When satire incites hatred: Charlie Hebdo and the freedom of expression debate | Strengthening Journalism in Europe: Tools, Networking, Training: "The European Court’s refusal to rule on the cartoons notwithstanding, its existing caselaw does provide clear direction. Its guiding principle is simple and plain: the right to freedom of expression means that democratic societies need to be able to discuss current affairs and issues that concern us all, and we need to accept that some of us hold strong opinions. That’s what tolerance and pluralism is all about.
Inciting hatred against individuals simply on grounds of their religious beliefs oversteps the line; but satirising violent extremists within a religion is part and parcel of democratic society. Satirising a religion as such should also be permissible so long as any insults aren’t entirely gratuitous; but the line is crossed when hatred is incited against specific individuals on the grounds of their religious beliefs. That constitutes hate speech.
This means that cartoonists have every right to satirise Islamic fundamentalism, an issue that has dominated public debate ever since the early 2000s." 'via Blog this'