Lynne

What is free speech?

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The Charlie Hebdo killings have focused the mind on free speech – freedom of expression, to call it by its formal legal name – and also revealed how little we know about what it actually means, as witnessed by the comments on last week’s blog.

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Je suis gagged

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Over the last few days all of us in the West have been horrified by the spectacle of Islamic fanatics blowing away 10 of the staff of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, including its editor, Stephane Charbonnier and his police bodyguard. It shocks us precisely because we believe that one of our most fundamental freedoms, the right to free speech, is presently under threat by the most militant of political extremists, and that preserving it is a matter of fighting religious fundamentalists.

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