The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

"Islam Is RIGHT About Women"

That's what flyers posted in Winchester (Massachusetts) say.


WHDH-TV, WCVB-TV, and Boston 25 News report. Legally speaking, of course the content of the speech is constitutionally protected (notwithstanding some people's attempt to label it "hate speech"). But at least some of the signs seem to be posted on city street signs, and the city is certainly entitled to prohibit such posting (and from the stories it sounds like there might be such an ordinance already), so long as it does so evenhandedly, regardless of the viewpoint of the signs. (See Members of the City Council v. Taxpayers for Vincent (1984).)

Setting aside the legal, was this politically self-defeating expression by a Muslim? (Religious people sometimes do feel driven to express their views in certain ways, even when they are politically self-defeating.) Was it put up by a critic of Islam who wanted to highlight certain traditional Muslim teachings? By a prankster who was trying to put people who are reluctant to criticize Islam, but who certainly don't support conservative Muslim teachings about women, in a tough rhetorical spot? Only the Shadow knows.

Thanks to Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) for the pointer.