The aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, France last January has laid bare a paradox in Western society. On the one hand, we enjoy a nearly limitless freedom of speech and expression of our opinions. But on the other hand, we know that expressing critical or satirical views of others can be met with threats, persecution, and even extreme violence. As lines are drawn and cultures clash, the freedom of speech itself seems to be encountering its limits.
In the case of Islamic extremists, the result – and, perhaps the cause – of this paradox is an unresolved cycle of fear, insensitivity, and violence on all sides. Should we impose a limit on our freedom of speech, so as not to offend certain people’s worldviews? Or should we continue to express ourselves without limits, regardless of the consequences? Is there even a middle path?
Studium Generale and a team of enthusiastic but concerned students invite you to a public debate between two Dutch writers and columnists with different views on the subject.
There will be a free lunch, but it’s first come first serve. There will also be opportunity to stay around after the debate for informal discussion with other members of the audience.