Moderation As the Cure

A reader writes:

I have no way to know for sure but I have to believe that the New York Times' decision to refrain from publishing the cartoons in some way reflects the heroic way the city has put forward its tolerance as the best answer to the mass murder in our midst. You may see it as a sellout, a craven surrender to the intimidation of the extremists, but I prefer to see it as a concession (and a small one at that), one that will empower moderate Muslims, especially in the West, to grasp that we do respect their religion and its teachings of peace and love, even as we confront a dangerous minority's attempts to use it to spark a civilizational war. 

This afternoon I saw a report on MSNBC, detailing the response from American Muslims, how they've been proud of our media's "restraint and dignity" as opposed to what has happened in Europe. We desperately need to enlist these moderate Muslims in our cause -- and I don't think we're compromising our commitment to freedom of expression by exercising a little respect.

Again, I'm with you on the merits of all your arguments. But my experiences as a New Yorker tell me there may be another way to reach the people who don't hate us yet but trust us less and less each day."