Over the past week or so, large scale protests by Muslims in various countries have shaken the world. The protests took place over a film produced in the US by a person of Coptic-Egyptian descent, which greatly insulted the prophet Muhammad and depicts him in a very crude manner. Some of the protests have turned violent, notably with the killing of the US ambassador in Libya, when violent protesters attacked the US embassy there. Many of the protests have been aimed at the West, specifically the US, but have failed to recognize the fact that the film was produced without any US government endorsement and the film is protected by free speech Continue reading
Over the past week, a serious diplomatic scandal has brewed up between Hungary, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The story starts like this: an Azeri officer, Ramil Safarov, along with an Armenian officer, attended a NATO Partnership for Peace conference in Hungary where, during the meeting, the Azeri officer alleged that the Armenian officer insulted his country. At some point thereafter, Ramil Safarov purchased an ax, which he used to brutally murder the sleeping Armenian officer at night, nearly severing his head. He then attempted to kill another sleeping Armenian officer in another room, but was not able to get through the door before he was finally caught by authorities. For his brutal murder, the Azeri officer was sentenced to life in a Hungarian prison without the possibility of parole until 2036. However, during the time of the sentencing, the murderer was Continue reading
The broad coverage of the First Amendment is one of the greatest rights we have as citizens of the U.S. because it can take many forms, even those that have not yet been realized. However, it’s important to note that this right isn’t all encompassing and that, as a nation, we must acknowledge the inherent dangers that free speech can present to the general public.
The demonstrations in Anaheim, California this week are just a taste of free speech gone bad. The problem? The transition from peaceful demonstration to riot is an issue that is mostly ignored in political and social discourse that justifies the First Amendment right to assemble and protest. The demonstrations began as a result of Anaheim police officers shooting an unarmed man known to have a criminal record. The sixth fatal shooting by the police department this year, many are outraged that Continue reading
The general election may be generating a lot of noise, but there’s hardly any sound coming from the historic referendum, or plebiscite, about to take place in Puerto Rico on November 6th of this year. The first of its kind to be sponsored by the federal government, the ballot will be composed of two parts to determine the territorial status of Puerto Rico. In the first part, its residents will be asked whether they want to continue the status quo as a territory of the U.S. Regardless of this answer, they will then be asked a second question in which they indicate a preference among three alternatives: statehood, complete independence, or a compact of free association with the U.S. The plebiscite emerges as the result of Continue reading