Freedom of Speech vs. Respect for Others
What prevents the mainstream press from breaking taboos? Freedom of speech is tempered by the desire to not offend other people. The oft-repeated example is the reverence for the Holocaust.
I know my literature: there was nothing of literary value in those cartoons, and there was no principle involved, as there was no pre-existing condition. It was a provocation and the manufacturing of an issue.
Was it a minor issue: maybe, but it brought together many years of Islamophobia in Europe and thus was a watershed point.
Do Arab media caricature? Yes, the Zionists, not the Jews or any other religion. Moses, David and Jesus are prophets revered by Muslims.
The reaction was violent! Not a single person was hurt or killed. And it sent a clear message that rattled Europe. It was very effective. Had the Jews done that to Hitler era caricatures, WWII outcome may have been different and the Jewish holocaust avoided.
Newspapers have to be commercially viable and be aware of the sensibilities of their readers. Although it is a great expression of free speech, they will not publish pornography. Although it is part of European history, they will always be respectful to Jews and the Holocaust.
With the majority of European citizens standing behind the newspapers, Islamophobia has reached a new high and is indirectly sanctioned by the European peoples.
At the same time, the unity of the Muslims at opposing this has been unprecedented.
The only conclusion: the cultural alienation is complete. What will follow is quite predictable.