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Last night on Twitter, Omid Safi, the “Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center” posted a tweet regarding the recent shooting in Garland, Texas over a Muhammad drawing contest:


The tweet blamed both the shooter and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a host of the event, for causing the tragic incident.

How is this form victim blaming different from claiming a woman’s outfit caused a rape? The professor might as well have tweeted: “Prayers for all reeling from #rape. 2 groups are responsible: those who rape, and those who manufacture short skirts.”

You can think that Pamela Geller, the AFDI, Robert Spencer, or anyone else involved in the event is a bigot all you like. You can be disgusted by what they did. That is not at issue here. The question is whether they have a right to speak their mind and draw what they want without fear of death. If you think they are responsible for the shooting, in any part, but especially equally as much as the shooters, as Safi does, you oppose their right to free speech. Just as misogynists oppose the right of women to wear what they want in public, and blame them for any harm that comes their way.

Duke University students, faculty, and staff should be aware of who is in their midst – A man who opposes our most important and sacred natural right of free expression. Be careful giving this dangerous man any more power and prestige.