Welcome to the West
Don’t like freedom of the press? Don’t like freedom of expression? Can’t stand a little blasphemy now and then? Then, well, gee—I hate to sound all xenophobic and shit, but, like, um, get the fuck out of the West then. Freedom of expression—including expression that this Pope, that Mullah, or the other Rabbi might find blasphemous—is part of the price of admission. It’s right up there with having to see women voting and driving themselves around in cars, homosexuals kissing each other, and places of worship where people are praying to some other brand of deity.
In case you’re just tuning in, a newspaper in Denmark printed a full-page comic that made fun of Islam and the Mohammad. Individuals Muslims and Islamic states all over the world are—can you guess?—outraged. They’re boycotting Danish products, burning Danish flags in the streets, and—can you guess?—issuing death threats. The editors of other newspapers in Europe, rightly concerned for their hard-won freedom to publish whatever they wish, have been re-printing the comic in solidarity with the beleaguered Danish paper.
And, again, I hate to sound xenophobic, but I’d rather sound xenophobic than go all wobbly on freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and the freedom to offend.