Are There Limits To Free Speech?

I happen to live in the United States of America in which just about every minute of the day and night right wing pundits make one outrageous comment after another so it is not strange my views on free speech are rather broad in nature. A few years ago, two right wing politicians who belonged to the People’s Party which was not particularly fond of Muslims made a comment regarding Somalis. The Danish-Somali Association had been asked to offer an opinion about a proposed ban on circumcision and they offered a view. The two politicians made a snotty remark that to ask Somalis their views on the topic was equivalent to asking paedophiles their views on a proposed law that would impose a ban on having sex with children. A UN group issued a sharp condemnation of the Danish police for failing to file charges against the men.

The UN body has good intentions, but the flip side is they encourage stifling of free speech. The remarks were stupid, but they certainly did not damage anyone’s reputation. To infer from remarks from two idiots that all Somalis in Denmark are subject to violence is stretching the boundaries of free speech in the wrong direction.