by Len Lear

After the murder last week of the French cartoonists and other equally innocent people by the crazed Islamist terrorists, a freelance writer I have known for 30 years and who has written articles for the Local sent me an unsolicited email. He stated that the murders were certainly heinous, “but you can’t ignore that arrogant editor who just had to push it … Portraying someone else’s religious icons in a nasty way serves no other purpose than to needlessly stir up hard feelings.”

Subsequently, I heard comments from others to the effect that the murdered cartoonists, while tragic figures, essentially brought this tragedy upon themselves by drawing offensive depictions of Muhammad.

I would argue, however, that if we are going to practice what we (in the west) preach about freedom of speech, press, assembly, etc., then from time to time there are always going to be people who overdo it, like people who call cops “pigs” or burn flags. But if we only have “safe” speech that does not offend anyone, then there is no need for a First Amendment.

As several Supreme Court Justices have said, we have to protect speech that is uncomfortable, unorthodox, even obnoxious and offensive to us. Otherwise, we might as well live in a country where everyone is forced to think alike, like most countries in the Middle East. In France, as in the U.S., people who are offended by an article, cartoon, etc., are free to write angry letters, put angry replies on the internet, organize boycotts, picket lines, etc. But NOT murder people. Furthermore, giving up our own freedoms to appease the killers would be an act of insanity and would hardly appease them anyway.

Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, spokesman of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, has said on their website: “If you can kill an unbeliever, whether American or European, especially the dirty and wicked French people, or an Australian or a Canadian or a citizen from a country that entered the anti-Islamic State coalition, then trust Allah and kill him in any manner.” This is the kind of Nazism we are supposed to make concessions to?

Did the 3,000-plus people who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11 insult anyone’s religion? Did the four hostages who were murdered in the kosher supermarket outside Paris by an accomplice of the terrorists insult anyone’s religion?

These psychopathic degenerates do not need much of a reason to commit murder. According to foreign correspondents who have been in the ISIS-controlled regions of southern Syria and northern Iraq, the evil beasts are murdering people for the “crime” of being Christians; they are murdering women for the “crime” of allegedly engaging in sexual relations, and they are throwing men off the roofs of buildings for the “crime” of being suspected homosexuals.

So if cartoonists censor themselves and stop offending all that these barbarians hold near and dear, do you really think they will then realize the error of their ways, that they will stop murdering innocent people and instead go to college, get jobs in banking , raise middle class, law-abiding families and preach tolerance for all beliefs?

I don’t think so. The Crusades have been going on for more than a thousand years, long before there was such a thing as political cartoons. These terrorists will always invent a reason to murder innocent people, so let’s stop assigning any blame to the victims and put it all where it belongs — on the sub-humans who will never hesitate to murder anyone who does not think exactly the same way their demented minds do.

  • Cara Lopez

    Well said.

    But bear in mind that opponents to free speech may come from any direction – foes of so-called “hate speech” are just as dangerous to our First Amendment freedom as any National Socialist book-burner ever was.

    That academics who so openly limit free speech on their campus now proclaim “je suis Charlie” is more than ironic.
    Campus speech codes are profoundly un-American, and should be resisted by anyone who values their personal liberty.

    We must protect the rights of everyone to offend, and that literally means *everyone*.
    The risk of discomfort is the price of freedom.