|Venting their anger: Jones' threat to burn the Quran has resulted in worldwide condemnation against him.|
MANY of us have heard of the infamous Pastor Terry Jones – the bewhiskered preacher from the diminutive Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Florida, in the United States who had threatened to hold “International Burn A Quran Day” on Sept 11. He subsequently backed down after worldwide condemnation against him.
This included our Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Anifah Aman, who called the act of burning the holy book of Muslims a “heinous crime”.
US President Barack Obama warned that this could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American or European cities, adding that it would be a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda.
As a Christian, I am ashamed by what Jones tried to do, especially when it came from a man of God.
But why were the US authorities, including the President, powerless to stop him from carrying out his threat?
The answer lies in Jones’ right to freedom of speech enshrined in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
The First Amendment is part of the United States Bill of Rights which contains the first 10 sacrosanct amendments to the United States Constitution.