On the Importance of the Right to Offend

Malik, Kenan
http://kenanmalik.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/on-the-importance-of-the-right-to-offend/

Publisher:  Kenan Malik
Date Written:  29/01/2014
Year Published:  2014  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX15794

There is something truly bizarre that someone should become the focus of death threats and an international campaign of vilification for suggesting that an inoffensive cartoon was inoffensive. What gives the reactionaries the room to operate and to flex their muscles is, however, the pusillanimity of many so-called liberals, their unwillingness to stand up for basic liberal principles, their fear of causing offence, and their reluctance to call so-called community leaders to account. Such backsliding liberals need reminding of some basic points about liberalism, free speech and the giving of offence.