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Interviewer: In a sense the terrorists are winning, aren’t they? They’ve cowed the Western media into not reprinting the cartoons.

Douglas Murray: Not only are they winning, they’ve won. They’ve won. Terrorism works — that’s the brutal fact of it.

And a lot of people will take lessons from that today.

You know, after the 2005 Jyllandsposten cartoon, by the conservative paper in Denmark, the only paper in Europe, really, that was still willing to draw pictures of Muhammad in the same way they’re willing to draw pictures of every other religious, political — you name it — figure, was Charlie Hebdo.

So Charlie Hebdo stood alone. Charlie Hebdo was attacked.

That’s why I’ve suggested that there’s really only two options that the press can choose from here.

The first is that we all agree that we live under an element of Islamic blasphemy law. I think that would be highly regrettable. I don’t think that is what our society should live under. I think we should do everything possible to avoid it.

But if we are going to avoid it, I think that it’s going to have to be done unanimously. All of the newspapers, all of the magazines — the BBC, Sky, Channel 4 — should unanimously publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons at a particular hour, because as Ayaan Hirsi Ali said after the Danish cartoons row, we have to spread the risk around.

It cannot be that a single cartoonist is holding the line for all freedom of speech. Or that a single, small satirical magazine is doing it.

It has to be everybody.


Douglas Murray, the clearest voice on the issue of Islamism in Europe, speaking during a BBC discussion with Maajid Nawaz.