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How productive is the publication of an insulting cartoon?

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism

Submitted by Bob Kopstein (Canada), Feb 8, 2006 at 21:53

Given that freedom of expression is the most important of rights and must be protected vigorously, and given that surrendering our right because of intimidation by Islamic radicals amounts to the abandonment of that right, the publication of the cartoon inflames and unifies even those who might not, otherwise, have been radical. If radical Islam is the enemy, as I believe it is, than means have to be found to hit radical Islam where it really hurts them, not means that merely inflame its passions. That strengthens radical Islam, and adds to its number those who might, otherwise, not have been radical. Sure, the Danes have the right to publish what they want, as does the NY Sun. But what does that do, beyond making us feel good, to weaken or defeat the enemy.

I believe that the publication of such cartoons strengthens the enemy. I do not advocate limiting freedom of speech. I do advocate discretion in exercising it.

Bob Kopstein

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