In Wilmington, Delaware, students at the treasured Cab Calloway School of the Arts can join a club, "Free to Be You," and they can call a hotline to report bullying. In my anti-bullying stand for free speech, I will host an after-school teach-in tomorrow, not far from the school at a coffee shop called (aptly) Brew HaHa! The dean of the school has cancelled a talk I was scheduled to deliver to students on peace between Pakistan and my native India after a local Pakistani man, Naveed Baqir—the founder of an ultraconservative mosque—smeared me, an Islamic feminist, as "Islamophobic."
My new lesson to the kids: we must speak up with moral courage for the change we want to see in the world, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, India's nonviolence leader.
Sadly, an "honor brigade," or loose network of academics, activists, bloggers and others, defend the perceived "honor" of "true" Islam by silencing speech and calling reformers, like me, "anti-Muslim," "House Muslims," "native informants" and "Uncle Toms." Last week on Twitter, I was called "Auntie Tom."