It's the right of every human being, I'm sure there aren't any disagreements there. It is the right of a person to stand up and speak against an iron-fisted ruler, to spread knowledge to the uneducated and to generally express your own opinion on various matters. But of course, there are always a few idiots who're going to abuse this right.
There's the saying "Freedom of speech does not mean you can yell "Fire!" in a crowded room." Although there are people who're always going to think the opposite. Just look at the recent uproar at UK when the fascist Dutch MP, Geert Wilders was barred from entering the country.
For those of you who don't know, Geert Wilders is a fascist, right-wing, anti-Islam politician (which basically means Idiot in a Nutshell), who spends all his energy, as with all attention-seeking, power hungry politicians, attempting to boost his popularity and get lots of votes. He was banned from entering the United Kingdom earlier this year and while this decision was supported by many, a few were left disgruntled and complaining about the lack of freedom of speech in Britain.
Allowing someone like Wilders to share his retarded views is like letting someone with no knowledge on physics to teach the quantum phenomena. He made a short film called Fitna, which was highly critical of Islam and was supposed to show everyone what bloodthirsty creatures we Muslims really are. I have to say that I found it to be something of an anticlimax; if I never knew who was behind its production, I would've thought it was a 12-year old. I'm not going to go into details, you can read an excellent response to the film here:
But anyway, after witnessing all the hysteria in Britain, people running around, flapping their arms in a demented manner, eyes rolling in their sockets, foam dripping out from their mouths and shrieking "Freedom of Speech, whatever happened to it?", I don't quite get the meaning of the term now. In my religion, we only do things which benefit people and stay well clear from things which induce harm. When we speak, we are told to speak only the truth. We are asked to spread knowledge so that the society can benefit from it. I just cannot see the point in letting a fascist bigot expressing his opinions. Opinions which are only meant to harm and isolate a group of people, to create instability and uncertainty throughout a country just so that his political party would get a few votes in his own country. That's how all racists and fascists obtain votes; by spooking you out with terrifying stories about The Others, or in today's world, Muslims. During the 1930's it was the Jews. Facists always attack you when you're most vulnerable, which only proves what cowards they really are. That's why the popularity of facist political parties have grown in Europe over the past year or so, which of course coincided with the global financial crisis. Apparently it's our fault that people are losing their jobs and are being forced to beg for a living.
I miss the days when common sense prevailed over everything else...