The Koran, The Chavs and The Pastor
On the Koran burning front, there are some news I think it would be at least curious to report.
The first comes from England, where a groups of Chavs has been arrested after burning a Koran and putting the video on the internet. As you can clearly see from the video, there are parts of England where people think they can use what appears to be common parts of a condominium to abandon themselves to burning and screaming exercises.
Now don’t get me wrong: I am all in favour of considering the burning of a Koran as freedom of expression and, as such, legal irrespective of the good taste of such an idea.
Still, these chaps should have known (unless they live on Mars) that such feats are forbidden in the UK. Right or wrong, a law-abiding citizens tends to abide by the law. Unless he is a chav, of course, in which case he’ll have himself filmed in order to be arrested more rapidly.
The video is tragically amusing. These people just think they can start fires on common spaces as they think fit. They make savage dances and screams like idiots whilst doing it. They are so stupid that they don’t even get that covering their heads doesn’t help them a bit if they not only make the house and surrounding places fully recognisable, but even put their own names and location on the video. Yup, must be Chavs.
I do not know Gateshead, but I imagine that they must have their fair share of thugs. The ones in Gateshead appear to be uncommonly stupid, though.
The second news is an astonishing legal feat for which I ask the help of my American readers. It appears that Terry Jones, the Kuran-burning-but-perhaps-better-not Florida pastor, is in the process of being billed by the local police for the security effort necessary during the days of the controversy.
Now where I come from, one pays for police through taxes, not bills. If the police thinks that one is deserving of protection it will protect him, otherwise it won’t. But at no times will any public authority have the right to send a bill to anyone (let alone: for doing its job).
Where I come from, a local authority can impose a fine if someone is making something which is not allowed; the government can even refuse to a foreign citizen the right to enter the Country, if the government doesn’t want to have the public order harassment and costs linked with his presence; a police force can obviously act against a person if it thinks that he is doing something illegal (say: the police can arrest one if he goes around with nazi flags; oops, no actually not, that is legal; it’s a free country after all……).
But what any public authority cannot do, is to send a bill to someone for 1) what this authority is there for and in any way 2) without a contractual agreement with the counterpart.
One doesn’t need to be a genius to understand whereto this mentality leads: whoever wants to express his opinion only needs to be threatened by an angry mob to march toward ruin and the local police can silence any controversial opinion by just going around sending bills for “protection”.
I do not know the detail of this incredible situation and it may well be that in this case things are not as they have been reported, but I wonder what remains of the first amendment if one can be ruined for exercising it.
AFAIK, at no stage has any competent authority maintained that Mr. Jones had no right to burn the Koran; at no point has he been threatened with arrest from the local police, or fined for an administrative offence.
It just can’t be that one abides by the law and is ruined.
If anyone can help, I am grateful for every piece of information.