BJ Downing Kling
Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. — President Thomas Jefferson
I do not like the burning of the flag, nor the burning of the Bible, Koran or any other religious articles, idols and prophets. I also despise pornography by consenting adults but there is one thing I hate even more and that is loss of my US Constitutional First Amendment rights because of terroristic threats we face from Islamic radical fundamentalists.
Radical Islam kills and beheads innocent people indiscriminately and non radicals Islamic people fail to condemn them but instead rail against those of us who see the burning of the Koran or the characterization of Mohammad as nothing worse than the of burning the bible or effigies and mischaracterizations of our Lord – a shameful disrespect and contempt to be ignored. One lone man occasionally blows up an abortion clinic and one man killed and abortion doctor and no Christian held these people up as martyrs they were held accountable under the law.
Islam has no respect for human life, if it had, it would call out murder over and above the burning of paper regardless of the words imprinted on that paper. If they cannot- their Koran and Mosques and their radicals do not belong in America where we value life over images and holy books and buildings. Here, where we are loathe to be prevented from free speech for fear an innocent will be murdered in retribution for the words or actions of another we have no control over under our Constitution.
When we, the people of the United States have to fear a radical people who condemn and shame all of us for the actions of one and yet we are admonished for condemning any of them for the actions of scores of their radicals who they continually fail to condemn—we have to question the common sense of that behavior on our part. It is not common sense and it gives license to those using this tactic to continue to make fools of us. This is a two way street! Apparently these folks have more rights to demonstrate in their streets like wild animals than we do to peacefully demonstate in ours!
KABUL — At least 12 people were killed in Afghanistan Friday, most of them foreigners, when a United Nations compound was stormed by Afghans enraged by a Florida pastor’s burning of a Koran, according to Afghan officials.
Eight foreigners were killed after demonstrators protesting a reported burning of the Muslim holy book stormed a United Nations office in northern Afghanistan, opening fire on guards and setting fires inside the compound, officials said.
Thousands of protesters mobilized after a midday sermon, then surged toward the offices of the United Nations in Mazar-e Sharif, northern Afghanistan’s largest city and normally a bastion of calm.
Some in the crowd broke into the U.N. office and attacked the staff, killing security guards and members of the U.N. mission, officials said.
For example One pastor burns a Koran and all of Islam demands an apology from our entire country and Obama gives it while radicals retaliate by killing 11 innocents, beheading 2, and we do not demand nor do we receive willingly, any apology from Islam? Instead this pastor is now denied a permit to hold a protest outside a mosque?
An American Citizen denied a permit to peacefully protest in AMERICA? Denied for public safety? We are held hostage to a people who cannot be trusted in America to act like AMERICANS? Indeed- are we now bowing to foreign kings and false gods right here on American soil? Jones and others have NO PLANS to burn a Koran – they are planning to peacefully demonstrate as is their right to do. I wish I could join them. We must not give up our rights to a foreign radical people under any circumstance.
Dearborn — Dearborn denied a permit Wednesday for Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones’ planned protest outside the Islamic Center of America on Good Friday.
Jones could be arrested if he goes ahead with the protest outside the mosque without a permit, said city spokeswoman Mary Laundroche. She added that the permit had been denied for “public safety reasons.”
Jones said he had not received notification that the permit had been turned down but that he was undeterred.
Jones is due in 19th District Court in Dearborn on Thursday to answer prosecutors’ claims that his demonstration could cause a riot and demands he post a “peace bond” to cover police costs.
Dearborn officials said Jones can still demonstrate at one of two “free speech zones,” including City Hall. Before denying the permit, city officials expressed concern about public safety, traffic and disruptions to nearby churches.
Jones isn’t likely to relent. He’s said for weeks that he plans to demonstrate outside the Ford Road mosque with or without a permit. Earlier today, Jones said the mosque is the ideal site for his protest against “radical Islam” and Sharia, or Islamic, law.
“There is no place better than there to present this message,” said Jones, the pastor of the Dove World Outreach center in Gainesville, Fla.
Jones said he is planning to bring a pistol to protect himself in case of violence, but has no plans to burn an Islamic holy book.
“We are coming there totally in peace,” said Jones, who said he will be joined by several other people including a rabbi.
Earlier today, Dearborn Mayor John B. O’Reilly Jr. released a copy of an “open letter” he wrote to Jones in a last-ditch effort to persuade him to cancel his protest.
In the three-page letter released to the media, O’Reilly urged Jones to conduct his demonstration at one of the city’s “free speech zones.” O’Reilly also questioned the logic of protesting Sharia in Dearborn.
“Our commitment to the Constitution is unwavering, not merely convenient, which makes your hyperbole about Sharia Law being practiced in the courts or civil law of Dearborn nonsensical,” O’Reilly wrote. “So, you are coming to protest against an imaginary threat that doesn’t exist in our community. Not in our courts, not at our City Hall, not on our streets and not in any of our places of worship.”
The mayor also pointed out to Jones that several churches in the vicinity of the mosque will be conducting Good Friday services and Jones’ protest outside the mosque will be disruptive to their traffic as well.
“The members of the Christian churches on Altar Road asked me last week if they should cancel their Good Friday services because of your planned visit. I assured them that they should not because the Constitution does not allow you to violate their rights. I don’t know why you selected Good Friday but it wasn’t very considerate of the significant Christian services being held at that time. I assure you that you will not make them forfeit their services,” O’Reilly wrote.
The idea of a right to freedom of expression, started with John Milton (1608–74), then John Locke (1632–1704) and culminating in John Stuart Mill (1806–1873). Locke established the individual as the unit of value and the bearer of rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. It was the role of Government to protect these rights and this belief was first enshrined in the US Constitution, with the First Amendment adding the guarantee that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. John Stuart Mill argued that human freedom is good and without it there can be no progress in science, law or politics, which according to Mill required free discussion of opinion. Mill’s On Liberty, published in 1859 became a classic defense of the right to freedom of expression. Mill argued that truth drives out falsity, therefore the free expression of ideas, true or false, should not be feared. Truth is not stable or fixed, but evolves with time. Mill argued that much of what we once considered true has turned out false. Therefore views should not be prohibited for their apparent falsity. Mill also argued that free discussion is necessary to prevent the “deep slumber of a decided opinion”. Discussion would drive the onwards march of truth and by considering false views the basis of true views could be re-affirmed.
In Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s biography of Voltaire, she coined the following phrase to illustrate Voltaire’s beliefs: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Hall’s quote is frequently cited to describe the principle of freedom of speech. In the 20th Century Noam Chomsky states that: “If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like.