So, that Terry Jones jackass (and I say jackass with every ounce of hatred I can muster, because he's in every possible way a pus-coated cuntrag shit-eating dicknugget) finally got around to burning a Koran in "commemoration" of September 11th, as if it was a direct attack by the entire concept of the muslim religion on him. Now, there's no excusing this kind of behavior - declaring September 11th "burn a Koran" day is absolutely appalling in every possible way, it's offensive not only to the millions of muslims who are decent, lovely people but also to the victims of September 11th by turning a day of what should be somber mourning and reflection into a day of hatred, anger and provocation. But the fact remains that he has that right. He bought (presumably) the copy of the Koran that he burned, and as an American citizen, that sort of protest is not encouraged, but allowed. That's the essence of free speech, and it's something that seems to be lost in today's politically correct world. Free speech doesn't exist to protect the things you like to hear, it exists to protect the things you DON'T want to hear. It exists to protect anyone's right to say anything (assuming it's at least partially truthful and not simply defamation) about anything and NOT experience repercussions. It's the most important right that any American has because freedom to speak your mind means freedom to think what you want - it's the most important human right of all.
In the event you don't know, in the aftermath of the burning of the Koran, protests broke out which have so far resulted in 9 deaths and many more injuries.
The problem I have with the reaction to this whole situation is how, in essence, news organizations are openly questioning whether or not ALL americans should be subject to muslim law. They're reacting as if somehow Terry Jones' actions are really the catalyst for the violence, when they're clearly not. Radical, dangerous, hive-mind, brainwashed idiots are responsible for the violence. This is not a proportional response. The problem does not exist in Terry Jones' burning of the Koran but in the RESPONSE from the extreme fringes of muslim society. This is not a time to be questioning free speech, but defending it more vigorously. This is a time to put your feet down and say "Terry Jones may be an asshole, but it's NOTHING in comparison to the behavior of these bad apples who seem to feel the entire world should be held accountable to their silly laws."
To question whether free speech is really worth the risks is, to use a cliche and somewhat stupid phrase, "letting the terrorists win." Terrorism isn't just flying a plane into a building or setting off a bomb, it's using FEAR to control the behavior of others. When we finally sigh, shrug our shoulders and say that as a country, muslim law takes priority over free speech, we HAVE let terrorism win. We HAVE set the precedent that shed enough blood and our entire culture will back down from the very core principles that define it.
When the mass media questions Terry Jones' actions as irresponsible, completely disregarding the fact that COMPLETELY UNRELATED INDIVIDUALS HAVE DIED BECAUSE HE BURNED A BOOK ON A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONTINENT, you are shifting the blame from where it really lies. Want to respond in a proportional manner? Burn a fucking bible, assholes. Burn 15,000 bibles. Burn a million goddamned bibles. Burn so many bibles you can see the fucking bible fire from SPACE for all I care, and you'll never been the wrong. The second you step beyond expression of your ideals and into physical enforcement, YOU have become the aggressor. YOU look bad.
I know that the majority of muslims are good, honest people - just like the majority of christians aren't right-wing birthers. There's bad apples in every group - please don't take this as an assault on the muslim faith as a whole because my personal issues with Islam are the same as my personal issues with ANY religion, give or take a few minor differences - but fuck everyone involved in those protests. Fuck everyone who responds to a peaceful (albeit offensive) demonstration with violence and fuck everyone who believes that their crazy religious laws should extend beyond their own mind.
And while we're at it, fuck Terry Jones, too. Terry Jones is a prick.