Cathy Young writes that the drawing Muhammad contest held by Pamela Geller and her supporters is not about free speech ["Unmasking the peddlers of hate," Opinion, May 8].

She happens to be correct. Geller's work is about informing Americans that danger is not only abroad, but at our doorstep. Free speech is a given here, so far. Are we as Americans so desensitized to jihad violence that we accept the terror as a normal way to live? I find it stunning that there are people living here, willing to kill over a satirical drawing contest.

Young's statement is correct that "our first priority should be to affirm freedom of speech without fear of retaliation."

Her second priority of cultivating conversation on Islam, radicalism and religious reform won't work with people who will not rest until they achieve their goals.

Geller is my voice, and should be every American's.

Mark Young, Floral Park

I find it repulsive that we have this terrorist attack on U.S. soil and people like Young place blame, not on the terrorists trying to kill "infidels," but with our Consitiutional rights to free speech. Young is not coming down on the true criminals.

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Young says she supports free speech, when clearly she is more willing to support the irrational reactions of the Islamist terrorists. How dare she, a woman who earns a living speaking freely, blame anyone else exercising their rights as the cause of this terrorist act?

The only way to protect our rights is to exercise them. If we pander to those who want to enforce a part of sharia law, which prohibits the depiction of Muhammad, in our country, we will no longer have those freedoms. Young would no longer be able to work in the way she does.

Nick Roman, Seaford