The irritated reactions of mainstream Muslim Americans against the ‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day’ are understandable and expected. Yet they are focusing on the wrong problems when they suggest the need to draw a line between problematic dichotomies such as ‘hate speech’ and ‘free speech.’ Muslim Americans, as any other minority group, should be at the forefront of defending the First Amendment. Embracing such a primordial constitutional right is not only important to counter assumptions about disloyalty to the country but more importantly because such a right protects the few and the isolated more than any other group.
Assistant Professor at Rutgers University
Tarek Kahlaoui, Ph.D., completed his dissertation on “The Depiction of the Mediterranean in Islamic Cartography” (11th -16th centuries), and currently teaches a course in Islamic art and architecture. He took part in various excavations in Islamic and ancient sites in Tunisia, where he worked on the archival sources and rural landscape of the medieval and early modern history of Jerba, the Tunisian island.
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