Regarding the May 7 news article “Doubts raised about Islamic State’s claim in Texas attack”: Freedom of speech is a fundamental human right enshrined in our Constitution. The ability to exercise our conscience freely without fear of retribution is the hallmark of a free and just society and fundamental to human progress. It would be a travesty for human intellectual development if people were not able to express themselves freely.
On the other hand, free speech does not mean that vulgar words, breakdown of law and order and disrespect of revered figures become the order of the day. One of these revered figures for about 1.6 billion Muslims across the globe is prophet Muhammad. The overwhelming majority of Muslims feel hurt when any image of the prophet is drawn, especially in a childish and vitriolic fashion.
What happened in Garland, Texas, in the name of free speech for the drawing contest of Muhammad was needless, and the attack that followed was absolutely wrong and must be condemned. Inciting hate in the name of free speech goes against the norms of civil society while attacking such a gathering is even worse.
. In the 21st century, the best way to respond to the taunt of those ignorant of religious sensitivities is by promoting the true tolerant and peaceful teachings of Islam.
Youth education leader, RTP Ahmadiyya Muslim Community