On Sunday, 40 of the world's government leaders walked arm-in-arm along a Paris boulevard, part of a march in response to the Charlie Hebdo office massacre and billed as a defense of freedom of speech. How hypocritical of the French government, writes Andrew Napolitano. In France, you can go to jail if you publicly express hatred for a group whose members may be defined generally by characteristics of birth, such as gender, age, race, place of origin, or religion. When the predecessor magazine to Charlie Hebdo once mocked the death of Charles de Gaulle, the French government shut it down—permanently.
What's going on in France, and what might be the future in America, is the government defending the speech with which it agrees and punishing the speech with which it disagrees, writes Napolitano. What's going on is the assault by some in radical Islam not on speech, but on vulnerable innocents in their everyday lives in order to intimidate their governments.