This essay examines the relationship between hateful speech and its potential and realized harmful effects socially and politically vulnerable groups, particularly Muslims, in a democratic society. I critically evaluate the assumption that free speech is an absolute value of secularism and the corresponding definition of Muslims as religious “others” in European and American democratic culture. Instead of arguing strictly for the legal regulation of hateful speech, however, I contend that the cultivation of civic virtues—specifically charity and solidarity—may counteract the harmful effects of such speech, and can lend moral justification for the right of free speech.
How to Cite:
Dunn, S., 2013. Islamophobia, Hateful Speech, and the Need to Practice Democratic Virtues. Journal of Hate Studies, 11(1), pp.29–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33972/jhs.90