Gregory Kane: Then there is the Left's freedom-burning

Before you dismiss me as a Muslim-bashing Quran burner, read on. And yes, I agree that Jones, the pastor of a Florida church who threatened to burn copies of the Quran to protest the proposed mosque being built “at” ground zero, is way over his 15-minutes-of-fame allotment.

Having said that, I'll add this: stories like that about Jones are what columnists live for. And Jones' story started off weird and got only weirder.

First, he said he was going to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11. Then he met with Muhammad Musri, a Florida imam who, according to Jones, urged him not to burn Islam's holy book and told him that the planned mosque “at” ground zero would be moved to another site and that New York City Imam Feisal Abdel Rauf would meet with Jones on Saturday.

There were quite a few problems with Jones' assertion, not the least of them being Rauf's denial that the mosque “at” ground zero was being moved and that he knew of no meeting with Jones.

As of Saturday night, the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that brought down the Twin Towers and killed hundreds of Americans, Jones was saying that he would not burn any Qurans but, according to an interview he gave on ABC's “Nightline,” that “Islam is more dangerous and much more violent than we thought.”

The good pastor and I part company on that. The last I checked, Muslims worship the same God Jones worships: the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. All those prophets are as revered in Islam as they are in Judaism and Christianity.

True, Muslims don't believe Jesus is the Son of God, but neither do Jews. Muslims do believe that Jesus was a great prophet like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses before him, and that Muhammad was his last and greatest prophet.

That makes Islam part of what I call the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, not just the Judeo-Christian tradition. I know that will drive some people crazy, but when Muslims ruled the Iberian Peninsula they had a pretty good thing going with Jews and Christians at a place called Cordoba, at least as far as tolerance, learning and commerce went.

Interesting, isn't it, that the proposed mosque “at” ground zero is to be named the Cordoba House? And here's another interesting fact: With all the controversy swirling around a proposed mosque that will be built near, not “at,” ground zero, few bother to mention that a mosque has existed four blocks from ground zero for the last 40 years.

So no, I'm not a Muslim-bashing Quran burner who thinks Jones had a peachy idea. His proposal was patently offensive and puddin'-headed, but at least he flushed out those who are the real threat to the nation.

Sorry, Pastor Jones and other Islam bashers, that isn't Muslims. It's those lefties who think the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, which is responsible for the taking of far more innocent lives than were lost on Sept. 11, 2001, is God's 11th commandment. It's those who want to rewrite our Bill of Rights by proclaiming anything that offends them a “hate crime.”

That's what one commentator on a Baltimore television station called Jones' plan to burn Qurans: a hate crime “like the cross burnings the KKK did to intimidate blacks and Jews.”

People like that are far more dangerous to the country than Jones ever will be. Book burning isn't a crime in this country – yet. But it soon will be if the “hate crimes” lefties get their way.

Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.

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