02/06/2006 08:36 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dilemmas for Progressives II: Cartoons of Muhammad

Since I posted my first wake up call to progressives on this issue (2/02/06) my gut feeling has been validated by a factor of -- whatever, huge numbers, as illustrated on this website.

You can link to my original post, but the basic dilemma was "respect for the Other vs free speech." That post concluded with this query:

"So, without going on and on analyzing the dilemma, let me sum it up with this way; will progressive American publications republish those cartoons? If they do, how will they explain it? If they don't, how will they explain it?"

Now, in the light the ensuing (and deafening) silence among progressives on this issue, here's a sharper version of the question:

Are progressive American outlets refraining from republishing the cartoons out of respect for the sensibilities of Muslims -- or out of fear? I don't know the answer, of course, but here's my guess:

Both. Both motives, inextricably merging in well-meaning editorial hearts and minds adrift in the swamp of events, bereft of philosophical principles to guide them.

Good night and good luck...