Incredibly, as his own state verges on a budgetary crisis that makes the one in California look trivial, Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, has held forth on the wisdom and the right to burn al-Qur’an in Gainesville, Florida and build an Islamic community center/mosque two blocks from “Ground Zero” in New York, New York.
Two places that Perry has little or nothing to do with except for the fact that his former boss’ brother used to be governor of the former, and is a former political supporter of another who was once mayor of the latter.
But inexplicably, Perry was freely dealing out his opinion at a local fire station in Austin yesterday. An opinion one would imagine, that his base might have objection to.
“Listen, I don't condone those types of activities, whether it's burning an American flag or burning a Bible, or burning a Quran, but the fact of the matter is, Americans have a First Amendment right. In a civil society, my read on that is that is a very objectionable act and should not be done.”
You know, in Israel it is a crime to burn a Qur’an. You can get up to three years in the slammer for doing that. And it’s not that Israel isn’t a free and civil society, for the most part they are. But in Israel, a country surrounded by Muslims, and indeed is home to millions of them, they are willing to concede the point that burning a Qur’an might lead to some very bad things.
Sort of like we discussed here when General Petraeus mentioned the fact that holding a Qur’an bonfire party just might get some soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Israelis live with being surrounded by Jew haters every day. Their laws reflect the eggshells that they have to walk on from time to time in order to survive. And sometimes it is interpretations of our laws that permits American society to do so as well.
You see, I think Rick Perry is dead wrong on this one. As a commenter to my blog posting on General Petraeus’ weighing in on the cancelled Gainesville act of terror suggests, this is not especially a First Amendment right.
It’s not a right to have the poor judgment to burn al-Qur’an when it gives followers of Islam the motive to kill Americans in their country, just as it is not a right to have the poor judgment to yell “Fire” in a crowded theater. Not when it results in death and injury.
That’s just common sense.
Something that escapes Rick Perry everywhere he turns.