Cartoon by Bosch Fawstin
French publisher Charlie Hebdo has published nude cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, prompting the Muslim Brotherhood to call for further restrictions on freedom of speech. In response, French authorities are not arresting him (in contrast to the former land of the free, where the videographer whose short and flaccid film became the pretext for murders, burnings and attacks on western embassies right across the Middle East was “escorted to a police station for FBI questioning”); they’re not calling for an end to free speech (like one trial balloon in the LA Times writer has) ; instead they are “temporarily shutting down premises including embassies and schools in 20 countries on Friday, when protests sometimes break out after Muslim prayers.”
The cartoons themselves (a few above; all of them here) are not in the league of work by the likes of, say, Bosch Fawstin, whose cartoon appears at the head of the post. But they’re humorous, and intentionally offensive, like all the publisher’s work, and he should be perfectly free to publish them.
That’s free speech. That’s his right.
But that’s a problem, you say?
No, it’s not.
The problem is not American speech—or French speech—or Dutch speech—the problem is Islamist acts of war.
That’s the problem right there, and it won’t go away by staying quiet.
How to survive Muslim rage? Better still, how to end it? Ayaan Hirsi Ali has some thoughts—among the uppermost being NOT to bend over backward to avoid further offense. And certainly not to further empower “the Islamic ideology of jihad, the predominant ideology in the Muslim world today.”