Religious tolerance, the news media and respect for the theist

Noel Stanley Cox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We have from time to time heard calls for greater tolerance to be shown to atheism. This is justified on the grounds of freedom of expression and speech. But it may be that the greatest threat to freedom of belief is not to the atheist or the agnostic; rather it is to the believer in God, whether they be Christian or Muslim. Sometimes it seems as though religion in general, and Christianity in particular, is under attack in the supposedly Christian West, where secularism appears to reign supreme. Though atheists and agnostics are often also
proponents of secularism, secularism is not the same as either atheism or agnosticism. We are told that religious intolerance causes wars, and so, by extension, religious belief, and religion itself are attacked. These attacks appear to be led by an alliance (presumably unconscious rather than planned) of liberal elements in the media and of social reformers in other positions of influence. If the suggestion that religion is under attack seems exaggerated, let us examine some of the evidence. The case study we shall use is the Muhammad cartoons controversy, and the reaction of the news media to it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReligion and Law
EditorsNick Spencer
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-0-9562182-8-5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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