In Portland, Oregon, three men were attacked, two of whom fatally, after they tried to defend two teenage girls who were being harassed by a man yelling anti-Muslim slurs. The man, who is being held without bail, stabbed two of the men to death, the third suffering serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Reportedly, the attacker, who has a criminal record which includes felony robbery and kidnapping, told the teenage girls to get out of “his country” and and that “that Muslims should die“.
Sadly, this attack is not an isolated incident. According to the Pew Research Center, anti-Muslim violence have reached levels not seen since the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
As libertarians, we strongly condemn this heinous act of violence. America was founded upon religious freedom.
As Thomas Jefferson famously said:
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Americans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, atheists and more. As terrible as this attack was, the fact that three bystanders came to the girls’ aid speaks volumes and gives us hope for humanity. We must not let the voices of hate and ignorance drown out the voices of liberty.