Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard recently survived worldwide calls by Muslims for his murder and a recent attack at his home by a Muslim with an axe. His newspaper the Jyllands-Posten daily newspaper has responded by effectively firing him — allegedly to avoid further death threats from extremists. If true, it is only the latest example of newspapers and publishers caving in to such threats, including the shameful act of censorship by Comedy Central and a similar act by Yale University Press.
Recently, a leading Danish newspaper issued an apology to Muslims everywhere for printing the cartoon images of Mohammed.
The 75-year-old cartoonist said that he wanted to continue to work but was put on leave from the newspaper. He accepted retirement even though he insists that the newspaper in the past has allowed people to continue to work.
If he was willing to continue to work, I cannot think of a worst message to send. One would expect the newspaper to allow him to continue if nothing else as a symbol of its resolve to stand by freedom of speech and the press.
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