Is freedom of expression becoming a tyranny ?

Swedish foreign minister quits after critics accused her of shutting down a far right website solliciting cartoons of Muhammad at the height of the cartoon row in February.

The minister explained that her ministry contacted the host of the web site to express their concerns about the potential danger the site may represent for swedish people across the world and that she never asked that the site be closed. her critics say otherwise.

Defenders of freedom of expression are willing to let others die on their behalf and their are willing to let heads roll in order to prevail. Now doesn't this qualifies as a tyranny ?

TYRANNY: To impose oneself or something, in an imperial and absolute manner, on the consciousness, sentiments and will of others, forcing them to conform to certain moral and material demands. (Translated from the french online dictionary, le Trésor Informatisé de la Langue Française)

In the states, freedom of expression is ingrained in the constitution and so when controversy arises about what one can express publicly, the judiciary resolve the matter. However in societies where freedom of expression is a cultural value like in Europe, it can compete with other values, like respect for others and their beliefs. In this case, no value should prevail in an absolute manner. Dialogue and reason should resolve the issue of what can be expressed or what cannot. And it seems to me that in the danish case, demands for dialogue from the muslim community were systematically rebuffed and ignored to the point they provoked what is now known by the cartoon row. This absence of dialogue is another symptom of the tyranny of freedom of expression. Lets sack ministers but never talk to the people on the other side !

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Since March 29th 2006