I’m a pragmatist at heart, but where it comes to free speech, I don’t believe in yielding one iota to censorship. I agree with Perry de Havilland (via M. Simon) that the following approach stinks:

The editor of the Independent has said “every instinct” told him to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons caricaturing the prophet Muhammad but described it as “too much of a risk”. The newspaper, along with the rest of the UK’s national press, did not reprint any of the satirical magazine’s caricatures of Muhammad or the cartoons from Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, with which Charlie Hebdo first provoked international outrage in 2006.

Rajan instead put a striking cartoon by Dave Brown on his paper’s front page on Thursday, showing a hand with the middle finger raised emerging from the cover of Charlie Hebdo. But he was “very uncomfortable” with his decision not to reprint Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, which he described as “self-censorship”.

Rajan said he had a duty to his staff and had to “balance principle with pragmatism”.

He is wrong. The brave people who were murdered in France yesterday are more alive than the journalists who are willing to live in fear and bow to their censors.

hebdo_mohammed

If free speech is not worth dying for, then what is?

NOTE: For those who do not understand French, the above translates as:

100 lashes if you are not dying of laughter!