I cannot believe that the Sept. 14 editorial, “Of violence and silence,” appeared in the Jewish Standard. The title should be “Let us surrender to terrorism.” The editorial is effectively an attack on free speech.
I have not seen the movie which supposedly caused the terrorism, nor do I want to. I am sure it is a disgusting movie. But that is what free speech is all about. We permit others to talk, write editorials and letters, and produce movies so that we can do the same. True, free speech permits horrible statements, but it also permits good, logical, honest, and sincere ones. I believe that the advantages of free speech vastly outweigh its disadvantages.
Terrorists do not need a reason for violence. That is their purpose in life. They hate us because we exist. They can always invent a reason for violence and terrorism. The editorial gives examples of terrorism for the sake of terrorism.
The editorial doubles down on its attack on free speech. It now wants to make “disgusting” free speech a “hate crime.” Who is going to define when free speech is a hate crime? As I read the editorial, it sounds as if the terrorists define when free speech is a hate crime.
It is obviously kosher to attack, malign, and insult groups who respect free speech, like Jews, Christians, Mormons, Sikhs, etc. However, do not offend terrorists. They may use it as a real or supposed reason for terrorism.