The ability to speak is such a remarkable gift to us from Allah, The Almighty. We long for our intentions to be known, for our moods to be honoured and for our thoughts be read. There is aremarkable need to speak for Humans. Words are strong, they can overwhelm what we fear when fear seems more awful than life is good. But the fact that this ability could be used in a wrong way to harm people and hurt their sentiments under the false notion of freedom of expression is dumbfounding.
In this article, we do a study of what Freedom Of Speech means, the origin of it, whether Free Speech has any boundaries or restrictions, or is it just another political tool used.
What Is Freedom Of Speech?
Origins Of Freedom Of Speech
Europe lived in the dark ages for hundreds of years ruled by tyrannical Kings on behalf of an oppressive Church. Book burning, inquisitions, torture and death were common place for those who dared to confront this tyranny. Scientists, thinkers and scholars were all subject to harassment and even imprisonment for their views. The famous scientist Galileo, for example, was convicted of heresy in 1633 and spent the rest of his life under house arrest for claiming that the earth moved around the sun.
After the reformation and the adoption of secularism in Western Europe and newly independent America, the shackles of the church were thrown off in public life. Fundamental to these new secular states was the adoption of freedom of the individual, ownership, expression and religion for all their citizens.
In the ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,’ a fundamental document of the French revolution it states in article 11:
“The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.” [Approved by the National Assembly of France, August 26, 1789]
The famous First Amendment to the US Constitution states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” December 15, 1791.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN in 1948 states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Therefore freedom of speech forms one of the cornerstones of the western way of life, and for them is considered a fundamental human right.
Free Speech vs Hate Speech
According to the United Nations, hate speech is:
any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are, in other words, based on their religion, ethnicity, nationality race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor.
There is an ongoing challenge to define Free Speech, and therefore, point out where the line for Hate Speech begins. There is no legal definition of "hate speech" under law, just as there is no legal definition for evil ideas, rudeness, unpatriotic speech, or any other kind of speech that people might condemn. Generally, however, hate speech, as mentioned by the UN, is any form of expression through which speakers intend to vilify, humiliate, or incite hatred against a group or a class of persons on the basis of race, religion, skin color sexual identity, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, or national origin.
Does Free Speech Really Exist?
Freedom of speech is a conceptual impossibility because the condition of speech’s being free in the first place is unrealizable. Something that the liberal left fails to understand is that "Free Speech" is the name we give to verbal behaviour that serves the substantive agendas we wish to advance; and we give our preferred verbal behaviours that name when we can, when we have the power to do so. Free Speech, in short, is not an independent value but a political prize, and if that prize has been captured by a politics opposed to yours, it can no longer be invoked in ways that further your responses, for it is now an obstacle to those purposes.
The events in Paris, and the debate over whether speech intended to provoke and outrage should be permitted, celebrated, or condemned, has only made Fish’s 20-year-old collection of essaysmore relevant. The point of the essay is “that freedom of speech is a conceptual impossibility because the condition of speech’s being free in the first place is unrealizable.”
To briefly summarize, Fish’s argument is intended to problematize both our popular conception of what free speech is, and how that informs and is applied within the American legal system, where a libertarian right to free speech is a core principle. The first issue Fish addresses is the bizarre distinction such a principle makes between speech and action. On one hand, speech would seem to constitute a form of action, yet the notion of “free speech” tries to carve out a space for this particular form of action such that it can be distinguished from other actions (which can be regulated) as a special and distinct thing (which cannot or should not be regulated).
This sets up a bizarre and counterintuitive proposition: Speech is both so important that its free exercise must be absolutely respected, at the same time that it’s so harmless, in and of itself, that we can safely elect not to regulate it under (almost) any circumstances. It’s both the most and least consequential thing in a liberal society.
