Drawing a Fine Line

MAX NASH / AP

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was sentenced to seven years for incitement to murder and stirring up racial hatred

Ideas can hurt. The messy storm of upset, anger, protests and murderous violence unleashed over the past two weeks by Danish newspaper cartoons that Muslims find blasphemous has proved that once again. But in Europe, whatever one may think about the intelligence or taste of portraying Muhammad with a bomb on his head, people have found a reassuring port in the storm: their belief in the political miracle of free speech. In Western democracies, the right to express an idea, no matter how offensive, always trumps the impulse of the offended to censor. No government should be able to jail a...

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