Muhammad Cartoons: A Libertarian Analysis

21 12 2006

There are several perspectives now making the rounds regarding those cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. For those who have been in Rip Van Winkle land, they first surfaced in Denmark and are now being reprinted all over the world. The libertarian claim is that these caricatures did not constitute fraud, force, or the threat of initiatory violence; therefore no physical sanctions should be visited upon the cartoonists, or those who reprint their work. This does not mean that such artistic acts were nice or moral or appropriate or considerate; they were not, in my personal opinion. They hurt the feelings of vast numbers of people, Muslim and non-Muslim. But, as long as private property rights and freedom prevail, such initiatives should be legal.

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