The radical actors of the Muslim world, in destroying the troublesome symbols of free thinking, are destroying their own cultural vitality and dynamism. In truth, their Islamist culture of death has resulted in a death of Islamic culture. The urgent task for Islamic pluralists is to lift the shadow of violence from the Islamic culture and recall Muslims to their traditions of an empathetic civilization that feels another's sorrow and does not need an enemy for its sustenance.
There is a lot of hurt on all sides that boils to the surface when we learn of the suicide of a teen who was desperate for clarity, for acceptance, for love, and for inner peace. But instead of doing the challenging work of finding entry points for discussion that can lead to understanding and eventually acceptance and healing, so often we're reinforcing this "us vs. them" dichotomy.
Religious pluralism is perhaps the greatest challenge in American society, where policymakers and "thought leaders" -- including many in the media -- still frame the narrative of pluralism based upon a Judeo-Christian worldview, sometimes expanding to include Islam as part of an Abrahamic-centric public discourse.