I found this interesting because in many ways it made me think of the Flag Protection Act of 1989 and the interesting issues associated with strong symbols (the American Flag in the case of the 1989 act). This act was struck down by the supreme court due to the premise that burning the flag was protected under the 1st amendment of the constitution allowing for free speech.
Similarly, as outrage has mounted over the plan to burn Qur'ans, a sacred religious Muslim symbol.
Terry Jones' church had scheduled this controversial event to occur on Saturday, the anniversary of the September 11th attack.
There has been a great outcry at all levels, from Christians, Muslims, non-religious, military commanders, foreign diplomats, the United States government, and other governments around the world. It's amazing how large a response has been cried.
Yet, no one could say that this was "illegal," yet it was one of those issues that everyone says "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." Especially as the government was warning of backlash in the form of potential al-Qaeda backlash, increased ease of their recruitment, as well as eminent danger to civilian and military Americans abroad.
The Cancellation of "International Koran Day" and a Brokered Deal
Despite the high level of criticism, and potential harm that could be caused by this event, pastor Terry Jones was not budging from his plan to have the Qur'an burning event on the 9th anniversary of the September 11 attack.
But it is being reported that this plan has been canceled, and not due to the outrage and request from various sides, rather it sounds that Terry Jones has brokered a deal with Muslim leaders, including Imam from New York, Feisal Abdul Rauf, and Imam from Florida,Muhammad Musri. The deal that has been brokered is that Jones cancels his event in exchange for a commitment that the Islamic cultural center that had plans to be built on a part of the ground zero location.
How Will The Discussion Be Shaped
Many where outraged at the Qur'an burning event. But in the same way their was no legal reason to stop this event, there was a similar argument to the plans for the New York City Islamic Cultural Center. This center had caused a great deal of outrage, and when President Barack Obama stood behind the legal right for Muslims to build in this location, there was outrage.
So now it would appear, assuming that the church's do not attempt a similar stunt and that Muslim leaders keep the commitment that has been brokered, that two controversies have been quashed and canceled out.
The discourse changes - I imagine some who have spoken out about the burning event will also praise Terry Jones and his church for his boldness and "one man changed things" story. On the other hand, others may feel this is manipulation and unprecedented interference that could spawn similar events to get the political and religious community to respond to disagreeable events.
Does this news change your discourse?
Source of today's news and image via Voice of America News.