Originally Published in The Oregonian
As a Muslim youth who grew up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I am deeply saddened and disgusted to see the actions perpetrated by two gunmen in Garland, Texas. Reactions like this go against the very essence of the holy Quran, in which it is written, “When you hear the signs of God being denied and mocked at, sit not with those who indulge in such talk.” In fact, nowhere in the Quran does it state to react to blasphemy with violence. While the reaction to this exhibit was deplorable, as a Muslim, I also condemn Pamela Geller’s exhibit. While I defend her right to free speech, I also implore Geller to be responsible with such speech. There is a fine line between free speech and hate speech. While Islam vehemently defends freedom of speech, it also teaches us that we must be responsible in how we utilize this freedom.