bravo, people. bravo.

There’s been a lot of hubbub about the “Dove World Outreach Center” plan to burn the Koran on 9/11. I think it’s reprehensible, personally, but well within the limits of protected speech. There’s been a lot of discussion about the “proper response” to that, but none of it has been as elegant as the response highlighted by Adam Weinstein at Mother Jones.

Entitled “What’s the American Way to Fight the Planned 9/11 ‘Burn a Koran Day’?“, Weinstein’s article points to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s planned response: for every Koran burned on 9/11, they will donate a Koran to the Afghan National Army. Eli Lake points to a Council on American-Islamic Relations plan to distribute 1,000 Korans in America for every one burned (h/t Dave Weigel).

Both of these responses highlight the beauty of freedom of speech. We don’t need to restrict hateful speech, because freedom of speech runs both ways: just as we can’t prevent Pastor Jones and his congregation from doing something hateful, he can’t prevent everyone else from turning his hateful act on its head.

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One Response to bravo, people. bravo.

  1. Lauren says:

    I’ve been really surprised at how much this national conversation has focused on the aspect of free speech. I don’t think anyone who understands the basic tenets of the Constitution/First Amendment would argue that the act of Koran burning is illegal. However, there are times (quite often, actually) when the bigger issue at stake is sensitivity, compassion, and straight up good sense. There are an unlimited number of hurtful actions that Americans are well within their rights of carrying out — but what does that say about the people who choose to follow through on those actions?

    I like the planned response of the MRFF — showing that while the Koran burning is legal, it certainly will not occur within a vacuum, and there will be consequences — both benign and constructive ones like MRFF’s donations of Korans, as well as potentially devastating ones.

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