Beyond shameless self promotion, I fail to understand Jones' point in all of this. Unless he is actually foolish enough to believe there is such a thing as Sharia law anywhere in the US.
-- Comment on Detroit News article about visit of Terry Jones to Dearborn
Terry Jones is coming back to Dearborn next week. Described in the Detroit News as a “frequent visitor to Dearborn,” Jones is coming this time to demonstrate “outside Edsel Ford High School against what he says is bullying by ‘Muslim gangs.’” (“Dearborn Police 'prepared' for pastor's Muslim protest”).
We at DU were early defenders of Terry Jones – and especially his (and yours and our) free speech rights -- and even turned out for his original rally, the one transferred by city fiat from its intended site at public property near the Islamic Center of America.
At the time I didn’t think Jones’s speech on the City Hall steps came close to the inspired eloquence he displayed in his argument in his own defense during his trial in Judge Somers’s kangaroo session a couple years back. Since that time, we’ve lost interest. (Mrs. Clancy and I did attempt to get close to his most recent rally at the Islamic Center of America, but found out that Dearborn police were arbitrarily restricting access outside a wide perimeter – a highly dubious denial of freedom of assembly). Ever since that first time when he was maliciously prosecuted to placate Imam Qazwini, Jones’s events always turn into non-events, excuses for local Muslim spokespersons to tell TV cameras how everything Jones says about Dearborn is crazy.
But everything Jones says about Dearborn isn’t crazy. And his original message, the one that has forever linked his name with that of our fair city -- that Sharia is being practiced in Dearborn –isn’t crazy at all. It’s a hard and irreducible fact we have always treated as a kind of open secret here at Dearborn Underground.
Recent events underline this even on a national scale. The craven response by the Cairo embassy, in the face of Muslim rioters, to condemn “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims,” and then the Obama administration’s equally disgraceful first response failing “to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks,” are one and the same issue as that of Jones in Dearborn. That issue is Sharia. And while that term may be defined more or less broadly as meaning one thing or the other in a different context, in this context Sharia means one thing: blasphemy in the form of criticism of Islam will not be tolerated.
That’s the rule in Saudi Arabia.
And that’s the rule in Dearborn.
The real test for the existence of Sharia in any American community, where Muslims are still a small minority, isn’t to count up all the outspoken imams denouncing blasphemy by infidels. The test for the existence of Sharia is how hard nonMuslims work to silence offenders on the excuse that the insult will incite violence within the Muslim community.
Item: The charging instrument used by the prosecutor to hale Terry Jones into court last year for attempting to speak in front of the Islamic Center of America alleged that “Pastor Jones will jeopardize the safety of the public by committing an act against the person or property of another in the form[ ] of burning a Koran.” (“Yes, We Have No Sharia, or, So Darling, Save the Lap Dance for Me”). In fact, the chief of police lied and knew Jones had no intention of burning a Qu’ran. Regardless. Message: It is an “abominable crime” to burn a Qu’ran. That’s true, it is -- under Sharia law.
Item: The same criminal complaint against Jones alleged the “likelihood of a riot ensuing, complete with discharge of firearms,” if Jones were allowed to speak. (“Wanted: Minority Report”). But Jones never threatened to incite a riot or cause any kind of violence at all. Everyone knew that any potential violence would have to originate from the Muslim community. Message: Riots and violence will result if an infidel were allowed to give a speech critical of Islam.
Item: A 2011 New York Daily News editorial said that Jones had “blood on his hands” because “Jones knew bloodshed was likely somewhere in the Muslim world after he burned a Koran on March 20 at his Gainesville church.” (“Pastor Terry Jones has blood on his hands after Afghan attack in response to Koran burning”):
In an ideal world, the faithful of all religions would respond to sacrilege with peaceful condemnation. This is not an ideal world. This a world in which some Muslims view violent revenge as the more fitting action.
That being the unfortunate reality, freedom of speech regarding Islam and the Koran must be exercised with due responsibility
Message: It’s a moral absolute that we exercise freedom of speech regarding the Qu’ran only in responsible ways that don’t offend the “Muslim world” – i.e., in compliance with Sharia.
Item: Obama used his speech at the UN two weeks ago to condemn “Innocence of Muslims” as “a crude and disgusting video [that] sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.” Message: Mocking Mohammed or questioning the origins of Islam is not protected speech, but must be rejected by all decent human beings, not least because it has sparked outrage in the Ummah.
Item: Hillary Clinton appeared in TV ads aired in Pakistan vowing that “The United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video,” and that the American government “absolutely reject its content and message.” Message: Though we’re hamstrung for now by this Bill of Rights thing, the official position of the United States is that we’re opposed to content and messages denigrating Islam, just like you are – in recognition of Sharia.
Item: Morning Joe commentator Mike Barnicle said of Jones, in response to the Benghazi attack, “Given this supposed minister's role in last year's riots in Afghanistan, where people died, and given his apparent or his alleged role in this film, where, not yet nailed down, but at least one American, perhaps the American ambassador is dead, it might be time for the Department of Justice to start viewing his role as an accessory before or after the fact.” Jones’s only “role” in the film was to endorse it: which may be a crime against taste, art, and competent film technicians everywhere, but he committed no actual crime for which the DOJ has any business sticking its beak in. Unless the DOJ is now enforcing Sharia. Message: People who endorse films that mock the Prophet should be prosecuted for the murders that Muslims commit in response.
Then on Friday, a Dearborn Press & Guide article about the Jones visit included this puzzling lead :
Mayor Jack O’Reilly said he’s a firm believer in the right of free speech guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
But, he’s uncomfortable with how some people — like Terry Jones — use that right. (“Mayor believes in free speech — but doesn’t support Terry Jones’ anti-Islam message”).
My foot. How else can one use the right of free speech except by speaking? O’Reilly isn’t uncomfortable with how people like Jones use the right of free speech: he’s uncomfortable that people like Jones use the right of free speech in Dearborn, where everybody knows we’re all on notice of what Sharia requires -- which is exactly why O’Reilly trampled the Bill of Rights last year to deny free-speech rights to Jones.
All Jones has ever done in Dearborn is talk. All Nakoula did was make a movie trailer. Yet look at all government has done to stop them.
And still people, like this blind person writing comments in the News, believe it’s “foolish . . . to believe there is such a thing as Sharia law anywhere in the US.”
It’s not foolish at all. And until Dearborn can shake off its apathy and stand up for something on our own account, we’re still going to need Terry Jones.