Defining Hate Speech

Two of the most challenging questions faced by those promoting freedom of speech is to what extent speech is free and whether there are kinds of speech which should be restricted. Very often this brings about a dilemma, since restriction can be seen as the opposite of freedom. This is partly because there are people who can utilize the freedom of speech to spread hatred or incite harm to other people or to the well-being of society in general. The question: Is there room for hate speech within free speech? How should hate speech be defined? On February 15, 2016, CRCS student Azis Anwar Fachrudin interviewed Mark Woodward on the question of religious hate speech. Woodward is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University (ASU) and is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict there. He was a Visiting Professor, teaching at the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS), Gadjah Mada University, for several years. He has written books related to Islam in Java and Indonesian Islam in general, as well as more than fifty scholarly journal articles, including “Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front” co-authored with several others including CRCS alumnus Ali Amin and ICRS alumna Inayah Rohmaniyah and published by the ASU Center for Strategic Communication in 2012. 

Read the interview here.

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