A thoughtful individual in Winchester Massachusetts put up about 10 posters around town. ‘Islam Is Right About Women’. The local residents apparently don’t know what to think about the ‘Islam Is Right About Women’ signs. The simple message has most puzzled.
In the spirit of true intolerance the flyers were torn down by an offended resident. It is difficult to understand the reaction of the offended citizen. The flyers are pretty clear in their message. “Islam is right about women.” It is positive; it singles out no individual, and clearly it is a message supporting the faith.
Despite the seemingly pro-Islam message, some residents were not happy with whoever is provoking them to think. You know your community is pretty uptight when something this innocuous draws loads of regional TV coverage. One prig told WCVB-TV, “I think it’s disgusting.”
Anita Davison was the discoverer and the person calling the thought police according to a WHDH report she said “It’s unsettling… It’s either about women, it’s either about Islam, it’s about both, I’m not really sure what point they were trying to make… But either way, it was terrible… Most people have been supportive of the decision to take them down… Others have said that I’m not for free speech, but I really am. I just feel like that was on the side of hate speech.” That tells me the people of Winchester have more dollars than sense if 10 of these posters are a police matter.
Freedom of Speech
It appears some residents are unaware that freedom of speech exists. Others do not understand what it is. Free speech protects you even if what was said hurts someone’s feelings. The signs left many confused. Some thought the signs were an attack on Islam which is a little hard to grasp. Islam is a theocracy with holy books making it clear that there should be a separation between men and women. Others thought they were a dig against women. Some have said the restrictive nature of Islamic doctrine is necessary.
What is clear is that this kind of sign is may cause people to think. Thinking can be unsettling. It apparently was very upsetting to Felicity Tuttle of the Winchester Multicultural Network. She told WCVB to “…That kind of sign is very upsetting to anyone with either an Islamic background or for many women.”
Don’t we benefit by examining our beliefs?
The posters raise interesting questions. That any consider them hate speech shows how intolerant those individuals are. What if the opposite were on the poster? How much outrage would there have been if the posters had said, “Islam is wrong about women”? Either way, the incident probably should not have been cause for police involvement.
Proper use of police resources
While it’s unclear exactly who put the signs up or what their intentions might have been. The confused and contradictory reaction may have been exactly what they were angling for. There was no expectation of the size of the reaction. I’m sure the police are giving this all the police attention it so richly deserves. Apparently, if something makes you think a little in Winchester we call the thought police and regional TV news… ‘Islam Is Right About Women’