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tv   Third Rail  Al Jazeera  October 17, 2015 8:00am-8:31am EDT

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>> madam president, thank you so much for talking to al jazeera. >> thank you. practice. it's time to get real about which values we share with saudi arabia. i'm ali velshi, this is "third rail". too many times in recent years we have seen people willing to kill anyone who writes or draws something that offends their dinest beliefs. one of the worst examples, riots in 2006, that were triggered by a danish newspaper's publishing cartoons of the prophet
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muhammad. beyond the cot esque response, there are more -- grotesque response more criticize free expression as a tool in the hands of the privilege who use words to mock and control minorities. >> words are weapons. there is no easy and absolute way out. we have to decide when, where and how we will limit speech. do we use free speech to instalment a marginalized people or use it to advance and enhance a desperately needed discourse peen people living in an interconnected world. >> that sounds smart and tensive. free speech means different things in different companies. in the west nations limit free speech. some insist it should be absolute, with no limits at all. >> who will you able to. who will be the one to say i know where the limits will be. how far you should go and when you have gone too far.
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>> joining us is fleming rose, the culture editor when it published the cartoons of the prophet muhammad. was nominate for the peace prize and author of an book published in english. flem ing, good to see you. >> thank you for having me. >> it's a story that went broader than the protests, you spoke to people who have been victimized by those that don't share your view on free speech. one of the people you mentioned early on was salman rushdie, and you left me with the impression, given how early you bring him up in the book, that limiting speech sends you down a slippery slope. once you decided that you are not free to say what you want to say. it's a matter of how unfree you are. but i - you refer to the united states a lot as a sort of an ideal.
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almost a gold standard. >> i'm a little more critical these days of the united states. >> we have limitations. >> we go in europe, as well. i don't believe in unlimited free speech. i think that incitement to violence. people should not be allowed to go out and say go out and kill the muslims or whatever it is. and i'm in favour of a few other limitations, but the trend is that people are playing the offense card in order to shut speech they don't like. that is a slippery slope. >> when you say you are more critical than when you first published the book, what troubles you. >> it's not so much speech regulation, but the social control of speech. i believe that the united states has the best possible protection of free speech in the world. it's just the people are not
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always pushing, you know, the limits of speech. because of social pressure there is a lot of things. >> there's a lot people don't say out of fear what might happen to them. not in terms of law, but in terms of community. >> you are critical of europe in your book. when someone says something offensive, you say perhaps we should be sent to insensitive provocative. >> there's a sense of irony in that comment, but it's a way of saying that people too easily take very - you can exercise social card. >> is to my right to be
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offended, to say what you want to the equal. >> you have a right to say, you don't have a right to shut other people's speech down by playing the offense card. you can count on it saying "i think you are stupid. i think it's offensive what you are saying. you are not trying to ban it or use violence to shut it down. that is what tolerance is in a liberal democracy. >> one of the reasons you use in defense of cartoons, you said that in denmark, where you come from, there's a rich history of satire, that it was the welcome wagon, you are part of the party now, it's a weird william wagon. >> there's a bit of irony in that way of phrasing it. you can say in a way publishing those cartoons was a way of integrating muslims into the traditional satire. the point is mus lines should
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not accept more, they should not accept less, but willing to accept the same, that every other group in our society. in that lies a kind of recognition that you are part of the family, you are here to say we do not free you as foreigners, outsiders, but we treat you as every other society. >> let's go back to your idea that you are not as worried about legal limitations on free speech. you agree to some on obscenity and child pornography. >> you are talking about the cultural phenomenon, i call it self sensor ship. there are good societal reasons to be polite. for you and i to have a polite conversation about this, regardless of whether they agree with each other. we can achieve a bit. what is the benefit societally of provocation. well, i don't know, but the point here is that i agree with
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you, you know, i try to talk in a polite way to you. and i like it when people talk to me in a polite way. when a society is growing more and more diverse, you will have people - people with different believes, deeply held beliefs that will clash. one man's hate speech is another man's but it is sacred for one man is blasphemy for another. in order for society to give space to this increasing diversity of ethnicity, religion and culture, you need more speech, you need more freedom of expression, not less. >> but if you take provocation, i mean, throughout history, provocations have played, you know, a positive role, but also role. >> what if you have the right to the free speech, as you did in denmark when you published the
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cartoons, but the net result is that some lost their lives, who may not have lost their lives if not provoked by the cartoons. i understand that you don't believe the provocation issing it you should be claimed for. if people behave in an unacceptable way and use violence, that's notour problem. what did provocation get you. it didn't change laws in denmark, which is liberal about speech. >> i think, in fact, we were in for this clash somehow sooner or later. if you look at the cartoon crisis, i think it has promoted cross-cultural, cross religious dialogue in denmark. the koran was a best seller in denmark, and even though we had court cases, we were taken to court by muslim communities and
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acquitted in all cases, and one of the leaders after one of the court cases say i thought this was a csh offense with denmark. it's now not the case. >> ut didn't change laws. didn't those 200 have a right not to be murdered. >> if you take the people killed, the vast majority were killed in nigeria, and they were christians and muslims had been killing one another before the khartoum crisis and continued after the khartoum crisis. i think, in fact, the number of victims were limited. but if you look at the places where people are killed, there's an interesting thing, all the victims were in places where you do not have freedom of expression. it was in contrast to where you did not have the right. >> won't people change their mind because fleming rose wrote a book.
