Sunday, September 12, 2010

Two sides to every firestorm

In this great nation of free people expressing ideas freely, of course we find that there are two sides to every story.
On one hand, Daniel Greenfield analyzes the Koran-burning controversy from a constitutional perspective. He comes up with some pretty good points, like this one:

"The same media which has consistently opposed a Constitutional amendment that bans flag burning (generally because they tend to agree with the flag burners), has now decided that burning the Koran should be a crime. Because burning the flag or killing thousands of Americans is no big deal-- but burning a Koran, someone should make a law about that.
Given a choice between burning the US Constitution or burning the Koran-- the media happily raises a lighter to the First Amendment. To them nothing American is sacred, but everything Islamic is."

On the other hand, since any incendiary issue (like, say, the American move toward revolution in 1776 that ultimately led to our constitution and its protected rights) is complicated, we see another side of the story with legitimate points, as represented in this article by Alex Kane from the Indypendent, a New York City newspaper, which documents a groundswell of support for the Islamic center among the residents of that city:

"Organized by New York Neighbors for American Values, a new coalition of over 100 groups formed in response to the opposition to the Cordoba House project, faith leaders, elected officials, musicians and activists voiced strong support for the proposed Islamic community center, which will also include a September 11 memorial, a restaurant and culinary school and more."

So I say that if Muslims in New York City can convince their neighbors that it is safe and appropriate for them to build a cultural center (or mosque whatever), then let 'em build the dam thing.
But don't curb the constitutionally-protected rights of a Florida pastor to express his opinion about it, or about the oppressive religion behind the controversy.
If the Muslims of these United States have something to contribute to our free nation, then let them convince us of their respectful intentions. They are free to present their case, and to express themselves religiously by their practice and by their construction.
Likewise, Rev. Terry Jones is free to express his views by burning a Koran, as long as its his property.

As for the issue of the so-called jeopardizing of the safety of our soldiers...just what are our soldiers defending, if not those constitutional rights and the people who are entitled to them?

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