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A culture of extreme and unjustified violence, combined with discrimination and racism, seems to be increasing in societies in the Middle East, the West, and in Eastern Europe.
The atrocities committed in France are the most recent example. There has been a significant increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia across Europe, as well as anti-Christian attacks and persecution associated with conflicts in several Middle Eastern states.
In Eastern Europe anti-Russian feeling is being fanned by the conflict in Ukraine and by Western propaganda. The right to freedom of speech is being cited as justification for the publication of materials that are deemed offensive to people of certain cultures. All rights and all aspects of freedom carry responsibilities, and it is essential that responsibility is exercised by all societies and by political leaders and media outlets, to avoid inflaming racism and discrimination.
The Huffington Post in an article entitled “In Wake Of Charlie Hebdo Attack, Some Media Self-Censor Cartoons” criticises such self-censorship.
Responsible editing and common sense sensitivity to the feelings of others should not be labelled as unacceptable censorship.
It is unduly offensive to Jewish people, and to most other people, to make jokes about the Holocaust. Similar sensitivity should be applied to all communities internationally.
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