January 16, 2015 at 4:52 PM
Frank Mitchell’s letter to the editor “We are learning the consequences of the excesses of free speech” [Northwest Voices, Jan. 12] suggests that the the victims at Charlie Hebdo were responsible for their own deaths because of “excesses of freedom of speech.”
Beyond slander or yelling fire in a crowded theater, I was unaware that there was such a thing as “excesses of freedom of speech.” Did Daniel Pearl or James Foley deserve to lose their heads for trying to report the news? Was Malala Yousafzai justly shot in the head because of what she wrote in her blog? Did Salman Rushdie earn a contract on his life for writing a novel that mentions Islam?
We are expected to be tolerant of the intolerant by restricting our freedom of speech, and I for one find that notion intolerable. Mitchell tells us that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it. I agree. Neville Chamberlain proved that appeasement in the face of evil is ineffectual. Let us not repeat that mistake in history.
We will never change any minds by shooting them. Make no mistake, this is a battle of ideals. Words are our best weapon against this enemy. Let us not spare them until the evil within Islam dies.
Marshall Dunlap, Kent