Exploration of Freedom of Expression in Islam and West: Its Relation with Blasphemy and Religious Defamation
Freedom of expression is considered as one of the fundamental issues of the contemporary socio-political world. It has divided the society into two major groups; one is the follower of infinitive freedom and other wants some limits up on it. Definitely, Western thought is the representative of unbounded freedom of speech whereas Islam chooses the second one. Islamic concept of freedom of expression has various moral and legal bindings but in western perspective, only nominal legal restrictions exist, because revealed ethics are not concern of the western thought. These legal restrictions are meant to protect freedom of expression and individual rights and not to curb the acts of civil and religious defamation. Hence, these legal constraints are insufficient because the freedom of speech is unlimited and legal restrictions are either partial or nonexistent. In spite of presence of laws, the so-called racial discrimination and religious defamation have become the most dangerous and lethal weapon against minorities in the West, especially blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (SAW) has become a painful trend and cheap hobby under the banner of freedom of speech. In this regard, the limitless freedom of expression and its link with blasphemy of the prophet (SAW) as become one of the major conflicting issues between Islam and the West. In this study the efforts are made to examine the freedom of expression from Islamic and western perspectives and its link with blasphemy and religious defamation from the western side.
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