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Officials: Anti-Muslim images are protected speech
by Patrick Condon
Two Minnesota prosecutors have decided not to file charges against a man who authorities say admitted posting anti-Muslim images near a mosque and a Somali-owned store, saying the cartoons are protected under the First Amendment.
The posters put up last month in the St. Cloud area depicted the Prophet Muhammad engaged in bestiality and other obscene images, and an Islamic crescent with a swastika inside it. While some in the community say there should be legal consequences, 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."
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