Matt Patterson: What’s the Matter With Islam?
I have surveyed the unfolding saga of the Reverend Terry Jones with growing dismay and gloom.
Not because this man, who has an apparently minuscule flock, wanted to burn copies of the Muslim Holy Book. In a free state, especially one in which the sanctity of expression is nominally inviolable, that cranks and eccentrics will occasionally attempt such stunts is to be expected and even welcomed. It is surely, after all, a healthy society that tolerates such displays. Indeed, in a free and healthy society, most who would hear about Jones’ plan would scratch their heads and say, “He wants to do what?” and then shrug and offer that sacred refrain, “Well, it’s a free country,” and then go about their business.
But that is not what has happened here at all. Instead, high government officials, including the President of the United States of America, his Secretaries of State and Defense, as well as his top general, have deliberately and publicly attempted to dissuade this private citizen from exercising his freedom of expression.
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