Scott Tibbs
Printed in the Indiana Daily Student, 12-08-1999

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Free speech must never be restricted

To the editor:

I am very disappointed in the complete and total lack of respect for free speech displayed by the IDS readership in recent letters to the editor. I haven't been following the Kashmir situation so I won't comment on that. But I will say that the free exchange of ideas is at the heart of our freedoms and must never be restricted.

In response to Aihab Hassan ("Kashmir letter should not have been printed," Dec. 6), the IDS has run hateful articles about Jews and African Americans, most notably articles by the now-deceased Benjamin Smith.There is no double standard here.Try to do some research before implying the IDS has some anti-Muslim bias.

As to Judith Thomas' letter ("IDS should select letters more carefully," Dec. 6), whether or not free speech harms people is irrelevant. If harassment or violence is going on, prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law, but don't EVER get the government involved in restricting speech.

The moment government starts restricting speech is the moment I cease to be an American citizen, because the country I love is dead.

Finally, on a side note, I do not like the term "Islamic fundamentalist" when talking about terrorism. Terrorism is no more an act of true Islamic faith than the bombing of an abortion clinic is an act of Christian faith. To be accurate, terrorists should be identified with the government and/or organization they are working for, not the faith they are slandering by twisting it into a justification for violence.