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A French Full Professor analyzes the balance between freedom of expression and respect for the religious feelings of others.

"Freedom demands responsibility," he said in a statement. seminar on the Charlie Hebdo crisis, organized by the ICS of the University of Navarra

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PHOTO: Manuel Castells
20/02/15 17:06 ICS/FCOM

"Freedom demands responsibility." This is how Emmanuel Derieux expressed himself at the University of Navarra, Full Professor of Information Law at the University of Paris II, who analysed in a seminar the balance between freedom of expression and respect for the religious feelings of others in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo crisis. The activity was organized by the project 'Religion and Civil Society' of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) and the School of Communication from the University of Navarra.

The expert emphasized that the legislation guarantees both freedom of expression and freedom of thought. "The difficulty is how they can coexist in the internship", he pointed out. "Although for some people freedom of expression is absolute and has no limits, this is not so in a democracy: the freedom of one is confronted with the freedom of others, which demands respect."

In this regard, he insisted on the importance of the responsibility of journalists, and recalled that in the U.S., "the country of freedom of expression", the media did not reproduce the controversial cartoons of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo "as a matter of respect for others".

Regarding Islam, Professor Derieux pointed out that "experts remind us that it is not violent" and insisted on the need to distinguish it from Islamist radicals. "In France, many of these people are not integrated into society: they live in troubled neighborhoods, they have not attended school, they do not have work, they deal drugs... And when they go to jail, they become radicalized."

"They live in a world without opportunities and the only future they see is to become martyrs," he said. To stop this, he said that the solution is to promote among them "Education, culture and work", as well as "responsibility on the part of the media" in their news coverage.