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The widespread condemnation of the “death by hanging for hate speech” bill being pushed by the Senate is nothing short of deliberate ignorance and willful mischief.
For if love speech is good, it simply means hate speech is bad. Isn’t that clear enough except to the illiterates? Even a simple visit to Google will clarify “hate speech” beyond doubt. Wouldn’t it? So, why would the literate and enlightened people among us not consult Google if in doubt and then educate the illiterates and unenlightened appropriately?
For a fact, we often pride ourselves as “deeply religious” people and we are inundated with love speeches by our clerics in the mosques on Fridays and in the churches on Sundays. So, why leave those religious places and then start to make hate speeches to ourselves with scant consideration for the implication?
For the avoidance of doubt, hate speech is bad and must be avoided by all means and at all cost. Hate speech brought Rwanda to rubble and that country could well have been wiped off the world map had the world not rallied it in good time. Despite the rallying, the Rwandese still have very deep scars to show to the world, some 23 years after the hate speech-induced madness.
Would we rather stick to our “deeply religious” life wherein we must show love even to those who don’t love us or pretend as if we love one another when we don’t? It is entirely up to us.
Contributor: Afolabi Gambari is a Nigerian journalist with more than two decades of working experience in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. He has written articles for local and foreign newspapers as well as being commentator on the society of environment.