Freedom of speech
By: HASSAN MUNIR
Before the Holocaust, ‘freedom of speech’ was misused. Cartoons dehumanising Jews were published along with a hate campaign resulting in the worst massacre killing millions of Jews. Let’s face it. This excuse of freedom of speech, just like the excuse of killing in the name of God, will be misused time and again to spread hatred, fear and war. The question then comes to mind, what is Islam’s view on freedom of speech?
The teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) on freedom of speech:
1. A believer does not taunt, or curse or abuse or talk indecently.
2. Ruined are those who exaggerate.
3. A good word is a charity.
What the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has taught us in the above hadith are the core principles of freedom of speech, which say:
Do not be indecent.
Do not embellish stories.
Talking good things is a virtue provided the good things said are true.