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Letter: Hateful cartoons should be banned

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 am unimpressed by the arguments for unfettered "free speech" presented by columnist Cathy Young in "Trudeau's troubling view on speech" [Opinion, April 21]. Portraying Muhammad as a hooked-nosed, nearly subhuman creature is not only offensive to followers of Islam, but provides an easy transition to hatred of Muslims in general. The dehumanizing, belittling image of Muhammad bears a certain resemblance to the infamous portrayal of Jews in Der Stürmer, the Nazi tabloid published before and during World War II.

This is all the more troubling when you consider that such a program of dehumanization soon allowed average Europeans under Nazi occupation to accept the program of genocide against their fellow citizens of Jewish origin.

It is time to recognize hate speech and hateful art as a crime against humanity, and include it in the category of proscribed activities in free countries.

Andrew Greller, Syosset