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condemning cartoons and censorship

Reader comment on item: The Clash to End All Clashes?

Submitted by John Edward Philips (Japan), Feb 11, 2006 at 01:39

It ought certainly to be possible to condemn both the cartoons and the attempt to censor them. When Nazis sought to march in Skokie, Illinois, a town with many Holocaust survivors living it it, the ACLU and many others defended their right to do so. I don't recall anyone accusing the ACLU of being Nazi sympathizers.

One problem here is that many in the Middle East cannot even imagine a free press. In their experience all publications are allowed by the government, and most are directly government controlled. They assume that these cartoons are approved by western governments in a deliberate attempt to insult Muslims.

That said, there is a wider issue: If Muslims claim that they have the right to do as they wish, including imposing stricter and less traditional forms of Shari'a law even to Christians in their countries, they should realize that they cannot then seek to impose their press standards on Western countries.

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