Of course, this distinction between speech and action is ridiculous, and the law does not now, nor has it ever, fully adhered to it. One of the dominant exceptions American constitutional law carves out in terms of speech regulation is for so-called “fighting words,” or, more formally, “incitement to violence,” which is defined as speech that could lead an “average person” to proceed into a violent–and therefore regulatable–action. This distinction between speech that should be protected and speech that’s close enough to regulatable action undermines the initial distinction between speech and action that let us establish a special, protected sphere for “speech” in the first place (the “marketplace of ideas” in which speech exists as nothing more than “mere ideas”).
Every idea is an incitement to somebody, and since ideas come packaged in sentences, in words, every sentence is potentially, in some situation that might occur tomorrow, a fighting word and therefore a candidate for regulation.
As Fish writes in a section given painful new relevance in light of recent events: “The problem with this definition is that it distinguishes not between fighting words and words that remain safely and merely expressive, but between words that are provocative to one group (the group that falls under the rubric ‘average person’) and words that might be provocative to other groups, groups of persons not now considered average. And if you ask what words are likely to be provocative to those non-average groups, what are likely to be their fighting words, the answer is anything and everything, for as Justice Holmes said long ago (in Gitlow vs. New York), every idea is an incitement to somebody, and since ideas come packaged in sentences, in words, every sentence is potentially, in some situation that might occur tomorrow, a fighting word and therefore a candidate for regulation.”
If this seems a little too abstract to unpack, let’s apply this to the situation that unfolded in Paris. Here we have competing notions: that of the “average person” whose responses are deemed sufficiently rational and predictable according to social convention that it serves as our base-line of behavior, and the notion of “fighting words,” which are those very words which, if they could incite an average person to violence, could be suppressed within any legal precedence carved out for speech.
As Fish puts it, “Expression is more than a matter of proferring and receiving propositions, that words do work in the world of a kind that cannot be confined to a purely cognitive realm of ‘mere’ ideas.”
Consider what it would mean for a white person to walk down the street calling every black person he saw a “nigger.” Likely, our first response would not be, “But he’s just exercising his right to free speech!” Rather, we’d likely identify this act as racist, an insult, and a provocation. Yet it is actually an exercise in free speech. American case law has never universally found that directing a racial epithet at someone’s face actually constitutes “incitement to violence” and is therefore a regulatable limitation on speech (see Randall Kennedy’s Nigger: The Strange History of a Troublesome Word).
If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Goebbels was in favour of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you're in favour of freedom of speech, that means you're in favour of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.
The Bias Against Muslims
Noam Chomsky, summed up the western concept of freedom of speech when he said:
"If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don't like. Goebbels was in favour of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you're in favour of freedom of speech, that means you're in favour of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.” [Noam Chomsky, 'Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media,' 1992]
However, the reality is that every society including the west has limits on public speech and views they don’t like. The only difference is in who defines the limits of this speech and how restrictive these limits are. Racism, national security, holocaust denial, incitement, terrorism, racial hatred and libel among many others, are all limits imposed on freedom of speech by western nations.
The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten could never have printed cartoons denying the holocaust in the name of free speech. Geert Wilders could never have produced a film likening Israeli’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi treatment of the Jews, without charges of anti-Semitism being brought against him.
It’s contradictions like these, on the limits of free speech where the clash of values between Islam and the west is currently taking place.
The controversy over the UN World Conference Against Racism held a few years back is a stark example of this clash. The build up to the conference and agreement on a final draft resolution has highlighted this rift over the limits on freedom of speech.
Differences initially arose over wording in the draft declaration that criticised Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Israel, Canada, Italy and America announced that they would not participate in the conference unless this wording was removed.
A spokesman for Franco Frattini, Italy's foreign minister, said the declaration, which relates to the situation in the Palestinian territories, contains "unacceptable, aggressive and anti-Semitic phrases".
