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Testing The Line Between Free Speech And Hate46:58
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With guest host Jane Clayson.

An art show featuring cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. Two would-be killers gunned down. Free speech – hate speech – where’s the line?

An armed police officer stands guard on a road near the Curtis Culwell Center where a provocative contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad was held Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Garland, Texas. The contest was put on lockdown Sunday night and attendees were being evacuated after authorities reported a shooting outside the building. (AP)
An armed police officer stands guard on a road near the Curtis Culwell Center where a provocative contest for cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad was held Sunday, May 3, 2015, in Garland, Texas. The contest was put on lockdown Sunday night and attendees were being evacuated after authorities reported a shooting outside the building. (AP)

On Sunday in the Dallas suburb Garland, Texas, two men with assault rifles were shot dead by an off-duty traffic cop. The men had come to kill attendees of a Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest where there was a $10,000 prize for the best caricature of the prophet. Images considered sacrilegious by many Muslims. But the outspoken organizer Pamela Gellar says it’s all fine and well – it’s free speech. Others say, not so fast. This is hate. Bigotry. Racism. This was meant to provoke violence. So where is the line between free speech and hate speech? How far can you go? This hour, On Point: Free speech, hate speech.
-- Jane Clayson

Guests

Tina Susman, national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. (@tinasusman)

Linda Sarsour, senior strategist with the Campaign to Take on Hate and executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. (@lsarsour)

Gordon Coonfield, professor of communication at Villanova University. (@drcoonfield)

Scott Stantis, editorial cartoonist with the Chicago Tribune. (@sstantis)

From The Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Texas attack refocuses attention on fine line between free speech and hate speech — "The Texas showdown was America’s Charlie Hebdo moment, erupting just four months after gunmen shot and killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper that had published cartoons of the prophet considered blasphemous by many Muslims. The Garland attack refocused public attention on the fine line between free speech and hate speech in the ideological struggle between radical Islam and the West."

Christian Science Monitor: Anti-Muhammad cartoon contest: Free speech or deliberately provocative? — "Advocates have tried to counter Geller’s free political expressions with ad campaigns of a different tone. In 2012, a coalition called Rabbis for Human Rights responded to her 'support the civilized man' poster with an opposing message that read, 'In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.'"

The Daily Beast: Muslims Defend Pam Geller’s Right to Hate — "Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that some Muslims (and even people of other faiths) aren’t offended and/or disgusted by the idea of Geller offering $10,000 for people to draw despicable cartoons of Muhammad. This is akin to offering a prize for people to draw the most anti-Semitic or racist images imaginable, with the true goal being to stoke the flames of hate versus Jews or Blacks. But the reality is American Muslims deeply value freedom of expression."

This program aired on May 6, 2015.

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