As usual, The Economist has one of the most well-reasoned responses to an issue inflaming certain parts of the world.
Freedom of expression, including the freedom to poke fun at religion, is not just a hard-won human right but the defining freedom of liberal societies. When such a freedom comes under threat of violence, the job of governments should be to defend it without reservation. To their credit, many politicians in continental Europe have done just that. France’s interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, said rather magnificently that he preferred “an excess of caricature to an excess of censorship”—though President Jacques Chirac later spoiled the effect by condemning the cartoons as a “manifest provocation”.
We live in a world where certain parties want us to think exclusively as they think – or be destroyed for resisting. That leaders of liberal democracies would succumb to placating these parties creates a greater sense of concern in me, than all the shouts, signs and bulged-eyed interviews with the spokesmen of hate.