The Danish cartoons


I haven't weighed in on the various Muslim violent protests at the cartoons of Muhammad printed five months ago in a Danish newspaper. Here are columns by Michael Kinsley and Charles Krauthammer, which take much the same view.

Some are surprised that they seem in agreement, but they did both once work at the New Republic. David Warren in the Ottawa Citizen reports on how the riots were systematically organized by Muslim extremists. Hugh Hewitt argues that news organizations shouldn't print or show the cartoons, on the grounds that they help the enemy in the war on terrorism. Ed Morrissey takes the view, which Kinsley and Krauthammer agree with, that it's fine to publish the cartoons and that those who don't are letting violent Muslims intimidate them. I'm inclined to agree, despite my usual inclination to refrain from writing anything gratuitously offensive. The organizers of these riots are quite willing to take liberties with the facts; they've been circulating with the cartoons printed in the Danish newspaper three pictures (one of a Frenchman at a pig-calling contest) that were not printed there at all. If the facts don't suit them, they'll make things up.

It's hard when you're used to living in a tolerant society to figure out how to respond to those who believe in intolerance. Meekly accepting their taboos just invites more aggression. The Islamofascists, as Christopher Hitchens calls them, want to destroy our freedoms, and they may well have the means to inflict grave injury on us. The only choice is to fight for what we believe in. We can try to be tactful when speaking and writing about Islam, but we can never satisfy the Islamofascists.