Early this morning, gunmen burst into the offices of a French satirical magazine and murdered 12 people. All signs point to the gunmen being radical Muslims.
I am generally pretty anti-religion, but I try really hard to balance that with the principle of respecting people's right to believe in pretty much whatever they want, as long as it is not infringing on or harming others. If you want to believe that Odin is real and rides a magical Unicorn, that's your business, not mine. But when you start murdering people because they are having a laugh at Odin, then fuck you.
I believe that you cannot blame the actions of a few on an entire group. Not all anti-abortion activists are murderers. Not all black people are criminals. Not all Muslim people are killing in the name of their religion. Yet it becomes increasingly difficult to excuse the actions of a small part of a larger group when it happens again and again and again. At a certain point, the group in question needs to step up and start taking some corrective actions.
I am terribly sad for the families of those who were murdered. I am sad for the chilling effect this sort of thing has on journalism and on public discourse. I am sad for the many peaceful Muslim people who will likely experience scrutiny or prejudice based on the actions of a few.
I think that there is a cancer within the Muslim community. I think that there is a fringe element that is actively perpetuated. And until that cancer is eliminated, we will continue to see religious extremists murdering people, and the Muslim community at large will continue to feel the backlash.