Terrorist-Extremist Speech and Hate Speech: Understanding the Similarities and Differences

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (3):607-622 (2019)
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Abstract

The terms ‘hate’ and ‘hatred’ are increasingly used to describe the rationale of a kind of anti-Western terrorist-extremist speech. This discursively links this kind of terrorist-extremist speech with the well-known concept of ‘hate speech’, a link that suggests the two phenomena are more alike than they are unlike. In this article I interrogate the similarities and differences between anti-Western terrorist-extremist speech and hate speech as they manifest in Western liberal democratic states along two axes: to whom the speech is addressed, and how harm is occasioned. Relying on a combination of philosophical conceptions and public policy empirics, I demonstrate that there are significant differences between the two types of speech, especially in their mechanisms of harm. The implications of this analysis are that these differences should be better understood in order to respond appropriately to these two distinct types of harmful speech.

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References found in this work

Speech acts and unspeakable acts.Rae Langton - 1993 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (4):293-330.
Silencing speech.Ishani Maitra - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (2):pp. 309-338.
Beyond Belief: Pragmatics in Hate Speech and Pornography1.Rae Langton - 2012 - In Ishani Maitra & Mary Kate McGowan (eds.), Speech and Harm: Controversies Over Free Speech. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 72.

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