In the wake of the recent shooting of the comedy writers of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in France, news stations across the globe are caught in an ethical conflict. Is it wise to post the satirical cartoons drawn by these artists, or will the offending of millions of peaceful Muslims invite more problems and bring greater controversy?
Free speech is the most fundamental issue in this conflict. The Islamic terrorists were not simply defending the name of their prophet and religion, they were attempting to snuff out the inalienable rights of individuals to their freedom of expression. Jihadist terrorists will react violently when offended, and by hiding the satirical images from the American public, news stations are simply catering to the very groups that want to destroy individual rights.
A question comes to my mind whenever I hear the vehement pleas not to offend the militant faction of Islam: why should the most dangerous and infantile members of a society be allowed the privilege to dictate the expression of the individual? Why are terrorists granted the sole luxury of not getting their feelings hurt? As Americans who respect the First Amendment and the Declaration of Independence, we should not bow down to the childish biddings of militant fascist sects.
Of course, the violent Muslims are not the only ones who will be offended by the posting of these cartoons. But the principle which is much more important than the feelings of certain members of a society, is freedom to express extremely offensive and controversial opinions. This freedom is innate within every individual on earth, and these distasteful cartoons are a symbol of resistance to the brutal destruction of our rights. These pictures must be published. They will be published. And they will be distributed worldwide. We, as individuals, must not back down to the enemies of our liberties.