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Magazine irresponsible to print Prophet cartoon

Can I be the only one who thinks it was a mistake for the survivors of Charlie Hebdo to put a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on the front cover of its new edition?

Yes, free speech is important but, as Pope Francis said, it must have limits.

Look at the trouble it's causing. Already Christian churches have been attacked and burned in Niger in Africa. Police stations there have been attacked, and thousands of Muslims have taken to the streets in angry protest all around the world.

The cartoon has turned out to be provocative and now some people are claiming to be surprised at the outrage that it's causing.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky asked: "Is all the art in the world worth a child's tears?" Yes, there are violent fanatics in the world but should we go out of our way to infuriate and provoke them?

The murderous attack on the staff of Charlie Hebdo was truly dreadful and unforgivable, but it does strike me as irresponsible for the magazine to then go and publish a cover that could make things even worse. Surely restraint and self-censorship are sometimes required?

There is no such a thing as absolute freedom of speech. In some countries it is a crime to deny the Holocaust took place, and rightly so.

It is reported that Boko Haram has recently murdered 2,000 people in Nigeria. I don't see over a million people led by world leaders marching in protest about that.

And in Saudi Arabia, a young human rights activist, Raif Badawi, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes, 50 of which are to be carried out every week. And the Saudi government was represented at the march for free speech in Paris. Amazing.

ANTHONY REDMOND

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