Scotland has a relatively good record on multi-cultural relations and the peaceful nature of yesterday's Love The Prophet demonstration in Glasgow is something to celebrate.
So, too, is the fact that protesters against a far-right demonstration in Edinburgh vastly outnumbered those who would stir up paranoia and hatred.
Those who demonstrated against the film The Innocence Of Muslims have every right do so. It is perfectly understandable that they feel aggrieved by the portrayal of their religion in a film designed at best to be offensive and at worst to damage cultural relations.
The fact that they expressed their feelings in a restrained way is to be welcomed. There was none of the flag-burning fury in evidence at similar demonstrations throughout the world.
However, it is hard to agree with their stated aim of encouraging new laws that would allow a criminal prosecution on the grounds of causing offence.
That is simply incompatible with the principle of free speech, which carries with it the right to offend.
There are already laws that can be used against those whose words or actions encourage racial and religious hatred. Those laws are enough.
And so we praise those who protested yesterday for the way in which they expressed their view and we defend their right do so.
But we have the right to say their view that the law should be used to restrict a legitimate means of expression is simply wrong.
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