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The British media is probably the most irreverent in Europe, so the decision not to reprint the 12 Danish cartoons of the Prophet is a curious one. Are we displaying multicultural good manners? Journalistic pride, in not following up someone else’s story? Or post-7/7 fear? Probably a mix of all three. Contrary to much press comment, most of the cartoons could only be construed as offensive by someone seeking offence—several are playful and ironic. Of course there are limits to free speech, but almost all these cartoons fall comfortably within those limits, at least for a developed, open society. In…

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