Freedom of speech and the burning of books

Posted on September 10, 2010

 

The American Pastor Terry Jones has caused a storm of outrage around the World with his proposed burning of the Holy Koran to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on New York City and the Pentagon. The United States Constitution enshrines freedom of speech which means that this act cannot be prevented as Pastor Jones is not inciting anyone to violence. President Obama has appealed to the Pastor not to go through with his declared action as it will trigger violence against innocent people. The only law that can be brought against Terry Jones by the state of Florida, where he lives, is that of lighting a fire outside without a permit. At the time of writing, the proposed book burning has been suspended following discussions with local imam Muhammad Musri.

Burning books is not new and always represents extreme intolerance and stupidity. It is not possible to destroy or change beliefs and thoughts by burning books; rather the opposite tends to happen. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword in these cases and professional writers and journalists strive to prove this daily. The Internet is a powerful propaganda tool with an ability to trickle untruths into people’s lives unchecked.

Intolerance and untruths have no part in reputable businesses dealings. There are standards for advertising, preventing the gullible from being duped by false claims. Most discerning heads of business would choose to have web copy and content supplied by an established, reputable article writing service. That way search engine optimisation (SEO) is a certainty because experienced SEO copywriters know how to produce copy to get the best rankings.

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