There are many ways to voice your disapproval of something. For example, when people disagree with me on my journal, they don’t hesitate to tell me. When I am at a meal and I mention that I only buy music in vinyl format, someone will inevitably voice their disapproval by speaking up and saying so. My friends in school protested the first Gulf War by walking out of class — not sure what that accomplished, but it definitely got the teachers to know how their students felt about the war. The one way to air disapproval with which I cannot agree, however, is that of death and the death threat.

It is rather frightening when journalists receive death threats for writing about what is going on in the world. The exposition of world events should be commended, not punished with death and death threats However, it is precisely when people feel that there is information being revealed that is detrimental to their causes that the death threats come about, and in some cases the actual death.

Similarly, when some people feel a threat to their way of life, they express disapproval through death threats. For example, Shanna Bukhari, a British Muslim, wants to be the first Muslim to represent Britain in the Miss Universe competition. As a response, she has received threats of some sort from the following groupsMuslims who feel she is a threat to Islam, white supremacists who feel she is a threat as an Asian to “their” country, and women who feel that beauty pageants are a threat to feminism.

The attacks began as simple verbal ones, rude messages to her Facebook account. As time went on, it went from simple verbal attacks to threats of physical ones.

Bukhari takes the threat of physical violence seriously. She makes sure she is never alone, both in her Manchester flat and on the city streets, and has contacted a private security firm for protection when attending charity events to raise money for the Joshua Foundation, a charity for terminally ill children.

We cannot accept the notion of disapproval through means of violence or threat of physical bodily harm. If you disagree with what a person or organization says or does, write about it. Post about it. March down the street with a sign, if you’d like. Threats of violence are no way to solve anything and only communicate that you are incapable of serious communication.

6 Comments

  1. Gordon —

    Do you remember when one of your Muslim co-workers left a threatening comment on one of my articles because I did not believe in Muhammad? His comment didn’t get published because he posted as an anonymous coward and didn’t use his real name. I invited him to post his comment again using his real name and he refused. What did you say to him, if anything, after he posted that threat to me?

    1. I asked him a few times what he posted and he wouldn’t tell me. He asked why his comment wasn’t published and I explained but he said that he always commented using that username. Could you redact for us an approximation what he wrote?

          1. Yes, and since I was clearly writing in the article that I was not a believer in Muhammad — the threat was entirely clear. I do find it fascinating that your co-worker was happy to make the threat in Muhammad’s name, but not under his own. That says quite a lot about the bully in the mosque.

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