1.18.2007

Death Series - Fighting Radical Islam in a Democracy

Banning offensive speech doesn't work.

Australian authorities are outraged at DVDs one of the their citizens produced called "Death Series" where some young man who can't get attention any other way calls for extreme measures of violence against Jews and women. He (and Econo-Girl is not using his name deliberately) encourages parents to teach their children that martyrdom is the greatest thing they can achieve.

Econo-Girl is interested particularly in the approach of Australia in trying to contain this boy's ideas. They begin criminal prosecution against him for inciting terrorism. Religious leaders, including Islamic leaders, condemn his message.

Has it occurred to these leading Australians that their condemnation encourages people to support this boy's radical ideas?

Econo-Girl recommends making people aware of the message in the DVDs "Death Series" but don't mention the name of the "cleric" at all. Ask mainstream Islamic clerics to review the quality of the message in the DVDs and distribute that, not as parental outrage, but as a studied and academic criticism of its message. Outright banning is not the solution. Neither is criminal prosecution alone.

Outright banning of a DVD only appeals to the emotional adolescent who is the target of these rantings. Counter the message and the messenger. And don't promote the messenger by naming him. Recognize the need this boy is fulfilling and try to fill it in a constructive way. See the appeal of his DVD as a warning that the spiritual needs of some are not being met. And address them.

Applicable Al-Anon saying: If the dog is hungry, feed the dog.

2 comments:

Alphast said...

I believe you are absolutely right. It is more important to fight ideas on the ideological ground than punish and ban. Freedom of expression should be absolute. Of course, it is important to punish incitation to murder, as it is illegal in most civilised societies. But it is worthless if the fight doesn't go on first in the political and non-violent field.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The boy has learned well from hysterical groups in the USA. What to get your message out but you do not want to spend the money on a vast national ad campaign? Get someone else to do it for you! Toss in a picture of Jesus in drag, trying to pick up other guys or something. Put it on the cover.

Before you know it, everyone will know about it. And it will cost you zilch.