The EU was also unhappy with resolutions criticising Israel and sought to remove at least five paragraphs from the draft such as the phrase that, "in order to consolidate the Israeli occupation, [Palestinians] have been subjected to unlawful collective punishment, torture.” [Al-Jazeera English, ‘Italy attacks 'anti-Semitic' summit']
The other contentious resolution that some western nations wanted dropped was, “to take firm action against negative stereotyping of religions and defamation of religious personalities, holy books, scriptures and symbols.” This was added by some Muslim countries as a means of preventing future attacks on the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and the Holy Qur’an which we have witnessed recently in Europe. Western countries were unhappy with this resolution because it limited their freedom of speech i.e. the freedom to attack Islam. This was dropped from the final draft and now the resolution simply states, “recognizes with deep concern the negative stereotyping of religions...” [http://www.un.org/durbanreview2009/pdf/Rolling]
Therefore for the west it’s perfectly acceptable to impose limits on freedom of speech to account the brutal policies of another country in this instance Israel, but it’s not acceptable to impose limits on freedom of speech to insult and defame the character of the Prophet Muhammed ﷺ.
There is no clearer example of this than in Geert Wilder’s campaign to ban the Holy Qur’an on the basis of freedom of speech. In fact Wilder’s was asked about this during a recent interview with the Boston Globe.
Q: An American defender of free speech would say "Mein Kampf" shouldn't be banned, the Koran shouldn't be banned; books shouldn't be banned. To publish ideas in a book, even if they're hateful ideas - the First Amendment says you have that freedom. Is that what you would like in Holland as well?
A: I would, with the exception of incitement of violence.
Q. Doesn't that contradict your defense of free speech?
A: ... I want us to have more freedom of speech. But there is one red line - incitement of violence.
[Boston Globe, 'Islam and Freedom of Speech,' 8 March 2009]
In other words, you only have freedom of speech to propagate western ideas not Islamic ideas because Islamic ideas are an “incitement to violence”.
Europe is increasingly using limits on free speech such as glorification of terrorism, incitement to racial hatred and incitement to violence as ways of clamping down on Islamic expression. Muslims expressing opinions the west doesn’t like are branded by the media as ‘preachers of hate’, militants and extremists.
France, Secularism And Free Speech
If secularism had been truly neutral, a writer would not have lost his job for writing a delightful essay on the marriage of a wealthy Jewish girl to the son of former President Sarkozy. The minority problem of French secularism is historical. From the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century, France saw its secularism in contrast to the Jewish minority. French Jews once became extinct due to discrimination and deprivation. Later the Muslims from the colony became a new minority.
France is the only imperialist state in the world that still continues to exploit its colonies. The country has exhausted natural resource-rich Africa. The French carried out the most barbaric massacre in Algeria's history. Despite the collapse of the empire, the country still continues to exploit and oppress. Rather, France has been surviving by exploiting its former colony of Africa.Henri Alleg's book La Question denouncing torture by the French Army during the Algerian war was censored, as well as other similar books and films, such as The Battle of Algiers.
Why The Mention Of Algeria?
Because Algeria was officially part of France, the law on the freedom of the press led to a unique situation whereby the small settler population, along with Algerian Jews naturalised as French citizens in 1871, developed a bustling newspaper industry free to publish more or less whatever they wanted, vociferously criticising the government at any opportunity. Muslims, on the other hand, were subject to censorship and official intimidation: newspapers by and for Algerians only emerged timidly in the early years of the 20th century and there was no daily newspaper until independence in 1962. Any Muslim who voiced (let alone wrote) any criticism of even the most minor corrupt official risked internment or deportation without trial. After an extremely brutal war of conquest, Muslims, ‘a conquered people’ could not be trusted to speak freely, lest they organise against France. The famous 1905 law on the separation of church and state was also meant to be applied to Algeria but never was. The French state continued to appoint and control imams until independence in 1962.
Now Muslims are the main minority religious populations of France. In the population, they are about 70 million and 7 percent of the people as per cent. They are mainly from Algeria, Morocco, etc. from North African countries which are the former colonies of France. In the colonial period, the Algerians were recognized as the citizens of France, reaching the French territory. They are the big part of this Muslim population. If France did not spoil their country, they would not have to come to France. Apart from this, France also needed them to meet the deficit of labour force. After all these things, the French state could not think of equal to its Muslim citizens, even after coexisting for hundreds of years. The big part of the French Muslims is poor slum dwellers, their 30 percent are unemployed. Due to anti-Muslim attitude, they do not get private jobs, and the government is also ungenerous. Muslim children cannot carry any religious clothing or symbols in schools.
