I support the passing of laws against inflammatory speech, works of art and/or media productions. The legal system will penalize people who convey messages of religious intolerance, discrimination against specific groups of people and/or hatred with the intent to create conflict and social instability. [However, the legal system should excuse those who have unintentionally offended others out of their ignorance and whom have publicly shown remorse for their misdeed.]
The right to free speech does not conflict with the prohibition of such hate-based messages. Just as people are given the freedom to act, and punished if they choose to commit crimes, people are given the freedom to express themselves, and punished if they create incendiary messages.
By burning the Koran, Pastor Terry Jones has caused much unrest and deaths of his fellow Americans. And more recently, the anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims” has caused widespread social unrest, damage and deaths including that of a U.S. diplomat. The fallout from the anti-Islam movement and its backlash has been reported extensively and I have no need to repeat that again here. What will probably result from all these will be the strengthening of Islamic extremist groups and even more terrorist activities against the so-called “Christian Crusaders”.
It is not the fault of the Muslims to feel angry regarding the blatant disrespect to their religion, because it is obvious that the people behind those the anti-Islamic movement are obviously trying their best to provoke the Muslims. My view is, if you want people to respect your lifestyle and religion, you should take the first step to respect their lifestyle and religion. Insulting people definitely does not bring us closer to World Peace and an end to terrorism. Go and read about the good things Islam has contributed to the world instead.
In my view, the most fitting punishment is to place the wrongdoers in the custody of those whom they have offended. The offended party will then decide on the form of punishment, subjected to the rules of the United Nation regarding captured POWs (Prisoners Of War). This will instantly defuse public anger and resentment, limiting the potential damage.
If that is considered too extreme or subjective a punishment, the next best is to charge the offenders involved with murder, arson, assault etc. as accomplices of the parties involved in the backlash to their messages. The law should also help facilitate the estate of the decreased and the parties who suffered damage to make claims against the offenders.
It is time for Humanity to stand up against the abuses of free speech to promote conflict, separation and hatred. Let us all join hands and use the power of the courts to bring the world closer to World Peace.