There’s something so braindead about the responses elicited by the violence by Islamic extremists. On one hand you have this push to stand up for freedom of speech. Yet you have at the same time a culture that is pushing for us all to COEXIST. While the coexist mantra has more to do with an intellectual relativism that pretends all ideas are equal, what it espouses is peaceful relations between persons of varying creeds. Of course, peaceful relations requires forgiveness and tolerance, but it also means showing respect for others. It means not acting maliciously, not only in deed. It does not mean foregoing criticism, but it does means using kind words in criticism.
The Charlie Hebdo massacre is a tragedy. There was nothing good or redeeming about it. Without gainsaying that in the least, there was also nothing redeeming about malicious jesting. If the secular world really wants peaceful coexistence, it cannot exclude itself from the demand of non-violence. I’m not painting the Charlie Hebdo victims as deserving. They ought to have been left alone to say and draw whatever they pleased. What I am saying is that we are more likely to enjoy peace by acting peaceably. Legal restrictions on free speech are not the answer, but personal meekness will go a very long way.
Nobody should shy away from speaking freely. Nobody should penalize those who speak freely. Nobody should commit unnecessary verbal violence. Nobody should commit unnecessary physical violence.