On the same day that the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo immediately sold out an initial run of five million copies of its latest issue—which featured a cover image of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ — French police arrested the comedian and activist Dieudonné M’bala M’bala for writing on his Facebook page, “Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly.”* Dieudonné was charged with “incitement of terrorism,” for appearing to offer a gesture of solidarity with Amedy Coulibaly, the gunman who murdered four hostages in a kosher grocery store in Paris last Friday, apparently in concert with the terrorists who carried out the massacre at Charlie Hebdo’s offices two days earlier.
The juxtaposition of the two events—the celebration of a magazine that routinely publishes cartoons considered blasphemous and offensive by many of the world’s Muslims and the muscular prosecution of a relentlessly provocative black comedian—has immediately exposed France to charges of hypocrisy and double standards. To many French Muslims, it seems as if it’s open season for ridicule and anti-Muslim sentiment, while the full power of the state is ready to come down on Dieudonné, who thumbs his nose at the French establishment and enjoys making provocative and thinly veiled anti-Semitic jokes.
The different treatment accorded to Charlie Hebdo and Dieudonné is, however, built into France’s complex cluster of laws regulating protected speech. These laws are alternately very free and highly restrictive. Right after the French Revolution, France abrogated its old laws making blasphemy a crime—and so Charlie Hebdo’s blasphemous depictions of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ are not a crime. At the same time, France’s press laws, which date to the late nineteenth century, make it a crime to “provoke discrimination, hatred, or violence toward a person or group of persons because of their origin or belonging to a particular ethnicity, nation, race, or religion.” In other words, you can ridicule the Prophet, but you cannot incite hatred toward his followers. To take two more examples, the actress Brigitte Bardot was convicted and fined for having written, in 2006, about France’s Muslims, “We are tired of being led around by the nose by this population that is destroying our country.” Meanwhile, the writer Michel Houellebecq (whose new novel was featured in the issue of Charlie Hebdothat came out just before the attack) was brought up on charges, but acquitted, for having said in an interview that Islam “is the stupidest religion.” Bardot was clearly directing hostility toward Muslim people, and was thus found guilty, while Houellebecq was criticizing their religion, which is blasphemous, but not a crime, in France.
If it is legitimate for Charlie Hebdo to publish offensive cartoons, it must be legitimate to object, peacefully, to its doing so.
This complex distinction reflects modern France’s anti-clerical roots: individuals are protected, but churches and their doctrines are not. There is a law, for example, passed in 1881, against insulting the head of state. In 2008, when Nicolas Sarkozy was President, a man in a crowd refused to shake his hand. Sarkozy said angrily, “Casse-toi, pauv’con!,” which means something like “Get lost, stupid jerk.” But when a protester later brought a sign reading “Casse-toi, pauv’con!” to a public meeting attended by Sarkozy, the man was arrested and brought up on charges. According to French law, the President of the Republic can insult you, but you can’t insult him—even with his own words.
These kinds of exceptions, selective restrictions, and ambiguities in France’s freedom-of-expression laws shows the country vulnerable to charges of political favoritism. France might consider either a broader conception of free speech—the notion that the answer to bad speech is more speech—or doing a better job of clarifying what is allowed, and why. That it does not relates, once more, to France’s anti-clerical roots.
The Clear Muslim Bias
The French government prosecutes anti-Semitism aggressively. John Galliano, the head designer at Christian Dior, was fired and charged with “injure raciale” after a video of him making anti-Semitic remarks surfaced. Even Charlie Hebdo engaged in self-censorship: in 2008, the French satire magazine fired one of its most famous and oldest cartoonists, Siné, for writing an article considered to be anti-Semitic. And yet, when Siné wrote a piece in which he stated that he “could not bear Muslims” and that “when he saw a veiled woman he wanted to ‘kick her in the ass,’” there were no protests from the director of the magazine.
