Officials: Anti-Muslim images are protected speech
MINNEAPOLIS – Two Minnesota prosecutors say they won’t file charges against a man who investigators say admitted posting anti-Muslim images in front of a mosque, a Somali-owned store and other spots.
They say the cartoons are protected under the First Amendment.
The posters put up last month in the St. Cloud area depicted images such as the Prophet Muhammad engaged in bestiality and an Islamic crescent with a swastika inside it.
Some in the community say there should be legal consequences. But the chief prosecutors in both counties where the cartoons were found said they must be considered free speech.
Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall called it a “classic First Amendment case.” Benton County Attorney Robert Raupp says religious criticism is protected speech, even if it is offensive.