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Guest Thinkers

Burning the Koran

"The pastor who plans to burn Korans is despicable. But the rush to condemn this maniac clouds legitimate free-speech debate." Tunku Varadarajan on when rights should be abridged.

“Opponents of the opponents of the [Ground Zero] mosque (I won’t call them proponents of the mosque, as that would be less accurate in the case of many non-Muslims, this writer included) have centered their defense of the mosque squarely in the notion of ‘rights.’ It has been, for many, a comforting defense philosophically. And yet that defense—accepting that someone may do something because he has a right to do it, accepting, in fact, a presumption in favor of the non-obstruction of a right-based act—places in a cultural bind those of us who find the pastor’s threat distasteful.”

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