The country is home to some of the most well-known Islamophobic, racist writers including Jean-Marie Le Pen of the National Front (now known as National Rally) and Renaud Camus whose theory of Great Replacement inspired the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand that killed 50 Muslims.
Even the European New Right or Nouvelle Droite (ND), which repackages racism as blood and soil ethno-nationalism, originated in France in the 1960s. Prior to this is the country's history of committing atrocities in Algeria and during its colonial era is well-known.
Around two years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled upholding an Austrian court's decision that: "Defaming the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ exceeds the permissible limits of freedom of expression." A cursory look at global media, however, reveals that showing cartoons denigrating the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) to school children, as well as the decision to republish the insulting cartoons by Charlie Hebdo, were both seen as acceptable and defiant gestures in defence of free expression. In comparison, the immense hurt resultantly caused to more than two billion Muslims, including those that have lived in Europe and France for a long time, was barely highlighted with the emphasis it deserved. The French may defend such insults towards religious beliefs as the essence of laïcité and see freedom of expression as absolute. However, to France's large Muslim community, in addition to their brethren worldwide, laïcité has meant a lack of respect towards their beliefs.
France’s record on freedom of expression in other areas is just as bleak. Thousands of people are convicted every year for “contempt of public officials”, a vaguely defined criminal offence that law enforcement and judicial authorities have applied in massive numbers to silence peaceful dissent. In June this year, the European Court of Human Rights found that the convictions of 11 activists in France for campaigning for a boycott of Israeli products violated their free speech.
Islamophobia? Or A Leeway For Political Escapism?
There are a number of reasons why Islamophobia is so prevalent in France today. The uprising of the poor in Paris in 2005, called the 'Paris riot' and the Yellow Vest Movementin 2019 were left-leaning. The right, the French elite, spread Islamophobia to increase their power. The fake creation of 'Muslim problem' has succeeded in dispersing the alliance of the poor, the immigrants and the youth. This is how the French rightists are seeing their political future.
Macron just raised the sail in this wind as he was failing politically and economically. He has failed miserably in three serious places. His government also thinks that wearing mask is not necessary like President Trump. The historic recession of the French economy due to Macron's misguided economic policies and the weakening of the French social security system for the protection of the interests of the affluent class like Trump have brought down his popularity. Therefore, he needed to divert public attention for fear of losing the next election.
Do All French Think The Same?
A simple answer, No. People recognise the problems with Free Speech, and unlike how the media highlights the opinion of people with rightists views, not all French people think the same.
Alphonse de Lamartine (d. 1869) was a French poet, politician, and writer who was influential in the foundation of the Second Republic. He was a central figure who led the campaign to abolish slavery and the death penalty and was a strong advocate of democracy. The following is the way he described the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ :
“Never has a man proposed for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a goal more sublime, since this goal was beyond measure: undermine the superstitions placed between the creature and the Creator, give back God to man and man to God, reinstate the rational and saintly idea of divinity in the midst of this prevailing chaos of material and disfigured gods of idolatry.
Never has a man accomplished in such a short time such an immense and long lasting revolution in the world, since less than two centuries after his predication, Islam, preaching and armed, ruled over three Arabias, and conquered to God’s unity Persia, the Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and all the known continent of Southern Africa, many islands of the Mediterranean, Spain and part of Gaul.
If the grandeur of the aim, the smallness of the means, the immensity of the results are the three measures of a man’s genius, who would dare humanly compare a great man of modern history with Muhammad?
The most famous have only moved weapons, laws, empires; they founded, when they founded anything, only material powers, often crumbling before them. This man not only moved armies, legislation, empires, peoples, dynasties, millions of men over a third of the inhabited globe; but he also moved ideas, beliefs, souls. He founded upon a book, of which each letter has become a law, a spiritual nationality embracing people of all languages and races; and made an indelible imprint upon this Muslim nation, for the hatred of false gods and the passion for the God, One and Immaterial.
Philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, restorer of a rational dogma for a cult without imagery, founder of twenty earthly empires and of one spiritual empire, this is Muhammad.
Of all the scales by which one measures human grandeur, which man has been greater…”
(Extract from Alphonse de Lamartine’s Histoire de la Turquie Paris, 1854, vol. II, pp. 276-277)
What Does Islam Say About Freedom Of Speech?
In Islam, it is our Creator, Allah سبحانه وتعالى who gave the right of speech to people and defined the limits on what is acceptable and unacceptable speech.
Islam is a religion until the end of time, not just for one era or century. Allah سبحانه وتعالى has given us a wonderful system (through the Quran and Sunnah) and it contains solutions to all the problems that mankind would face as time progresses and political mindsets change. Our laws are sent to us by our Creator itself, who is the All-Knowing, All-Wise.
The First Constitution In Madinah
An example of tolerance and respect in Islam is depicted through The First Constitution in Madinah. Justice and fairness, upholding the rights of the poor, as well as spending charity to those in need, these principles are a part of our Islamic social structure. In Madinah, the city in which the Prophet established peace between various tribal and faith groups, he negotiated and implemented a written constitution, Sahifat al-Madīnah. The constitution formed the basis of a multi-religious Islamic state in Medina, stating the equal religious and legal rights of each of the Jewish and pagan tribes of Madinah. This constitution implemented the Quranic principle of fairness and justice, offering equal security, mutual defense, legal and civic autonomy. There was no differentiation between a black or a white, nor a rich or poor, the laws were the same irrespective of one's caste, creed, or color. [Check out our post on how Islam Teaches Us To Tackle Racism for more]
Islamic Principle To Not Insult Any Religion
Another example of religious tolerance and not disrespecting the gods of the disbelievers is the Ayah in the Quran from Surah Al-An'aam, Verse 108 where Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says:
“And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allah, lest they insult Allah wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do” [al-An‘aam 6:108]”.
As-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said;
Allah forbade the believers to do something that had been permissible and, in fact, is basically prescribed, which is to revile the gods of the polytheists which were taken as idols and gods alongside Allah, and this is a means of drawing closer to Allah by disrespecting them and reviling them.
But because reviling them is a means that may lead to the polytheists reviling the Lord of the Worlds – Who should be declared to be far above all faults, defects, insults and aspersions – Allah forbade reviling the gods of the polytheists, because they would seek to protect their religion and show fanatical devotion to it. That is because Allah has made fair-seeming to every nation its deeds, so they regard them as something good and defend them by all possible means, to the extent that they would revile Allah, the Lord of the Worlds – Whose greatness is something instilled in the hearts of all people, righteous and evildoers alike – if the Muslims were to revile their gods.
But the return and ultimate destination of all people is to Allah on the Day of Resurrection, when they will appear before Him and their deeds will be exposed, and he will inform them of what they used to do, both good and evil.
This verse offers proof for the shar‘i principle which says that means are to be judged by the outcomes to which they lead, and that the means that lead to something haraam, even if they are permissible (in and of themselves), become haraam, if they lead to evil.
End quote. (Tafseer as-Sa‘di (p. 268))
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says:
There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. (The Quran 2:256)
The West use of Freedom Of Speech is their way to impose their colonial rule and promote their false political ideologies. In reality there is no such thing as absolute free speech. What exists is speech within predefined limits that differ between nations. All regimes only consider their own power to be sacred so they outlaw “blasphemy” against those who oppose it while pretending to promote “free speech.” Islam teaches us to be tolerant towards other religion and also to not use the freedom of speech to insult anyone. Allah سبحانه وتعالى, the Creator and NOT human beings decides the limits on speech. He is The All-Knowing, All-Wise. We will be accountable for every word spoken on the Day of Judgement.