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.Franks is so close to getting it that a hummingbird's breath could move her to a complete understanding. Our civilization respects the individual's right to his own judgment--that's what the text of the Bill of Rights protects. In contrast, Islam's sacred texts call for the sacrifice of anyone who does not submit to its creed.
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.
Above all we believe in - and demand - a political space where we can disagree. [Ginny Franks, The Daily Tar Heel]
The contrast is material and it's the virtues of our way that are worth fighting for.