Freedom Of Speech, Achieved Or Not Yet?

        Freedom of speech is a political right of one expressing their opinions, ideas and thoughts. One has all rights to express their own opinions, but without offending anyone else. Freedom of speech is one of the main ideas of the enlightenment. Starting off, what is modernization and how can a person determine whether a country is modernized or not. Modernization means to be affected by the enlightenment and the industrial revolution. Enlightenment includes main ideas such as the freedom of speech, freedom of market, and freedom of writing. A person may determine whether a country is modernized or not depending on how it’s influenced by the main ideas of the enlightenment. The question raised here is whether Egypt is modernized or on it is way to modernization.

Untitled            In order for Egypt to be modernized it must be affected by the main enlightenment ideas such as the freedom of speech. Lately, from what have happened, one may interpret that the Egyptians are misunderstanding the concept of freedom of speech. Starting off, during the reign of president Morsi’s the satirist Bassem Youssef was accused of insulting the president and there were several lawsuits filed by Islamists to ban his show, however the judges opposed the to lawsuits filed as they believe in freedom of speech. Not only that, but he was supposed to be arrested; however he was acquitted. What happened to Bassem Youssef during Morsi’s reign contradicts to what has happened to him recently. The judges opposed to the lawsuits as way to protect freedom of speech in Egypt. Recently Bassem Youssef was suspended from the TV channel CBC as they said that he, “violated what has been agreed upon” (Bassem Youssef’s TV show El-Bernameg suspended: CBC channel). On the other hand, the young blogger Ahmed Abou Doma and the activist Hassan Moustafa were not lucky enough and were imprisoned. Apparently, it did not stop only by imprisoning people, but it reached to the point where people were killed because of their opinions. Mohamed Gaber also known as Gika and Mohamed Gindy were both killed because their opinions that opposed to the governments’ opinions. Those several incidents put in question the modernization of Egypt and how it might be affected by the enlightenment.

Despite the fact that several people were prohibited to express their opinions during Morsi’s reign, others were allowed during the reign of president Adly Mansour. Amr Adeeb in his show “Al Qahera Al Youm” expresses all his opinions, thoughts and ideas without any limitations or any restrictions. This was proven when he classified Adly Mansour’s government as “losers” or “failures”. He was able to express his opinion without being affected by the present government. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is appropriate to offend others like what he had done. Another question raised from this incident; is freedom of speech affected by the president and the government in control? Egypt may not be successfully modernized and fully influenced by the enlightenment ideas, but definitely Egypt is on the right path.

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The pictures above are two of my favorite pictures that explain the concept of freedom of speech and how it is affected, in an easy way to understand. The picture on the left shows how freedom of speech in a country may be affected if it passed a specific limit. So if they passed the limit then they will be banned and punished. The picture on the right is similar to the one before it. It as well explains how some people are stopped from expressing their thoughts. The red traffic light represents the person or the government that stops a person from expressing their ideas. Feel free to express your own thoughts, but do not offend anyone!!

By Nada Sorour

References:

Online, Ahram. “Bassem Youssef’s TV Show El-Bernameg Suspended: CBC Channel.” Ahram     Online. Ahram Online Copyright, 1 Nov. 2013. 4 December 2013.                                                               <http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/85369/Egypt/-Bassem-Youssefs-                                        TV-show-ElBernameg-suspended-CBC-.aspx>.