…. But there are also other obligations to be laid upon those who wish to live in peaceful, reasonably harmonious societies. Even after Paris, even after Denmark, we must guard against the understandable temptation to be provocative in the publication of these cartoons if the sole objective is to establish that we can do so. With rights to free speech come responsibilities.
That seems to me the moral approach, but there is a practical issue here too. There is no negotiating with men with guns. If progress is to come, it will be via dialogue with the millions of faithful Muslims who would never think to murder but also abhor publication of these cartoons.
We cannot have that conversation in a time and spirit of provocation. And to have it would not be an act of weakness. The strong approach is not necessarily to do what is possible, but to do what is right. [Hugh Muir, 2,321 comments]
[TOP RATED COMMENT 510 votes]Already we have useful idiots questioning whether it is ‘helpful’ or ‘necessary’ to depict images of Mohammed.
It starts with self-censorship regarding so-called ‘blasphemy’. Then we stop feeding school children pork in case it causes offence under the pretext that it is too costly to make separate provisions for those who find pork ‘offensive’.
Soon we’ll be telling people not to consume alcohol in public, or dress ‘appropriately’ – so as to not cause offence, natch….
Thus we slowly appease and accept the Islamists agenda.
We need to make a stand for our hard and long-earn freedoms and liberties and state that those who do not accept our society are free to go elsewhere.
[ANOTHER 470] Hughie, hughie what another masterclass in sophistry. Even though you are mixed race and born in Britain, your hatred for the west is so much you can write over 500 words of hand wringing.
To do the right thing, is to say out loud that: Islam is the problem. They need to reform asap and people like you need to stop screaming racism/Islamphobia.
[ANOTHER 356] …. We do need a dialogue with mainstream Muslims but we also need to be brutally honest about the reason for these atrocities. Until we can say “Islam” and “has a problem” in the same sentence without being criticised as racists or bigots, then our heads will be well and firmly in the sand.
[ANOTHER 348] I am so sick of those who pretend to be liberals saying they are pro free speech, but……
If this idiocy hadn’t been encouraged in 1989 by allowing islamofacists to riot and incite the murder of an author, we wouldn’t be trying to put the genie back in the bottle now.
[ANOTHER 311] Hugh and his like are Cultural Marxists ,Islam will forever be seen as the victim and as such free of blame and responsibility. This attitude is naïve and dangerous. [Guardian Cif] Read more