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Terry Jones, the War on Terror and the First Amendment

By Scott Tibbs, September 27, 2013

Have we surrendered to Muslim terrorists we vowed to fight after they murdered 3,000 people on September 11, 2001? Would we rather capitulate than kill the Muslim terrorists who declared war on us again by attacking our consulate in Benghazi and murdered our ambassador - the same kind of attack and insult that led King David to go to war with the Ammonites in chapter 10 of II Samuel?

We need to understand what the September 11 attacks were, both in 2001 and 2012. They were not simply terrorist attacks, or even acts of war. They were war crimes. Intentionally targeting civilians for murder - as was done in both 2001 and 2012 - is universally recognized a violation of the laws of war. The 9/11 terrorists need to be prosecuted and executed not simply as terrorists or "unlawful enemy combatants," but as war criminals.

Whether or not you agree with Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who planned to burn 3,000 Korans to protest the Muslim terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon (and who knows what they were planning to do with the fourth plane) he has the natural right, protected by the First Amendment, to make a political and religious point by burning the Korans. It is chilling to see government so aggressively try to prevent him from exercising his free speech rights, especially out of fear for what our enemies might think about it.

Jones made a tactical error in transporting the kerosene and the Korans in the way he did. He knew that the authorities were looking for an excuse to arrest him and prevent him from engaging in a protest clearly protected by the First Amendment. It is a chilling act of censorship against the content of speech, and every American should be worried by this. What speech will be criminalized next?

It is true that Muslim terrorists rioted after Jones burned Korans in the past. It is also true that Penn State "University" fans rioted when Joe Paterno was fired after it became clear that the "university" covered up the brutal and systematic rape of little boys by an assistant football coach. Should sexual predators be allowed to get away with their crimes because fans might react violently to holding criminals accountable?

We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated into giving up our freedoms by thugs, terrorists and war criminals, any more than we should refuse to punish sexual predators because of deranged football fans. The campaign against Jones and the effort to restrict his free speech rights makes one thing very clear - the terrorists are winning.

Previous editorials:

   ♣ "International burn a Koran day"

   ♣ Why does Pat Buchanan hate America?

   ♣ Silly Florida pastor provides valuable public service