"It may be that we're all overly sensitized to these issues right now. But in 1989, when a fatwa was issued against The Satanic Verses and its author, book stores showed quite a bit of courage. I remember reading about stores that took a vote of their staffs on whether to stock the book or not; ultimately, I believe all the major chains and many independent stores did carry it. It was not foolish to think there could be a risk, either. Hitoshi Igarashi, who translated the book into Japanese, was stabbed to death in 1991, and Ettore Capriolo, the Italian translator, was attacked and seriously injured at about the same time. Aziz Nesin published extracts of The Satanic Verses in a Turkish newspaper; he was attacked by a mob in 1993. They set a hotel on fire, killing 37 people, but Nesin escaped. And William Nygaard, who published the book in Norway, was shot four times by an intruder in his home."
Given that our bookstores are not stocking publications which contain the cartoons that started it all, and that most media outlets are also too afraid for their safety to publish or televise these images, I'd like to ask: What The Hell is Going On!