Fear of Extremist Muslim Violence Suppresses Speech in the U.S.:

The AP reports:

Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.

"For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday.

The magazine, published by the Council for Secular Humanism in suburban Amherst, includes four of the drawings that originally appeared in a Danish newspaper in September, including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse....

I have some sympathy for Borders here. It seems to me that leading bookstores, like leading universities, need to take some risks -- and, yes, even risks that involve potential risks to customers and employees -- in order to protect the marketplace of ideas that sustains them. Nonetheless, I can certainly see why Borders might worry about this risk.

The real point here, though, is that speech suppression caused by the threat of extremist Muslim violence has come to the U.S. We are all Danes now. What is the West, and what are we, going to do about it?