The Director for International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation is criticial of internet giant Google’s “paternalism” for blocking the film in certain regions. She says :”I have watched it and I understand why it is offensive to Muslims but I don’t think it should be banned anywhere.
“It is an offensive film made solely for the purpose of riling Muslims but we need to realise that we are living in a plural society and we can’t treat one group differently from another. We need to learn to live with one another and we need to learn to live with one another’s provocations aswell.”
In a wide-ranging interview, which includes discussions on the impact of the internet on democracy and media freedom among other issues, York also expresses her fears about western government “meddling” in the post-Arab Spring Middle East and North African Region, calling instead for a bolstering of the young people’s aspirations through “stronger education and internet access.”
Event: Follow the Council of Europe’s World Forum for Democracy (5-11 October) on the web, Facebook and Twitter #CoE_WFD
On post-Arab Spring developments, York says: “By and large, the human side of the story is still a positive one. individuals across the region feel more empowered to raise their voices than they did before. For every disappointing and heartbreaking story, we have a positive one.”
Some 100 nations are expected to be represented at the World Forum for Democracy, hosted by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, which opens on 5 October. It will bring together government officials, business leaders, civil society activists and bloggers for debates and discussions on key global challenges.
Jillian York, who writes regularly for a variety of publications, including Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg, will be a part of a 9 October panel discussing media responsibility, moderated by International Herald Tribune journalist Melissa Eddy.
The international panel discussion on media and democracy is aslo scheduled to feature Moez Masoud (Egypt), Eynullah Fatullayev (Azerbaijan), Ksenia Sobchak and Alexei Venediktov (Russia), Kadri Gürsel (Turkey) and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner from Yemen Tawakkol Karman.
Podcast: World Forum For Democracy
Information: Strasbourg World Forum For Democracy
Social Media : Follow the Council of Europe for regular updates on the World Forum for Democracy (#CoE_WFD)
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