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Censorship as Freedom of Expression

The Tailor and Ansty Revisited

Maryann Gialanella Valiulis

Censorship laws were introduced in the Irish Free State in 1928 and sparked immediate controversy among intellectuals, the media, and the political classes. The issue of censorship became the center of a conversation about Irish national identity. It was, in part, an assertion of independence and a conscious rejection of colonialism, an attempt to decide what stories would be told about them, what image they would portray to the world. In 1942, one text in particular sparked a renewal of the censorship controversy: Eric Cross's book, The Tailor and Ansty, which was banned because it was a realistic portrayal of Irish peasant life that was unacceptable to post-colonial Ireland, and because the author, an English folklorist, was perceived to be trying to undermine post-colonial attempts to establish a modern identity for Ireland. Thus, the application of censorship laws in Ireland can be seen as a move to free Irish self-identity from the negative portrayals of the Irish so prevalent in the colonial period.

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Raphael Cohen-Almagor

This article examines the tension between liberalism and Orthodoxy in Israel as it relates to censorship. The first section aims to explain Israel's vulnerability as a multicultural democracy in a hostile region, with significant schisms that divide the nation. The next section presents the dilemma: should Israel employ legal mechanisms to counter hate speech and racism? The third section details the legal framework, while the fourth reviews recent cases in which political radicals were prosecuted for incitement to racism. The final section discusses cases in which football supporters were charged with incitement after chanting “Death to Arabs“ during matches. I argue that the state should consider the costs and risks of allowing hate speech and balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech that are associated with censorship.

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The End of Arrogance, the Advent of Persuasion

Public Art in a Multicultural Society

Henri Beunders

In Western societies, the boundaries of the freedom of expression had traditionally been expanding, while the boundaries of religion and 'good morals' had been receding. Since the last decade however, this expansion has slowed down, come to a halt, and ultimately reversed. In Europe, anxiety over the expression of protest through violent means has steadily caused governments to abandon the traditional, seemingly limitless adherence to freedom of expression. Political fear over controversy has come to dominate the climate of commissioning public art. In a polarized world, the debate on what is tolerable has taken on an acute urgency. The art world itself no longer has an answer. After a half-century of autonomy, it has succeeded in demolishing its own authority by ridiculing every aspect of external criticism. The only solution now will be a new form of dialogue with all stakeholders involved.

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Geoffrey Bindman

Antisemitism is hostility to Jews as Jews, but defining antisemitism is complicated by Zionism and the existence of the State of Israel. The fundamental right to freedom of expression is threatened by the misuse of a definition of antisemitism and claimed examples of antisemitic conduct that encourage confusion between antisemitism and criticism of the policies and practices of the Israeli government and its institutions. The right to express criticism and to debate such policies and practices must not be suppressed by reliance on unsubstantiated claims of antisemitism.

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Jean (Plantu) Plantureux

The publication of some caricatures of the prophet Mohammed by the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, and their distribution around the globe provoked a tremendous outcry and debate, which even led to physical destruction and death. This raises fundamental questions about the nature of blasphemy, (self-)censorship and the freedom of expression, the responsibility of cartoonists, trans-cultural communication, and the power of caricature. The author, who played a direct role in the French part of this affair, reflects on the questions it raises and on his own practice of editorial cartooning.

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Love Is Culture

Al-Hubb Thaqafa and the New Frontiers of Sexual Expression in Arabic Social Media

Shereen El Feki, Elise Aghazarian, and Abir Sarras

Al-Hubb Thaqafa ('Love is Culture') is a new Arabic social media platform, providing accurate and unbiased information on love, relationships and sexuality. Its website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel offer visitors unprecedented opportunities for interaction, exchanging ideas and opinions not only with experts affiliated with Al-Hubb Thaqafa, but also with fellow users; for all the high hopes of greater freedom of expression in the wake of the 2011 uprisings, such opportunities remain rare, in both politics and personal life, in most countries of the Arab region. Although its content, and language, were initially designed for an Egyptian audience, Al-Hubb Thaqafa has attracted Arabic-speaking visitors from around the world; its combined platforms have been visited more than nine million times since its launch in March 2014.

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Protesting in Pandemic Times

COVID-19, Public Health, and Black Lives Matter

Binoy Kampmark

The COVID-19 pandemic raised questions about reconciling health priorities with the exercise of certain liberties and rights. Public safety has come into conflict with matters of mobility, freedom of expression, and the right to protest. How can the threat of viral transmission be reconciled with the urgency of political protests, such as in the Black Lives Matter movement? This article discusses various approaches, referring to debates in the United States and Australia, where law enforcement authorities and politicians warned against protest marches, generally citing the protection of public health as a qualifying exception. Numerous epidemiologists, while acknowledging risks, argued that a calculus of risk be deployed, citing public health as a variegated, multilayered concept. A similar balancing act was deployed in Australian courts. Such reasoning led to accusations that public health science had been politicized. Striking the balance remains a pragmatic approach to holding such gatherings during times of pandemic.

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Herr or Hüter of the Constitution?

The First Fifty Years in the History of the German Federal Constitutional Court

Manfred H. Wiegandt

understood and called it “constitutive for a free, democratic state order,” (209) thus putting it on the same level as freedom of expression, and, simultaneously, making clear that democracy was not only representative democracy. When it came to defense

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Mobilizing Meanings

Translocal Identities of the Far Right Web

Patricia Anne Simpson

’s web presence and self-presentation, such as the demand for freedom of speech and freedom of expression, which, from an extremist viewpoint, has been compromised in Germany by political correctness, anti-democratic politics, and the Lügenpresse . The

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Quatrième Forum mondial sur le développement économique local

Vers la réduction des inégalités croissantes?

Djénéba Traoré

, relevant reflections were made on themes pertaining to local economic development. The freedom of expression during the exchanges allowed participants to express ideas and beliefs without restrictions. The aim of the SDGs is to measure the importance and