A few days ago, Nancy Graham Holm wrote an execrable column, “Prejudiced Danes provoke fanaticism,” in which she held Danish cartoonist Kurt Westegaard and the Danes themselves responsible for provoking an axe-wielding Muslim’s assault on Westegaard and his granddaughter.
Over at Metamagician and the Hellfire Club, Russell Blackford gives Holm a well-deserved spanking:
What utter nonsense! First, people in Western democracies (or, arguably, anywhere else) should have every right to be suspicious of religion, or of a particular religion, and the right to express their suspicion in whatever form they find most natural – including by way of satire or mockery. They should then have the right to stick to their guns and refuse to apologise, even if somebody takes offence. We can argue about whether or not a particular expression of views – once interpreted “correctly” – was wise or justified, or whether it was tainted in some way, but people do, or certainly should, have the right to express what they think and feel. It is not reasonable to demand that they give insincere apologies if someone else responds with violent acts. Even a wildly implausible view, tainted by suspect motivations, and expressed in a highly provocative way, does not provide any excuse for acts of murder. . .
Holm’s entire article is incredible. She would do better to stand up for the right of Danes such as Westergaard to be suspicious of religion – and to express it openly if it’s what they feel. What she has written is worth denouncing – soberly, deliberately, and in all seriousness this time. Let the name of Nancy Graham Holm find its place in every hall of ignominy and shame, indelibly incribed there for posterity.
I wonder if Holm has any regrets about what she wrote.