Last Sunday, the Times published this cartoon of Netanyau. Soon after, the paper was attacked by the Israeli government and various Jewish lobbies. The acting editor of the paper, Martin Evens, declared: "On behalf of the paper I'd like to apologise unreservedly for the offence we clearly caused. This was a terrible mistake." The cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe, as Evens put it: "by his own admission - he crossed a line."
Such an apology for depicting a truth about the wall for which so many people have been killed shows the limits to the freedom of expression in the United Kingdom and the power of Israel over much of the British media.
Compare this with the Danish cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Mohammed, which nobody apologized for -- and which, in the western world, many western writers and cartoonists in fact spoke out to defend under a banner of freedom of expression. Where are they now? Where is their banner in defence of the freedom of expression? Why are they so quiet? Why do they defend the freedom of expression selectively? Why are they not condemning the Israeli government for successfully muzzling their English counterparts, and worse, forcing them to issue humiliating apologies for exercising their freedom? Their total silence, among many other things, shows their lack of belief in the freedom of expression.
We Muslims who understand Islam as a discourse of freedom support the total freedom of expression, whether it is exercised by Danish cartoonists, English cartoonists or anyone else.