Monday, December 7, 2009

The Facebook Hate-Islam Groups

Warning: Adult Language

Where does free speech end and hate speech begin? Is it OK to say, "Fuck Islam" or "Fuck Christianity" or any other religion? How about "Fuck religion"? (And let's not forget "Fuck atheism"!)

If you go to and search for "Fuck Islam", you'll find over 500 groups. And many, including several with large memberships, are Islam-bashing groups with lots of nasty things to say.

But just scroll down a bit in the list and you'll find lots of "Ban the 'Fuck Islam' Facebook group" groups. Or boycott, protest, demand-censorship, and so on. And paging down through the groups, you find "fuck the fuck Islam group" and even deeper parody.

When I first saw the "Fuck Islam" group on Facebook, I was up in arms. Although I am an atheist and don't care for most religion, I try to always keep the debate respectful (except in the rare case where I believe religion hurts or kills people or appears fraudulent).

So is "Fuck Atheism" a form of hate speech? I don't know. One comment I read says no – hate speech has to suggest violence, some sort of action, and this expression merely indicates contempt. I thought this was an excellent point.

On the other hand, this sort of speech surely doesn't help anything. It further divides an already-divided world, it ends dialog, and it angers Muslims (or whatever group is being insulted).

Should "Fuck Islam" groups be banned from Facebook? If I were in charge at Facebook, I suspect I'd favor free speech over censorship.

But I would never join such a group.

1 comment:

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