitled to that right. Significant Internet channels and other important forces can monitor those posts to inhibit judgments that could create a catastrophe.

It is extremely difficult to determine what can be censored, and what is protected under the First Amendment.

Everyone is entitled to their own viewpoint, and they have the right to voice it. If it is distasteful and will result in mayhem, then it needs to be removed from the public eye.