Thirty years after the “Satanic Verses” controversy, the transnational threat to freedom of speech and the press is more acute than ever. The recent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – likely orchestrated by Saudi Arabia – is a case in point. So far, the pressure has been on Washington to punish Saudi Arabia, but Justin Dell argues that this issue is too combustable to be left to bilateral relations. What is needed is a broader multilateral approach, first to holding Saudi Arabia responsible for Khashoggi’s murder, and then to uphold the universal values of freedom of speech and expression. Only then can some kind of justice be obtained without risking the further destabilization of the Middle East.
Buzz Lanthier-Rogers explores the problem facing both Malaysia and the world at large: whether to accept the perceived danger of freedom of expression, or the safety of censorship.