Enriching or Impoverishing Discourse on Rights? Talk about Freedom of Expression on Arab Television

Enriching or Impoverishing Discourse on Rights? Talk about Freedom of Expression on Arab Television brill.nl/mjcc MEJCC Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 3 (2010) 101–119 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI 10.1163/187398609X12584657078240 Enriching or Impoverishing Discourse on Rights? Talk about Freedom of Expression on Arab Television* Naomi Sakr University of Westminster Email: sakrn@wmin.ac.uk Abstract Th ere is more to the denial of freedom of expression than outright censorship. Th e right to freedom of expression is interdependent with, and indivisible from, other rights guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To discuss freedom of expression narrowly as if it were self-contained, and to conceal the issues, processes, and confl icts implicit in its achievement, can be seen as a hegemonic strategy that serves relations of domination. Th ree sets of public exchanges analyzed here, conducted on and about Arab television against a background of growing international intolerance for free speech, arguably contributed to a narrow, reifi ed understanding of freedom of expression. Th e fi rst centered on a television drama serial, the second on cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and the third on the ambitions of a privately owned television station in Egypt. Since freedom of expression was repeatedly referred to in all three cases, it might be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication Brill

Enriching or Impoverishing Discourse on Rights? Talk about Freedom of Expression on Arab Television

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1873-9857
eISSN
1873-9865
DOI
10.1163/187398609X12584657078240
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

brill.nl/mjcc MEJCC Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 3 (2010) 101–119 © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI 10.1163/187398609X12584657078240 Enriching or Impoverishing Discourse on Rights? Talk about Freedom of Expression on Arab Television* Naomi Sakr University of Westminster Email: sakrn@wmin.ac.uk Abstract Th ere is more to the denial of freedom of expression than outright censorship. Th e right to freedom of expression is interdependent with, and indivisible from, other rights guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To discuss freedom of expression narrowly as if it were self-contained, and to conceal the issues, processes, and confl icts implicit in its achievement, can be seen as a hegemonic strategy that serves relations of domination. Th ree sets of public exchanges analyzed here, conducted on and about Arab television against a background of growing international intolerance for free speech, arguably contributed to a narrow, reifi ed understanding of freedom of expression. Th e fi rst centered on a television drama serial, the second on cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and the third on the ambitions of a privately owned television station in Egypt. Since freedom of expression was repeatedly referred to in all three cases, it might be

Journal

Middle East Journal of Culture and CommunicationBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: INCITEMENT; DEFAMATION; HUMAN RIGHTS; INTERNATIONAL LAW; INSULT; CENSORSHIP

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