Tonawanda News

Opinion

September 16, 2012

DUVALL: Noting civility in Arab world

(Continued)

If one thing is abundantly clear in the months since the Arab Spring, it is that many in the Middle East and Africa don’t yet understand the full weight of their newfound freedoms. With freedom comes responsibility. And just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should.

I support free speech. I’m a newspaper editor, after all. But I don’t have to agree with what people say and I am free to say as much. To that end, the video that sparked the uproar is disgusting and offensive. Islam, as practiced by devout and reasonable people the world over, bears no likeness to what this video implies. 

Muslims should be offended by it. They should also consider the source. The offensive video is no more representative of America than the extremists who co-opted the video as a means to incite violence represent the Arab world.

And the more reasonable in the Arab world must understand that allowing themselves to be dragged into the streets at perceived insults only creates an opening for those looking to capitalize on chaos and turn back the clock on their hard-won freedom.

I was touched by Libyans and Egyptians carrying signs in English disavowing these extremists. It was an important reminder in a debate that far too often centers on the fringe, that these are decent people who fought for their freedom from tyranny and desperately want to avoid seeing their countries overthrow one dictator only to make room for another.

Supporting these people — supporting their right to speak, their right to worship and, yes, their right to disagree with us — is as American as it gets. Just as we must defend the right for someone to make dumb and offensive videos, we should stand with Muslims who want to live in a free and democratic society.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014

  • ADAMCZYK: Homesick for someplace I've never been You stumble over things that make you wonder. I do, at least, and the latest is one of those advertising artifacts from yesteryear that encourage me to ponder what's changed and what never will.

    July 11, 2014

  • WALLACE: Playing politics as usual The immigration crisis is just the most recent example of how dysfunctional Washington, D.C. is right now.

    July 10, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg A stunning scandal in Mississippi-voting|DUVALL: A stunning scandal in Mississippi We don't tend to talk a whole lot about Mississippi on this paper's editorial page and for good reason. It's a long way away in both distance and temperament. But I swear this will be worth it.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo