Read this where the sometimes reliable Ann Althouse misses the Freedom of Speech issue in favor of the "lets all sing kumbaya" approach:
I have endless contempt for the threats/warnings against various cartoonists who draw Muhammad (or a man in a bear suit who might be Muhammad, but is actually Santa Claus).
You have contempt for fascism. Good. That is something I suppose:
But depictions of Muhammad offend millions of Muslims who are no part of the violent threats.
So I should countenance censorship as a result? I'm sorry there are things in the world that upset sensitive Muslim types, but tough titty. Welcome to the real world. How many nice, kind, practicing Catholics have been offended by the anti-Catholic zeal of the MSM over the last 20 years? The answer, of course, is untold millions. But no one is suggesting we should censor anyone to defend Catholic sensibilities. You know why? Because, Catholics are not going out and murdering those who they dislike. Some Muslims are doing exactly that, and the vast majority of Muslim do nothing to stop it.
And get Ann's attempt at "logic" on this point:
In pushing back some people, you also hurt a lot of people who aren't doing anything (other than protecting their own interests by declining to pressure the extremists who are hurting the reputation of their religion).
How is allowing extremists to define what their faith is an example of anyone "protecting their own interests"? It would be just as consistent to look at these silent Muslims and believe they actually support the goals of the extremists but they are simply too cowardly to do anything about it themselves. But Ann believes it is better to NOT chastise them for looking on silently while other murder in their name than to expose them to cartoons of the "prophet."
I don't like the in-your-face message that we don't care about what other people hold sacred. Back in the days of the "Piss Christ" controversy, I wouldn't have supported an "Everybody Dunk a Crucifix in a Jar of Urine Day" to protest censorship.
What a stupid example. For starters, "Piss Christ" wasn't censored. It was produced using taxpayers money in the first place. Also, no one was murdered over their promotion of it. "Piss Christ" was shown on every news network, was depicted in every newspaper, hell, I bet it even made its way into school textbooks. Funny how that was deemed acceptable while depiction of the "prophet" is deemed beyond the pale. Althouse would have you believe that difference has nothing to do with the violence that always seems to attend the Muslim response to people they do not like. That is simple nonsense, and Althouse knows it:
At the same time, real artists like the "South Park" guys or (maybe) Andre Serrano should go on with their work, using shock to the extent that they see fit.
WHAT SHOCK?!?!?!?!? The "prophet" was not even shown because the network censored their work! It says something that the mere possibility of something is now taken as proof of its existence. (It's just like Obama's supposed "moderateness"!)
I'm sorry, but respect is a two-way street. If Muslims would like to have their beliefs respected THEY can start by respecting Freedom of Expression, including the freedom of those you do not like. However, Islam has a big problem with anything and anyone considered "the other." For too many Muslims, anyone outside of the ummah deserves and gets no respect. And that is ultimately the point here. This isn't about artistic expression or the feelings of innocent people who probably wish the whole controversy would just go away. It is about the sphere of freedom for all citizens in a free society. The threat to that sphere does not just come from those who threaten violence, but it also comes from those who would throw away freedom in the name of "civility."