Is throwing shoes at someone freedom of speech?

Seriously now, because some people at AlBaghdadeya TV, the employee of Shoe-chucker, are claiming that his freedom of speech is violated by his arrest. And here I thought he tried to assault Bush and failed, twice. Am I missing something? Can I beat up people and call it freedom of speech now? And isn;t it awesome how they likened his arrest to the massgraves of Saddam? I can totally see them writing it too, being like "Yes, link it to that shit. Americans are stupid and filled with guilt. They will totally cave!". Or am I being unfair here?

Comments

  1. Ron Larson says:

    I can’t help but note the irony of the fact that if this reporter had thrown his shoes at Saddam, he, his family, and his entire village would be tortured and shot.

    In the U.S., throwing missiles at people is considered assault. not freedom of speech. He could draw a picture of himself throwing shoes at Bush. That is freedom of speech.

    So in other words, the Iraqis have gone from ZERO freedom of speech, to everything is freedom of speech. Especially the part where they go around killing fellow Iraqis for no good reason.

    It is all so childish. Like two-years old throwing temper tantrums.

  2. bajagafaga says:

    Saw this in a reddit.com comment once:

    It would be freedom of speech only if the shoes had “fuck” and “you” written on them.

  3. Ron: 100 %… 8)

  4. Shoes are nothing. Columbia University already established that throwing stones is protected by “freedom of expression”

    http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2001/JF/NB/said.htm

  5. Bajagafaga, are you sure that wouldn’t be freedom of the press?

    Speech in Iraq must be activity that involves different body parts than it does here in the US. Some form of shoe-based sign language, perhaps???

  6. Coppertopp says:

    “Columbia University already established that throwing stones is protected by “freedom of expression”

    Hmm. Well, after reading the article, I sort of agree that Columbia can’t really censure Said for throwing a rock in Palestine, unless he did it while acting as a representative of the school. That his personal business. I don’t have a problem with that ruling. It’s their reasoning I have a problem with. Freedom of expression has nothing to do with it. And what the hell does “freedom of expression” even mean? I don’t know about in other countries, but the US Constitution doesn’t guarantee such a thing, probably because the term is too vague. We guarantee our citizens freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, of peaceful assembly. And even these things have limits. If your freedom of speech is infringing on a another person’s rights (i.e. if it’s slanderous), then it’s not necessarily protected. But “expression”? That term is too vague to be useful when determining which actions should be legal or acceptable and which shouldn’t. When my niece got upset because my brother was on the phone with me instead of paying attention to her, and starting grabbing things off of the shelves and smashing them, that’s technically her “expressing” herself, is it not? But it doesn’t automatically follow that that behavior is acceptable in a civilized setting, as my brother made clear mere moments later. Acts which are violent and intended to cause harm to another human being should not be protected forms of expression, regardless of the circumstances.

    I’m all for granting people the freedom to express themselves in peaceful, civilized ways. It’s the cornerstone of democracy. But the PC police need to quit bandying about the term “freedom of expression” because it’s so vague, it can used as carte blanche to make it OK for people to anything.

  7. Well I think of of it as the Arabic version of throwing tomatoes, is throwing tomatoes freedom of speech?

  8. “Can I beat up people and call it freedom of speech now?”

    As long as you say something while you are doing it. LOL

  9. brooklynjon says:

    Throwing tomatoes is not a protected form of speech.

    And obviously, the potential harm from a shoe is far greater than the potential harm from a reasonably ripe tomato.

    I can understand why Bush haters might feel good about this manifestation of hate, but a mature, reasoned person surely must understand that what comes around goes around. They must imagine how they would feel about similar projectiles launched at someone they love, or at least like, and consider how they would feel then. But then, there is nothing mature and reasoned about hatred, is there?

  10. “And here I thought he tried to assault Bush and failed, twice. Am I missing something?”

    Not much. However, in the American legal usage, the reporter DID assault Pres. Bush. Had the shoes hit their mark, the crime(s) would have been Assault and Battery. I don’t know if these definitions hold elsewhere.

    The free speech angle is rich, though. On one level I can sympathize. Free Speech is a complicated concept that is not completely agreed-upon even in societies with several centuries of experience in the matter. It is interesting to see how it is conceived in journalistic circles in the middle-east.

    But I don’t think the Egyptian news outlet is being an honest party in the debate. The supporters of the assailant are simply trying to use western standards of civil behavior as weapons to be use against the west.

    They find our values useful in opposing us.
    They do not our values… yet.

  11. Ending sentence should read…

    They do not share our values… yet.

  12. I agree with this part of Ron’s comment:

    “…throwing missiles at people is considered assault. not freedom of speech. He could draw a picture of himself throwing shoes at Bush. That is freedom of speech.”

    The man should not have thrown his shoes.

    That said, I completely and utterly understand why he did it.

    Bush ebn seteen kalb weyestahel melyoan gazma.

  13. Faisal, why do you detest Bush so…? I don’t particularly like him for several reasons, amongst them his lack of a plan for peace should have been secured in Iraq AFTER the war was won. Still, that’s not enough of a reason for me to hate him so. After all, at the very least he got rid of a nasty tyrant, who delighted in oppressing his fellow muslims. On that account alone, Bush should be a celebrated character in the ME…! The vast majority of people dying in Iraq and Afghanistan does so at the hands of fellow muslims, so why the hatred towards Bush?

    Seriously – I’d really like a (sober) answer from you!

  14. Marie Claude says:
  15. The criminal war of George Bush that killed thousands of innocents and his lies to the American people were not freedom of speech either.

    In my opinion Bush deserves more than a shoe throwe,r he deserves a group of American Supereme court Judges to put him behind bars.

  16. Twosret, we already know you give your full support to depsotic rulers – that’s nothing new… ;)