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i hear you. it would be a great place where the world is as tolerant as you are. >> let's look at people in this world who certainly don't take an approach of freedom of speech or proof religion, let's take i.s.i.l. what is the end game. do you think if you do enough interviews and write enough books, one day i.s.i.l. will say "wow, we've been wrong all along", there's still someone that will find it unacceptable. what is the end game? >> the cartoons were published in a danish context. one of the things that i learnt throughout this crisis and debate is we are living in a globalized world. information travels due to digital technology, and we have migrations, so our societies are more and more diverse. because of this global, you
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know, public space, we have a struggle going on about the limits. you can put it the other way, should we in denmark bring our laws in accordance with saudi arabia, because they won't like what is published in a danish newspaper. you have this debate going on. i think i - you know, i do not intend to convince i.s.i.s. that it is a good thing to publish cartoons of the prophet muhammad, but i think that there may be muslims within muslim communities, individuals, and most important minority in the ordinarily is an individual who would like to practice faith in another way and don't feel offended by cartoons, women who would like to make their own choices about spouses, education, gay people who would like to live a normal life, even
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inside communities where it's perceived as a deviant behaviour, and so on and so forth. for them, this debate is important. that we protect the rite of the individual, and not the group. >> thank you for taking the time to talk to us about this "third rail" is next. >> i don't think anything that edward snowden said after he left the united states soil can be absolutely corroborated. >> you know how well the russians treat them. we do. i suspect they got something. >> maybe you suspect. but we don't know. and you don't either.
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welcome back to "third rail", we'll move from free speech to what is a high price to pay for equality. california's quality aims to bring into law a gender pay gap deal. is it better in theory than justice. >> the californian fair pay act requires women to be paid a similar amount. >> it will create problems. >> until you have a way to paper. >> let's bring in john fund, a columnist for the national review, and editor for spectator. faisal patel, from the national security programme at n.y.u.'s brennan center. the idea here is that the law would say if there's a female checkout clerk at a wal-mart in sacramento, and she finds a male checkout clerk at wal-mart. she can petition the company to pay her, because it's
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substantially the same work. what do you think? >> it's a good idea. there has been a persistent gender gap in wages. a reason for that is that it's very - a very strict standard for showing that someone is doing the same job, which is difficult to do. who does exactly the same job,less you are talking about an assembly line situation. the other peace of the bill, that cunt get as much attention is pt transparency piece. the bill makes is clear that you can get information about what others are earning in the work place, making it possible. lifting the veil of secrecy so employers are happy. >> generally i'm for transparency. there is privacy consideration as well. where does transform personsy
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end and privacy begin. >> as for the issue of pay equity, i'm a former staffer, i know how the bill was put together because a bunch of hollywood actresses felt they were underpaid. they complained. it will affect everyone. i wish the government would start in its own glasshouse. a study came out in the "new york times", there's a pay gap. there's a pay gap in jerry brown's office. >> this is serious. government has the right to prevent employees from suing them over pay caps with sovereign immunity. let's have the government start. then we can talk about that. >> let's fast ford and assume which did, should it be right for wal-mart.
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>> after the government does it in their own camp. >> that feels like a cop out. >> there's a difference. >> we'll have that conversation another time. is there a fear that if this law works out, californian countries state. >> a lot of it will depend on how courts interpret the law. how much flexibility it puts into the law or whether they stay narrow. of course, they are going to get the idea, the idea behind the law. they'll not go off the reservation comparing apples and arranges. but there are reasons to pay people differently.
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>> that's the concern. different. >> one of the reasons is the number of hours you work. women, conventionally tend to work fewer hours than men. if you look at people working 40 hours a week. women earn 88% of what men earn. less - it's not a yawning gap. look at people that work between 30 and 35 hours a week. so this is an extremely complex subject. and i'm for pay equity. i don't know whether or not the government is capable of fine-tuning this to the point where it can micromanage all businesses in the state. >> you would agree in 2015, there's no reason for a gap. substantially the same work performed by people with the same skill set, experience working the same number of hours. >> i don't think it's practical. >> do you think it's fair? >> i worked for 15 different employers.
