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Letter: Cartoon contest about free speech

Employees check the arrival of the forthcoming edition

Employees check the arrival of the forthcoming edition of the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, on January 13, 2015 in Villabe, south of Paris. Credit: Getty Images / AFP / Martin Bureau

I read Cathy Young's column, "Unmasking the peddlers of hate" [Opinion, May 8]. She of all people, who uses the right of expression for profit, should know better than to call Pam Geller's contest anything other than a free speech event.

Remember, polite speech doesn't require protection. The very speech and event that Geller held is the personification of protected speech. Free speech is the pillar of open civilizations.

Also to say "violence" struck in America "in response to Muhammad cartoons" is false reporting. Two jihadists were stopped by a police officer defending the public. An officer discharging his firearm to protect third parties isn't violence, and skewing it that way is ludicrous!

Also consider this: FBI Director James Comey has stated that Islamic State group, or ISIS, cells exist in various stages in all 50 states. Geller's draw Muhammad contest showed America that Comey's statements were accurate and flushed out two radicals who were defeated as they attempted to wage jihad.

Someone one day may find Young's speech offensive and want her silenced. That is the day she will realize the slippery slope she's created by attacking speech she finds offensive.

Jonathan Landrio, Hampton Bays