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The Telegraph reports that the EU may not have the stomach to stand up for free speech, despite the best efforts of several newspapers on the Continent. Ironically, the EU commissioner for justice, freedom, and security wants European news organizations to adopt a voluntary pledge of censorship to send a message of sensitivity to Muslim concerns:
Franco Frattini, the European Union commissioner for justice, freedom and security, revealed the idea for a code of conduct in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. Mr Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister, said the EU faced the "very real problem" of trying to reconcile "two fundamental freedoms, the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion".
Millions of European Muslims felt "humiliated" by the publication of cartoons of Mohammed, he added, calling on journalists and media chiefs to accept that "the exercising of a right is always the assumption of a responsibility". He appealed to European media to agree to "self-regulate".
Accepting such self-regulation would send an important political message to the Muslim world, Mr Frattini said.
Yes, it would indeed send an important political message to the Muslim world. That message would be "we surrender".
The papers can certainly be criticized for their editorial decisions. That is also an expression of free speech. However, demanding that European newspapers adopt some parallel to a Hays Code because Muslims cannot abide criticism without generating murderous mobs around the world only encourages more pressure later for further concessions to their sensitivities. One should expect more from a Western commissioner supposedly dedicated to justice, freedom, and security.Sphere It View blog reactions
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