Walter Olson, senior fellow with the Cato Institute, opines on the real danger in the aftermath of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo. After the solidarity, the grief, the outrage pass, will there be an outpouring of advice on the safer course to take? The course of silence?
Journalist Josh Barro wrote, “Islamists have by and large succeeded in intimidating western media out of publishing images of Muhammad,” And as Mr. Olson notes, “The French government repeatedly pressured Charlie Hebdo not to go so far in giving offense.” The Jacques Chirac government perhaps even encouraged, or at least stood by, a court action aiming to fine the magazine for offending some Muslims.
Words like “insensitive,” “dispresectful” and “hate speech” have no place in a society that cherishes freedom of speech. A way to honor those killed at Charlie Hebdo is to lift legal constraints on what a free press can draw and write. Read more here from Mr. Olson.