New Delhi, 26 Nov.2020: Leaders of different religions and intellectuals including Jamaat-e-Islami Hind President Syed Sadatullah Husaini, Goswami Sushil Ji Maharaj national convenor of Bhartiya Sarva Dharma Sansad (Parliament of all Religions) and Dr. Victor Edwin of Vidyajyoti College of Theology in a webinar have affirmed that targeting the beliefs and thoughts of others, using abusive language, is a heinous act which should be stopped. Delhi Minorities Commission chief nodal officer Hardit Singh Kovindpuri, CPI national secretary Atul Kumar Anjan, senior journalist Dr Balmukund Sinha also shared their views on the topic. The webinar was organised by the Dawat department of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), on the topic of ‘Freedom of Expression in a Healthy Society – what is and what’s not?’
Presiding over the webinar, the JIH President, has asserted that freedom of expression is a natural right and the Indian constitution also gives this right to every person. He continued, “a person must speak up if he feels, he is right. Otherwise, he will feel suffocation. If anyone thinks that any government policy is wrong, then he must speak out. Without this, we can’t imagine the development of the country. But every right has certain limitations. The limitations of freedom of expression have also been set in accordance with the rules of the religion and the country. No one can be allowed to inflict mental, religious or personal harm to anyone, crossing the line. Islam encourages the freedom of expression and speech. So, on many occasions, the Companions of Prophet expressed differences with the opinion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). But in recent times, the criticising the Muslim community has risen sharply. If it is done sensibly with control over tongue, then Muslims will have no objection. And Muslims have the right to respond to it. Their responses should also be listen, calmly. Otherwise, criticising a community or religion will be thought offensive, having malicious intentions and destructive tendencies. Such offensive criticisms should be stopped and misunderstandings should be resolved through mutual dialogue.”
In this webinar, JIH Vice President Mohammad Jafar and JIH Dawat department secretary Iqbal Mulla have also expressed their views. All the respected speakers highlighted the need and importance of balancing freedom of expression with limitations.