The fact that Safi’s comments don’t cause outrage at Duke University is quite disturbing. If someone were to murder, say, Richard Dawkins for his criticisms of Christianity, it would never cross my mind to say, “Two groups are responsible for the murder of Richard Dawkins: the people who murdered him, and Dawkins and his associates for mocking Christianity.” There is simply no connection, logical or theological, between (a) making fun of Christianity, and (b) being murdered. Hence, if a murderer were to attempt to make a connection, the rest of the world would be puzzled.
But Omid Safi is the latest proof that there is a clear connection between (a) making fun of Islam, and (b) being murdered. The connection doesn’t just exist in the mind of the murderer; it exists in the minds of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, including many moderate Muslims.
Oddly enough, Safi’s attempts to blame Spencer and Geller for jihadist violence only underscore the need to address Muhammad’s teachings. Safi portrays himself as a “progressive Muslim.”