My Chapel Hill source, “A” has forwarded a remarkable piece by Ginny Franks, a weekly columnist for the Daily Tarheel. “A” is sure Ms. Franks will be taken to the woodshed for daring to write the piece, and that she will probably be dismissed.
If so, that would be very unjust in our “free” society. But she’s certainly on fire and speaking freely, here:
Terrorists are evil, but they aren’t cowards. The truth is that terrorists aim to make cowards of us.
Taheri-azar didn’t just want nine funerals with nine gravestones to mark his crime. Taheri-azar wanted front-page photographs of our faces in anguish; he wanted to draw us into reactions of irrational violence against Muslims; he wanted his day in court.
He wanted us to fear standing in the Pit – the spot that represents everything Islamist terrorism seeks to eradicate.
On UNC’s campus, the Pit is a literal place where worship, art, music, poetry, relationships, celebration and charity thrive. It is a sacred space on our campus – a brick sanctuary for dialogue, nestled between two libraries full of mankind’s diverse ideas.
When Qutb says the West “does not possess anything which will satisfy its own conscience and justify its existence” he called our very existence a debauchery, an abomination and an unjustifiable stain on history.
We are a nation of disparate values. We cannot unite behind religion. We live among saints and sinners of every denomination and creed.We cannot unite behind symbols – such as a flag that we alternately hail and ignite or a Bill of Rights some call gospel and others hypocrisy.
Islamist terrorists find one true path, while we embrace the possibility of multiple truths. There are few things in this country that we harmoniously coalesce behind and even fewer times when we speak with a united voice.
And that in and of itself is worth fighting for.
It is our commitment to dialogue – to offend or be offended, to teach or to learn, to engage and to inspire – that saves us from cowardice while Taheri-azar smiles into the cameras.
Brava, Miss Franks. And thank you for reminding us that one may smile and smile and be a villain! Somehow since the 1990’s we seem to have forgotten that.
Writes “A”: …I am proud of her for saying it and wrote an email telling her as much. I’ll be sure to check tomorrow and read all the foaming letters to the editor calling for her head. It will be the second person fired from the staff this year for expressing an opinion such as this. The weekly Monday columnist was fired in the fall for an article about racial profiling.
Ah, the open-mindedness of our academies! Thank you, “A,” we’re looking forward to learning how this column went over!