The Manchester Union-Leader used to be the standard-bearer for conservatism. Not any more, based upon this editorial.
And yet, while this episode has further exposed pockets of intense intolerance and misunderstanding in the Muslim world, it also has exposed the arrogance and insensitivity of many in the West, who have forgotten simple manners. This is not just a matter of press freedom; it is a matter of common decency.
Christians and Jews know all too well what it is like to be on the receiving end of vicious, spiteful satire. Decent people protest when someone callously mocks Christianity by sinking a crucifix in urine. They protest when people spread anti-Semitism by drawing Jews as cash-obsessed misers with hooked noses. Why no protest when someone attacks Islam by drawing Mohammad with a bomb for a turban? Surely Muslims are equally deserving of consideration.
If this were September, I would agree with this editorial – there was no need to reprint the editorial cartoons then. They were merely poorly done and provocative then.
But today there is, because of the reaction to those cartoons. The threat of the Islamocensors to free speech and open discussion (and yes, that includes derision) of Islam and other religions is too great to remain silent. Five months ago, I didn’t put the cartoons on this website. I did this weekend, because the issue is now precisely one of the limits of freedom of speech. That is recognized by the European newspapers that have reprinted the cartoons.
Sadly, the importance of standing up for press freedom is being ignored by the sensitive multi-culti press in this country. And the once proud conservative newspaper now shows itself to be the Manchester Liberal-Follower.