Thursday, September 9, 2010

Burning the Koran: Freedom of Speech?

Terry Jones, a preacher in a small Florida church, is making a name for himself as he plans to burn the Koran on September 11th. General David Petraeus warned, in an e-mail to the Associated Press, last week that "Burning copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops and Americans worldwide." Americans already, especially our troops in the Middle East, have targets on their backs. Terry Jones is simply exercising his American born right to freedom of speech to send a message to the Muslims that America will not cower to Islam. I do not see why people are raising a fuss over this. If the media had not given this event the coverage it has then only the people in the 50 member congregation would have known about it. Instead the media blows this up and demonizes an American by using the military as its foil; how ironic is that?

When the dust up erupted over the Mosque being built so close to Ground Zero the same media zealots and White House stated emphatically that it was the Imam's Constitutional right to build. Why then are the same people going after Terry Jones for exercising his Constitutional right? Are Constitutional rights's only applicable to non-white, non-christen, non-male members of society? General Petraeus and President Obama, are you serious when you feel that after the book burning that our troops will have bigger targets on their backs? Really? Will the burning of the Koran enrage the radical elements of Islam? Of course it will but not any more or less than the existence of the Imperial West does already. Will other Muslims be irked by the burning? Probably but they too should understand the context of the burning as well. Just as many that I speak of are looking for the Tea Party to call out the fringe elements of the movement so should non-radical Muslims denounce the radical elements within their midst.

Much like the Mosque fiasco, no one can argue that Constitutionality of the event planned by Terry Jones instead the focus is on whether it is right or wrong. And if we don't want to send the wrong message to the world then either doesn't report it at all or report the event as one American exercising a freedom granted every citizen of the United States.