Religious Expression: When is too Much?

Currently, the First Amendment protects the circulation of religious information and opinion from regulation in the United States. Globally, this is an outlier as many countries limit or completely regulate the circulation of religious opinion and information. While I do support the First Amendment, there are cases to be made for restrictions on the circulation of some religious information and opinion. Particularly, the incitement of violence on the grounds of religious text or practice should not be tolerated nor protected. The incitement of violence should under no grounds be tolerated as it can potentially be used as a protected medium to convey hateful or harmful messages.

For the majority of MENA countries in which the population is homogenous and has an official religion it makes sense to restrict certain or all religious expression or opinion. Due to the homogenized population of these countries not only will there potentially be little backlash to restricting certain mediums and forms of media that contradict or disparage the common religion, but the government can easily maintain control on both political and religious grounds. While I may disagree with the idea of censoring things such as religion, it does make sense as a political strategy for highly homogenized nations.

Personally, while I do not support the expansion on restrictions of free speech due to the potential jar of worms it could open both legally and societally, there are cases for such which are reasonable. However, I would personally refrain from letting these cases influence the broader freedom of expression as a whole. Limiting both ideas and perspectives in my opinion will no good for society at large as it will restrict not only intellectual debate and ingenuity, but also the difficult conversations that must be had as a nation.

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