In 1758 Helvetius published a book (De l’esprit) that was seen as an attack on religion and morality and was condemned by the French government to be burned.
Voltaire’s support for Helvetius was summed up by the words: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
It is probably impossible not to say something that will not offend someone else somewhere on this planet. ~
However the media charade, about whether to print or not these cartoons, is based on fear not on sensitivity. The “right” to freedom of speech must surely encompass the “right” to offend – and not to die for that.
The publication of these cartoons is being used an excuse by Islamic zealots to build a divide between communities.
There is no definitive Islamic conclusion about the printing of the cartoons – that is only in the minds of the extremists.
Instead of condemning the printing of the cartoons there ought to be only voices heard in condemnation of the murders that took place. That is the ultimate offence.
Iris Dainton (Mrs)
Old Rectory, South Somercotes