Thursday, 29 June 2017

Hate Speech




There are some things I find difficult to understand especially when you watch animated and video games as a child. The games are full of violence motivation, and when children become target of such, the society is really in a sorry state of affairs.
On street walls in some areas hateful slogans are displayed. And I wonder why not love, peace and unity instead. People are finding it easy to preach and promote hate this days especially on the social media.  Most people that do this go unpunished for it. They incite the vulnerable along religious, political, ethnic and other lines, and then cover it up with freedom of speech.  No doubt about that, because hate speech is not freedom of speech and free speech is human right, yet no rights are absolute. This I know. 
What we are in for    
Hate speech is spreading and has entered the internet spreading like wildfire and is dangerous. High numbers of young people are most technologically savvy and their lifestyle revolves round the internet, is my fear. From socializing to entertainment, reading to homework amongst others, the internet is an essential part of young people’s life.
There are many known online forums and groups, chat rooms, websites that promotes hates on the internet, and those sites are places where extremists meets with vulnerable youths and take advantage, by recruiting them into extremist groups . This recruitment is ongoing and is massive, and extremists are exploring the internet more and seem to be more than those using it to promote peace. It beat my imagination.   
On 30th May 2016, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter jointly agreed to EU code of conduct, obligating them to review “(the) majority of valid notification for removal of illegal hate speech” posted on their service within 24 hours.  On my mind, I really don’t know if this has been adhered to, so I need an answer. 
Recognizing, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPPR) states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”. I ask you again, if this covenant is enforceable where you live because mine is not. It is democratic that people are allowed to speak their minds on politic and social issues even when their points of view are unusual or unpopular. But the crime occurs when someone takes his/her speech to another level either by using, or uses, or seriously plans to use, or strongly advocates others to use force or violence to effect change.  That to my mind is hate speech too.  
            
Words are powerful    
Image result for south sudan war pictures
Violent acts of hate are generally preceded by hate speeches. These acts are expressed publicly and repeatedly by individuals and groups. But more alarming is when public figures promote it too. Basically I see the definition of hate speech as a call for violent attack against individuals or groups.  Whereas in most cases intolerable speeches; are mistaken and garnished to be hate speech. I see intolerable speech as comment, posts and picture uploaded on social media to build hatred. A case in study is the Rwanda genocide (Tutsi vs Hutus, - 1994). That left a sore taste on sand of time and never again should such happen! What of South Sudan? Hate speeches has helped escalate the war.
What about the ethnic cleansing of Bosnian Muslims in Bosnia Herzegovina (1992-95), and that of Dr. George Tiller (May 2009) with other doctors killed by pro abortionist in the US? Then to Nazi Holocaust. All were sparked by hate speeches.  All began with words of hatred then those words became weapon of mass destruction through guns and weapons.
Hate speech attracts vulnerable youths especially the marginalized poor, unemployed into action by taking side ignorantly. This has given rise to intolerance, bombing and killing, shooting and maiming innocent citizens to make cheap statement, and breaking news headlines. Take a look at Europe, in Greece when 27 years Shehzad Laqman, Pakistani immigrant was stabbed to death by right wing extremists. Another, in France was how a gunman went on rampage at Jewish School in Toulouse and the victims were 30 years Rabbi, his children- 4 & 5 years old, as well as the daughter of the school principal. I cried emotionally to know that 7 years old girl, Miriam died in her father’s arms as medics tried to resuscitate her from that attack. Also in Sweden, was a string of shootings in Malmo targeting victims with immigrant background? In Norway, 77 innocent civilians, most of them still in their teens, were gunned down by an extremist.  If you look at all these examples there are common feature; which is fanatical hatred of others by incitement. This shows the increasing divide between “us and them”.  That’s a huge gap to tackle. I have not mentioned Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al shabab in Somalia and Kenya, nor have I mentioned ISIS and Al-Qaeda and many others springing up dangerous groups that are recruiting youths into violence groups. Yet I pray for global peace to reign above all.
 Searching for the way forward   Image result for picture of peace                     
I know people are not born hateful.  They are fed up to hate. But education I guess can prevent hate. Like lessons in class rooms on equality and diversity can help too. Education against hateful ideas from the cradle can do better job. Young people must be taught how to love and be loved. Nothing is really wrong in being an extremist, but there is everything wrong when you become violent with your extremism. Let love leads.        

#hatespeech #dangerousspeech #onlinehatespeech