AirTalk for September 7, 2010

Plan to burn Qurans may be legal, but is it right?

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Aldo Utama/AFP/Getty Images

A group of Indonesian demonstrators belonging to the Hizbut Tahrir, an Islamists organization, rally outside the US embassy in Jakarta on September 4, 2010. The group threatened 'jihad' or holy war if a US Christian group goes through with threats to publicly burn the Koran. The US-based Dove World Outreach Center's planned Koran burning on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks would unleash uncontrollable rage from Muslims around the world, a spokesman for the protesters warned.

Terry Jones, senior pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida is planning a “'Burn a Quran Day” for September the 11th. Jones’ right to do so is protected by the 1st Amendment, but the event has already incited protests in Kabul, Afghanistan - during which U.S. troops were pelted with rocks. General David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, has warned that the Florida event could "endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort here.” First amendment law is pretty clear: Jones and his church have the legal right to burn Qurans. But does that make it right? And when do national security concerns outweigh civil rights?

Guest:

Lawrence Rosenthal, Professor of Law, Chapman School of Law


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