|Dr. Carol Swain|
Following the publication of my op-ed, I was inundated with criticisms labeling it as “hate speech,” “intolerance” and “bigotry,” and a particularly unflattering cartoon caricature, published in The Vanderbilt Hustler, that can only be described as a racial stereotype.
Perhaps I could have tempered my comments some, revisiting language that might have been perceived as an indictment of all 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. I am, however, perplexed as to why there continues to be scant public outcry — certainly no campus rallies or protests of take-note significance — among Muslims when another Islamic jihadist attack hits somewhere in the world. Also, I don’t accept the position that these attacks are carried out by only a “few Islamic extremists.” Estimates say Islamic militant jihadists around the world number in the tens or even hundreds of thousands. That’s when you add up all the members of organizations such as Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL), al-Qaida, Boko Haram, Taliban, other affiliated splintered groups, etc. and who knows how many sleeper cells in semi-hibernation around the world. I’m not going to dance around the issue or those numbers. PC speech isn’t in my vocabulary. Nor will I tolerate it with my students in the classroom. A university should be a place that harbors the free exchange of ideas, on both sides of the aisle, across all spectrums of thought and culture. (This is very good. Please continue reading.)