Editorial: "Drawing the Line on Religious Cartoons"

February 7, 2006

Source: The Miami Herald


On February 7, 2006 The Miami Herald ran an editorial that commented, "The rioting that has erupted across the Middle East in reaction to caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed published in Europe is a predictable if overwrought reaction to what now seems like a calculated offense against Islam. We support the right of editors to decide what to publish in their publications. But editors everywhere, including at this paper, must take great care not to offend. This is, of course, a high standard that we ourselves try to uphold but often fail. However, this should not be an excuse to insult an entire culture and then hide behind 'freedom of thought' as a blanket defense... No matter how genuine the ensuing outrage, it does not excuse the rioting and burning of diplomatic missions. This is extremism and contrived anarchy masquerading as political expression. Islamic leaders should join in the appeals for respect and calm issued by European governments.

The only way to avoid replays of this unfortunate affair is for all sides to engage in mutual respect. When newspapers in the Middle East stop using cartoons that depict Jews in the most insensitive and offensive ways, we will know that progress is being made in achieving religious tolerance."