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if i sat and worked out what i did. if i did the salary, which would be ticked off... >> the distinction between fair and practical. it's not practical i grow a full head of hair. it's not fair that i don't look like brad pit either. >> but you have to live with it. >> i was fishing for a compliment here. things like seniority, education, experience, training - it makes he wonder - is it practical. is it something that can be done. >> that's what we'll see. this is a great idea. it's an idea and a law, and a lot of the impact of the law is sorted out in implementation. we'll see how companies react, and how courts react. and this will be tested in court. it will be a few years before we are able to say yes, it worked or no, it didn't. >> edward snowden is making a concession in an attempt to come home from russia, should america take him up on the offer. >> edward snowden said he
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offered to serve prison time as part of a plea deal. >> if it means he can get back to the united states. >> he paid a high price. >> this is a guy that admitted me broke the law in an extravagant way. >> he made his bed, now he has to live in it. >> this guy has a lot of information, he does not want to, for various reasons, stand trial in the united states, but is saying if you cut me a deal, i'll come back, just to get him off the raider, if the u.s. government wants him not to sing like a bird, shouldn't they give him a deal. >> i think there were some things edward snowden uncovered that was worthwhile. on the other hand, i think he did if in an unorthodox way - talking to the chinese and russians was not friendly. i said civil disobedience is a long tradition. daniel ellsberg today his ground. now instead says he'll serve
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prison time. i wish he would have thought that when he released the documents and we could have had that conversation. the real problem with his moral culpability is not what he released, but what he may have russians. >> there's no evidence that he chinese. >> how do you know? >> nothing has come up. whether you or i speculate... >> if you know how well the russians treated him. we do. i suspect they got something. >> maybe you suspect it. as much as i don't know, you don't either. >> it's up to him to prove he doesn't give them anything. >> what we know is... he's a reliable witness. he told us. >> not about what he told them. i don't see how anyone would be in the united states, facing the kind of penalties we have under the espionage act.
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it was point to be used against pies and those that betrayed the company and used against whistleblowers who have been persecute over the last decade and a half. >> the distinction so the viewers know is under the espionage act, you cannot use the whistleblower defense. >> there is none. >> it weakens his ability to come back here and follow this agreed tradition of civil disobedience. moscow. >> he was transiting through to go to south america when they revoked his passport. misstatement. >> the stories he tells and the reality is two different things. i don't think anything that edward snowden says that after he left the united states soil can be corroborated. his his version of reality and the russians, he could trns it
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to other countries, i know one country willing to take him. the russians would have flown him there. >> he said he has given all the information away, he doesn't have access to any of the information. >> fundamentally it's an unreliable witness. >> whether you agree or not, the u.s. has an opportunity to do something. if they give him a deal, he indicated that he kupt want a long prison sentence. >> petraeus got no. >> sentence. >> i think portraying petraeuses matter and mod edward snowden - they were not the same thing. >> pet ray as gave his lover his notewok. -- notebook. >> deal or no deal for edward snowden.
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>> the situation is so murky, we don't know what he told the russians, we don't know enough to accept a deal. >> i say bring him back and pardon him. >> thank you both for joining us. >> ahead - saudi arabia and the united states have been allies for decades. values couldn't be more different. final thoughts next.
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before we go i want to share a final thought. i'm a big believer with the u.s. engaging with countries like china and iran, who don't share democratic values, but are major players in the world. when we sign deals, neither boasts about the values they share.
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business and diplomacy get down because they are important to both sides, no one is getting married or pretending they have a lot in common besides business or diplomacy. i'd like to see the same honesty when it comes to u.s. relations with saudi arabia. it's not quite so bad from the u.s. side. look at the fact sheet from saudi arabia, and you find common concerns, strong partner, but nothing about shared values. last week i interviewed the saudi arabia ambassador to the united nations, and he insisted the u.s. and the saudi arabia kingdom do share values, like - this is a quote - human rights, dignity, freedom of individuals and so forth. i challenged him. human rights from a country sentencing human processes to death and human rights blogger to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. dignity from a country. even to enter a public hospital
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unless a male guardian gives his approval. saudi arabia women have been granted the right to vote. but i don't think big decisions in saudi arabia life are decided at the municipal level. america's shared values with saudi arabia are not values, unless gaol and trade are values. they are the biggest triading partner in the middle east. closer to 39 billion in saudi arabia imports coming to the united states in 2013. nearly all of those imports are, of course, oil. the same observe let's be frank relations with saudi arabia that the u.s. has with china and
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afghanistan's future grows increasingly uncertain, as years of foreign aid and intervention come to an end. in the jostling for money and power, competing forces are fighting for the wealth buried deep in the hindu kush mountains. that wealth is precious rubies, which fetch a handsome sum, especially when smuggled across the border. i'm steve chow. on this edition of 101 east, we look at the lives of afghan ruby miners who are risking it all chasing crystal dreams.


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