While this self-censorship is presented as a manifestation of “tolerance,” in reality it is a deliberate erosion of core Western concepts of free expression, which is an indispensable foundation of the American Revolution and of republican government in general. And we are surrendering it, gradually and voluntarily, to those who seek to impose on us a value system that elevates the sanctity of Islam over freedom.

In July 2011, the UN passed Resolution 16/18, calling on member states to adopt legal restrictions on speech that fostered “defamation of religions.” Secretary of State Clinton and Ihsanoglu issued a statement urging member states of the United Nations “to take effective measures, as set forth in Resolution 16/18, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief.”

That sounds high-minded and impervious to opposition; after all, no one is in favor of “intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief.” However, when state authority is given the authority to define what constitutes “intolerance,” and would-be totalitarians like Nathan Lean define as intolerant any honest discussion of how the texts and teachings of Islam are used to justify violence and recruit terrorists, this becomes a call for authoritarian restrictions on the freedom of speech.

It was to prevent such totalitarian coercion that the Founding Fathers formulated the First Amendment guarantee that Congress would make no law infringing upon the freedom of speech. That freedom stands as our fundamental bulwark against tyranny, preventing a ruler from stifling dissenting voices that call his rule to account. Without the freedom of speech all other freedoms could be taken away, and not a word could be raised in protest.

The New York Daily News and the Guardian, and all other journalists, no matter how far to the Left, should know that, and be prepared to fight the destruction of the freedom of speech. Instead, they’re abetting it. It is the suicide of the Western media.