I received a letter at work from Edward J. Spellacy Jr., of East Longmeadow and wanted to share it with you..
“I'm writing to say that, as a member of the media in a free society, you have a RESPONSIBILITY to publish the controversial cartoons on Islamofascism.
“I can understand the indignation of having your religion, and your religious leaders, portrayed in unflattering, even blasphemous, ways by secularists in the mainstream media. It happens to Christians ALL THE TIME in America and Europe.
“But indignation is NEVER an excuse for violence. And threats of violence need to be resisted in free nations. And the best form of resistance to Islamofascist threats here? PUBLISH THE CARTOONS.
“As freedom-loving people, we need to resist the Islamofascists on ALL fronts. In solidarity with the people of free Europe and in support of the concept of freedom of the press, you need to PUBLISH the Danish cartoons.
While I appreciate Mr. Spellacy’s concerns, I’m not going to reproduce the cartoons here and these are my reasons:
• I don’t believe that sacred religious figures such as the Prophet Muhammad should be the subjects of such type of criticism. That includes Jesus, Buddha, the Hindu gods, etc.
Now, contemporary human beings acting in the name of faith are completely fair game for cartoons. Ministers, priests, and rabbis who are in the news are fodder for the opinion mill.
• I believe the Danish newspapers were irresponsible in publishing something any decent newspaper person would have understood had a good chance of inciting violence. If news reports are correct there has been one death associated with the violence the cartoons caused. That is a tragedy. The message of the cartoons could have been portrayed in a different but less offensive way.
• The audience for our four weeklies includes American Muslims who are not in support of the terrorists who kill in the name of religion. There is no reason to publish the cartoons locally. They provide no relevant commentary. They would only insult good and loyal citizens and there is no reason to do that.
I support freedom of speech, but I also support common sense.