DS editorial |
Dilruba Shahana, Melbourne
It is nice to read the editorial (dated 12th Feb. 2006) from a person who belongs to 'most of us who understand to use the freedom of speech with a degree of wisdom'. Freedom of speech is not to hurt others' feelings. Isn't it right?
I would love to share some portion of the article by Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia from 1975 to 1983, with your readers. He wrote, "In 1997, there was an exhibition of photographs by American artist Andrew Serano at the National Gallery of Victoria. Many regarded the exhibition as offensive to Christ. Churches and others objected. The Catholic Church sought a court injunction. The objections were strong. A youngster eventually damaged Piss Christ with a hammer. Violence was involved. The exhibition was closed. We have right to free speech and expression but that law in some instances circumscribes right. The worst excesses are covered by defamation laws or laws relating to racial or religious vilification. These set the bar very high and most of us understand that if we wish to live in a civil society where there is broadly harmonious relationship between different groups, races and religion, we must exercise that right with common sense and hopefully, with a degree of wisdom."