With some sense of remorse, I feel the need to post an addendum to my eulogy. I think it is perfectly clear what my eulogy was: a tribute to the victims of Wednesday’s attack and a call to arms in defense of freedom against Jihadism. Nevertheless, I realize there are always people out there who will gladly twist words and alter context in order to serve their own ends, so to preempt them, let me make it clear what my eulogy is not.
It is not a condemnation of Islam or Muslims. Indeed, Muslims have as much to gain by supporting freedom as anyone; they should be free to live in “our” society and they should be free to worship whichever god they choose in whichever manner they choose as long as they do so peacefully, and that is a freedom the Jihadists oppose as much as they oppose the freedom to draw silly cartoons of Mohammad. And the Jihadists, like so many would-be revolutionaries, have killed far more of their own kind—Muslims—than they have anyone else and will likely continue to do so going into the future, which is why I think it is imperative for Muslims everywhere to join the forces of civilization and fight against those who would kill people simply for being a different sort of Muslim, let alone those who would kill people over cartoons.
It is often said that the majority of Muslims want nothing more to live and worship in peace. I am not so sure. I think far too many Muslims support or have sympathies with Jihad and and fundamentalism, or at the very least wouldn’t mind seeing the downfall of our culture and civilization. But I have every hope that someday the vast majority of Muslims will want nothing more than to live and worship in peace and in harmony with the values of freedom. And that change cannot begin soon enough.
I shouldn’t have to say that of course Muslims are not automatically excluded from the ranks of “the civilized”; I shouldn’t have to specifically single them out for inclusion in our campaign for freedom and civilization against the barbarous forces of Jihad. And yet I must, and doesn’t that say so much? I do this for a couple of reasons. The first is entirely self-serving: I do not want to be silenced. I do not want to give ammunition to those who would accuse me of Islamophobia or some such and try to silence me. But I also say this in the genuine hopes that Muslims will read it and be persuaded to join us in this campaign for freedom.
My eulogy was also not a call for violence. I would think a lengthy and passionate tirade on how speech is superior to violence would make it obvious that I am not calling for violence, but let me be explicit: I do not condone violence against Muslims (or anyone really, except in self-defence), and I do not want to see increased violence in the wake of this attack. I also want to make it clear that while I really do think we are in a war with Jihadism and that the Jihadists are bent on our destruction and the destruction of the values we hold (like Freedom of Speech), I do want to see a greater understanding between communities. Free speech is a messy freedom, it will cause offense. I merely hope that Muslims will appreciate that the right to be offended and the right to offend are both protected by a right to free speech.
Finally, many of our leaders and many figures in the media are quick to caution against a “backlash” against Muslims. Indeed, they seem to worry more about a backlash in the wake of an attack than they do about the attacks which would trigger the backlash. I however have a higher esteem for the average citizen than they do, apparently, because I am confident that people are mature enough not to resort to mob violence. I am also confident that our modern justice system is capable of punishing anyone who does.