How should the West react to violent outrage over negative depictions of Islam? In general, the responses from Western governments have combined condemnations of violence with expressions of sympathy for Islamists and understanding of their sensitivity. It is time to put an end to excuses, writes Jacob Mchangama of the Freedom Rights Project in National Review Online.
The question of how to handle fundamentalist rage has preoccupied Western governments since Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa calling for the killing of Salman Rushdie in 1989. The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten’s publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed in 2005 reignited the issue, and the recent anti-American riots in Muslim-majority countries are but the latest example of this recurring phenomenon.
In many cases, governments have distanced themselves from, or outright condemned, those who have crossed the invisible lines that spark protests by people who often have not read or seen the putatively offensive material. It is time to put an end to the excuses. Read the entire piece here.