Libertad de expresión para todos

COPENHAGUE – El ataque a la revista francesa Charlie Hebdo fue un atentado contra la democracia, la libertad y los ideales que apuntalan a todas las sociedades libres. Al enfrentar a las fuerzas del extremismo y el terror, debemos tener el coraje de alzar la voz en defensa de esos ideales y de salvaguardar el derecho a decir lo que creemos. Pero también tenemos que preocuparnos por respetar el hecho de que los demás tienen el mismo derecho.

Charlie Hebdo no es la primera publicación que ha sufrido por publicar imágenes que algunos percibían como ofensivas contra el Islam. En 2005, cuando yo era primer ministro de Dinamarca, el periódico danés Jyllands-Posten provocó una polémica internacional al publicar doce bocetos del profeta Mahoma. Algunos musulmanes, en Dinamarca y en el exterior, acusaron a Jyllands-Posten de blasfemia por publicar una imagen del profeta. Otros dijeron que las imágenes eran un insulto al Islam. Hubo pedidos de represalias contra el periódico, contra mi gobierno y contra los intereses daneses en el extranjero.

Nuestra respuesta se fundamentó en el principio de que la libertad de expresión es uno de los pilares sobre los cuales descansa la democracia, y que si uno la socava, está socavando a la propia democracia. En los países libres, todo ciudadano tiene el derecho de decir lo que quiere, de creer lo que quiere y de criticar o burlarse de lo que quiere -en textos, dibujos o cualquier otra forma de expresión pacífica-. Todo ciudadano también tiene el derecho de no coincidir con las opiniones de los demás y de expresar su desacuerdo de un modo pacífico y legal.

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