"We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression. We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right."
No, really, that's what the EU Justice and Security Commissioner is saying, according to Reuters:
The European Union may try to draw up a media code of conduct to avoid a repeat of the furor caused by the publication across Europe of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, an EU commissioner said on Thursday.
In an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph, EU Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini said the charter would encourage the media to show "prudence" when covering religion.
"The press will give the Muslim world the message: We are aware of the consequences of exercising the right of free expression," he told the newspaper. "We can and we are ready to self-regulate that right." ...
Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister, said millions of Muslims in Europe felt "humiliated" by the cartoons.
His proposed voluntary code would urge the media to respect all religious sensibilities but would not offer privileged status to any one faith.
This isn't just about the EU's much more "reasonable" and "balanced" approach to free speech -- in words that I've heard from those who prefer the European approach to the American one, and would urge that it be adopted in America as well.
It's also about the EU's approach to appeasement, and to surrender. And don't tell me that the unnamed "consequences" are just public disapproval and strained international relations. When you say something like that against a backdrop of thugs burning embassies and killing people in reaction to your citizens' speech, appeasement and surrender are exactly what's going on, "voluntary" rules or not. Millions of Europeans should feel humiliated that one of their super-government's officials is even proposing this.
Thanks to Sister Toldjah for the pointer.