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Articles on freedom of expression

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An homage to Samuel Paty, a teacher murdered after showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Oct. 18, 2020. Adnan Farzat/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Beheading in France could bolster president’s claim that Islam is in ‘crisis’ – but so is French secularism

Macron wants to 'build an Islam in France that can be compatible with the Enlightenment.' But that goal assumes France is compatible with Islam, says a Muslim scholar of religion and politics.
Hommage to Samuel Paty: “Thank you Mr. Paty to have taught us history and freedom of expression.” Bertrand Guay/AFP

Teachers in France, on the front line of defending the values of the Republic

The horrific death of Samuel Paty, a history and geography teacher, highlights the importance of the work of educators who are, more than ever, on the front lines of the fight for freedom of expression.
A protester during an anti-mask rally on July 19 in Indianapolis, Indiana, against the mayor’s mask order and the governor’s extension of the state shutdown. Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Constitution doesn’t have a problem with mask mandates

A constitutional law scholar says that the arguments made by anti-mask protesters that the Constitution protects their freedom to go maskless are just wrong.
Pakistani Islamists march to protest the Supreme Court lenient treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman accused of blasphemy, in Karachi, Feb. 1, 2019. ASIF HASSAN/AFP via Getty Images

Execution for a Facebook post? Why blasphemy is a capital offense in some Muslim countries

Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia all punish blasphemy harshly – even with death. Such laws have political as well as religious motives, says a scholar on Islamism: They're a tool for crushing dissent.
Controversy erupted after a lecturer at the University of Alberta posted on Facebook in November that the Holomodor is a “myth.” Canada recognized the Holomodor — the death of millions of Ukrainians in 1932–33 due to Soviet policies — as an act of genocide in 2008. Here, the Holodomor Memorial, Kyiv, Ukraine. (Flickr/Matt Shalvatis)

Universities should stand up for integrity and public trust in university teaching

Those teaching in publicly funded universities should be held accountable for denying the public record, whether in their classrooms or beyond.
Australia is the only Western democracy without some form of charter of rights legislated by parliament or entrenched in the constitution. Lukas Coch/AAP

Why an Australian charter of rights is a matter of national urgency

We have a serious deficit in legal protection for human rights in Australia, rights that have been in regression for 20 years. We need a legislated charter setting out the rights we care about.
People, including the activist group Code Pink, hold signs at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia during a protest about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Oct. 10, 2018, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In the end, it was Khashoggi’s ‘friends’ who silenced him

Missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was no ordinary reporter. His contacts included the Royal Family as well as known terrorists.
Faith Goldy, an alt-right champion who appeared in an interview on a white nationalist site, speaks outside Wilfrid Laurier Univesity in March 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah Yoon

How not to defend free speech

Free speech may protect offensive speech, but we degrade this central right when we see it as simply the right to offend, regardless of the impact on others.

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