…Is this a war on the freedom of expression? Anybody’s guess is as good as the next. Yet when the emotions have run their course, tough questions must be asked. How did we get into a situation in which a home-grown youth shoots dead innocent people going about their business? Answers are hard to come by. Going forward however, the nation must re-examine its multicultural relations.
Harming policemen and women who sacrifice themselves to protect the rest of us must not be tolerated. Killing innocent people must be abhorred, condemned and severely dealt with. Impressionable young men must be shown a sense of belonging to curb the possibility of them becoming the prey of the manipulative ideologies of extremists.
The media must exercise its freedom. Freedom of expression gives them the right to choose what to publish and what not to publish. By intentionally insulting Islam time and again, the media is insinuating that they do not regard Muslims as part of their clientele. In any business, the customer is king; if newspapers believed that Muslims are part of their readership, they would not insist on offending them time and again, would they?
To paraphrase Washington Post editor Paul Farhi, just as journalists choose not to publish pictures of soldiers killed in war, nudity and pornography, we can as well choose not to offend sections of our readership by not publishing humiliating caricatures of their prophet. It is a question of respect.
To curb extremism, the drivers of radicalisation must be addressed: Islamaphobia and hostile foreign policy. Otherwise we are falling head-first into the evil circle of hate that produces hate.