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No room, and no tolerance, for hate

Jan 07,2017 - Last updated at Jan 07,2017

Some 12 individuals will be prosecuted for alleged online abuse directed at the Jordanian victims of the Istanbul nightclub attack on New Year’s Eve, abuse that violates religion’s laws and social norms.

They will be referred to the State Security Court for their seditious comments regarding the heinous crime perpetrated in Istanbul by a seemingly lone terrorist who killed 39 people, including two Jordanians, and injured scores of others, six of our country people among them.

The Jordanian society is witnessing an increase in online abuse, mostly inciting hatred, which leads the authorities to trace those responsible and apply the force of the law against them. 

People of different ethnicities, races and religions have been living in this embracing country forever, in harmony and understanding. There must be no room for hate speech by some emboldened by misguided propagandists of religious or social theories that have no grounds in true religion and civilised human society.

It is appalling that some among us can rejoice at the killing of anyone, let alone innocent people. And it is inadmissible that some people should arrogate themselves the right of divinity and pass judgement onto others, for whatever reason.

The existing Cyber Crime Law offers a sound basis for the arrest and prosecution of anybody spewing abuse and hatred against others. The government is even considering tailoring a law that specifically fights hate speech.

If people do not have it in themselves to behave civilly, they must be made to by the law.

It is unfortunate that social media are becoming a tool to spread hate, fake news and other illicit and immoral thought to whom, most often, the very young and the credulous fall victim.

There is, therefore, a serious reason to consider amending the law to make it even more effective in fighting abuse of social media.

 

Meanwhile, campaigns need to be carried out to raise awareness about the danger of falling prey to erroneous, inhuman, thought that encourages killing and about the potential punishment meted out to those, like the 12 recently arrested, who erect themselves into omnipotent judges of mankind, based on ruthless self-made laws that only serve the interests of extremists.

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