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Behzti Doesn't Violate Human Rights


The Independent, Dec. 23, 2004

Photo: Behzti (Dishonor)

Sir: You feature two letters (22 December) from people who didn't like your publication of the extract from Behzti. One called it 'seriously offensive.'

What these and other objectors to the play are missing is the deeply serious point that the list of inalienable human rights to which we should all cleave, and for which some people must occasionally be prepared to die, emphatically does not include the right not to be offended. We are all offended, all the time, by all sorts of actions, representations, behaviours and opinions. It is in the very nature of a free and tolerant society that this should be so.

We may not like being offended, and we may say so, but we have no right to use force, threats, diplomacy, financial clout or political power to protect ourselves against it.