Jihad Against Free Speech
First Day of Spring 2013
In most of the world, free speech is quarantined to the point of it being regarded as a crime against the state punishable by imprisonment, and a possible death sentence. A foundation of the US is ‘free speech’ protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Free speech is a sacred value that has been threatened by various forms of fear though out history even to the point of calling it blasphemy or sedition against the governing powers be it political, religion, and an insurrection against the established order.
Jihad is a term from the Islamic culture that, while being open to different ways of using the word, basically means ‘struggle’. A common use is regarded as ‘a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty, or a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline. In the Western world, in particular, it’s identified with ‘terrorism’. As President George Bush inferred many times, it’s hostile activity against our freedoms and rights. Jihad can take many forms, some being positive, but popularly considered among millions to be an attack on our rights as citizens who stand for ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.
Around twenty years ago, I made a decision to exercise the rights granted by the First Amendment starting with one white dry erase board in Venice Beach, California on the famous boardwalk, which is the most visited place of free expression in the world. After 13 years of what the LA Times said were over ten million visitors a year, I had quite a display provoking a ‘challenge to thought’ with many free speech boards. Since 2007, I’ve relocated to the open minded-artistic, tourist town in Washington State, called Port Townsend where I continue to exercise the guarantee of the amendment, while doing the ‘world’s largest free speech’ display as a ‘bell weather’ for world free expressiveness.
Thomas Jefferson, our third President was considered to be the mentor and inspiration to James Madison, our 4th President who wrote the First Amendment. Our ‘Founding Fathers’ felt that free speech was an inalienable and sacred right. The reason for forming our country really was about escaping the ‘censorship’ in Europe both politically and of religion.
Inspite of many, many people who object to ‘free speech’ still, there are many, many who know that it, along with the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms, is the cornerstone of our growing, evolving democracy.
Censorship of ‘free speech’ does meet a ‘stealth jihad’ throughout the world, and sadly is always under threat both in the media to the free speech I do in public. Those who are against it, hide from transparency to squash its proliferation by many ‘covert means’ that protects their fearful and egotistical agendas. With the negative side of Islamic ideology spreading in the world posturing its ‘sharia law’ that is seditious to our laws and rights, ‘free speech’ is quietly under attack through fear of reprisal. Never succumb to negative forces that ‘spin’ their fears to disallow you to speak freely. Be an activist of ‘free speech’ to help provoke others to wake up, and think about ways to make it a more conscious, loving world. We fight wars to protect our rights as citizens of a freer, and more evolving world.