Koran burning is a constitutional right – like flag burning

I’m no fan of burning books, but no doubt that crazy preacher had a constitutional right to burn the Koran, just as someone may have a right to burn a flag. He did call it off, but his bank actually canceled his Church’s mortgage, his internet provider pulled the plug on his website and his insurance company canceled the church’s policy before he got around to canceling his plans. And, while I may call him “crazy”, well, maybe the Koran burning was one of the least crazy things he’s attempted to do. I mean, I am not a fan of extreme Christian fundamentalists, but I am even less a fan of extreme Islamic fundamentalism or Islamic fascism.

Diana West, the author of Death of the Grownup which I am planning to read after I read the other numerous books I am reading, has an interesting column on this instance, and on other Koran burners recently who have received nothing but grief for their protests of Islam’s radical and fascist agenda. Here, she writes first about Pastor Jones, and then others:

“… The irony here is that as Jones-the-person was increasingly objectified as a dangerous “nut,” Koran-the-object that commands jihad was increasingly enlivened with a uniquely inviolate status. Which brings us to the next installment of our new 9/11 legacy, Derek Fenton. On 9/11 Saturday, Fenton tore pages from a Koran and lit them in front of the planned Ground Zero mosque. According to New York Daily News sources, Fenton said, “he wanted to stand by (America) in a tea party kind of way” by exercising his “right to protest.” Police ushered Fenton away but released him without charges.

Come Monday, it was a different story. Constitutional rights aside, New Jersey Transit fired Fenton, ending his 11-year career with the agency for burning those Koran pages (and on his own time), an act which, again, violated not America’s law, but Islam’s.

Fenton’s story repeated itself almost exactly in Australia where, also on Monday, Alex Stewart, a Queensland University of Technology employee, was placed on “indefinite leave” after satirizing mass Koran hysteria in a YouTube video — now censored — in which he smoked pages from both the Bible and the Koran.

And on Wednesday, the Seattle Weekly (rather calmly) announced the planned disappearance of its cartoonist Molly Norris, she who once called — in a cartoon — May 20 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” The paper wrote: ‘On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, ‘going ghost’: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.’

“Wiping away her identity”? For a cartoon? But this is exactly what Western civilization itself is doing. And that’s why all you hear, past those echoing denunciations of the Florida preacher, is … silence.”

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That’s right, Molly Norris is going ghost. May she have some peace and safety, poor woman.

The whole uncompromising and clear article is here: Burned for Being American

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