John on April 23, 2011 at 11:31 am
During public debate on the Ground Zero Mosque aka Park 51 aka the Cordoba House, the left made sport of the idea of a “mosque exclusion zone” near ground zero. No such thing ever existed in reality or in law, but the left used the idea to demagogue the issue.
Well it turns out there is a real mosque exclusion zone. It’s in Dearborn, MI where controversial pastor Terry Jones has been forbidden to come near the largest mosque in America for three years. This decision was made by a jury who decided that, contrary to his explicit statements, Jones intended to incite violence at the mosque.
The fear is that Jones might burn a Koran, leading to a large riot among Dearborn’s Muslim population. During the trial Friday, Jones explicitly ruled out any Koran-burning, but the jury decided it couldn’t trust him. So off he went to jail for refusing to pay a $1 “peace bond” issued by the court.
There’s no getting around the basic facts here. Jones has been forbidden to use his first amendment rights near a mosque in Dearborn because last month he burned a Koran in Florida. The danger that he might try again is too great. More specifically, the danger that Muslims might riot if he did is too great. Rather than count on Muslims to tolerate offensive speech, we’ve decided to curtail another American’s 1st Amendment rights.
In Jones’ case the Mosque Exclusion Zone lasts for three years. So maybe in 2014 we can try again and see if this whole freedom of speech thing still applies near mosques.
As for myself, I repeatedly said that Cordoba House owners had every right to go forward and that I would reject government action to preclude them from doing so. That didn’t make it a good idea. The same holds here. I don’t think having Terry Jones show up in front of America’s largest mosque is a great idea either, but he certainly has a right to do so. In the case of Park 51, no rights were abridged. In Jones’ case, they clearly have been.
Category: Religion & Faith |