Koran Burner Cashiered; Norris "Goes Ghost"

I’m not a fan of book burnings, be it of the Koran or Heinrich Mann, but this is pretty silly. A New Jersey Transit worker was fired from his job for setting the Islamic holy book alight in Lower Manhattan. One wonders where all those brave Manhattan culture warriors are; those who stood up to former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and hypersensitive city Catholics when they attacked the Brooklyn Museum and its "Sensation" exhibit, which included a painting of the Virgin Mary smeared with elephant dung.

Derek Fenton's 11-year career at the agency came to an abrupt halt Monday after photographs of him ripping pages from the Muslim holy book and setting them ablaze appeared in newspapers.

Fenton, 39, of Bloomingdale, N.J., burned the book during a protest on the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11 outside Park51, the controversial mosque slated to be built near Ground Zero....

Fenton was ushered from the protests by police on Saturday and questioned, but he was released without charges. "He said, 'This is America,' and he wanted to stand up for it, in a Tea Party kind of way," a police source said.

Another police source said Fenton described himself as a "loyal American" exercising his "right to protest."

But the source said Fenton looked like he was having second thoughts as he was released."He looked nervous, like he was starting to think it wasn't such a good idea," the police source said.

Oh, I know it’s a cliché, but it’s unfortunately true: If this lunkhead wore silly hipster glasses, peeled down his skinny jeans and pissed on a bible, he’d more likely secure a spot at the next Whitney Biennial than a spot in the bread line. There is no longer any doubt that certain religions, because of threats made on behalf of its most extreme adherents, have secured certain special protections.

In related news, the Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris has once again discovered that once Islamic nutters don’t accept apologies. According to her employers at Seattle Weekly, the FBI recommended that Norris disappear; that she “go ghost.” She is, says Seattle Weekly, “moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.” All because she drew Mohammad as a tea pot and a box of pasta.

Unpack the stupid in this tweet from left-wing cartoonist Tom Tomorrow, in response to the news that Norris’s life has been ruined by religious fanatics:

unbelievable. Stunt was inspired by wealthy South Park creators' self-aggrandizement; they should pay her expenses.

Update: Hmmm. It seems that Tomorrow has disappeared the tweet about Norris. One can only hope that, in a rare moment of clarity, he realized that the "wealthy" (boooo!!!) and "self-aggrandizing" (huh?) Matt Stone and Trey Parker bear no responsibility for threats made by religious lunatics.

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  • Coeus||

    But the source said Fenton looked like he was having second thoughts as he was released."He looked nervous, like he was starting to think it wasn't such a good idea," the police source said.

    Imagine that. He was arrested and questioned for something which was obviously not a crime, and it made him nervous. I imagine that the source delivered this information while grinning smugly and polishing his badge.

  • ||

    unbelievable. Stunt was inspired by wealthy South Park creators' self-aggrandizement; they should pay her expenses.

    Tomorrow is possibly one of the dumbest people out there, but I'm sure he's just jealous that Matt and Trey make a metric shit-ton of money while Tommy's scribblings barely make him enough to live on.

    The real question, Michael, is why are you following Tomorrow on Twitter?

  • ||

    If you were in this line of work, would you give up a source of stupid that potent? It's like free money, man.

  • ||

    It's so dangerous, though, dude. You can't treat that level of stupid this carelessly. You need the proper equipment, containment fields, and goggles, or you risk acute stupidity poisoning, or worse.

    I'm surprised at Moynihan's carelessness, to be honest.

  • Nephilium||

    My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

  • ||

    Well, I figure Moynihan is a pro - god knows dealing with toxic levels of stupidity is a critical job skill if you work around here. I mean, I'd never approach unfiltered stupidity of that magnitude, but I'm just an amateur.

  • ||

    It's very common for people like Moynihan to improperly gauge the dangers in handling acute stupidity improperly. As someone who has been trained in the proper handling of imbecility, I am constantly astonished by the danger that such amateurs put themselves in.

    You don't read Tom Tomorrow tweets without at least a level 5 brain impairment at the time (alcohol, weed, or repeated blows to the head, usually, though ether is an excellent choice as well). You just don't, if you value your intelligence.

  • Old Mexican||

    In related news, the Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris has once again discovered that once Islamic nutters don’t accept apologies. According to her employers at Seattle Weekly, the FBI recommended that Norris disappear; that she “go ghost.”

    She should come live where I live - it's so full of crazy (i.e. orthodox) Muslims that no crazy Muslim would ever think of searching for her here.

    (Herdy her her!)

  • Darien||

    In re: certain religions getting special protections because they have a large number of dangerous asshole members, didn't Stephen Breyer admit that just the other day, when he said that burning the Qu'ran was the modern equivalent of yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre, and that's why it doesn't qualify as "protected" speech under the first amendment?

    Notwithstanding, of course, the fact that Oliver Wendell Holmes can suck it hard -- speech is speech is speech, and the first amendment clearly doesn't include any exceptions for things that he didn't like.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Darien,

    Notwithstanding, of course, the fact that Oliver Wendell Holmes can suck it hard -- speech is speech is speech, and the first amendment clearly doesn't include any exceptions for things that he didn't like.

    OWH was a Progressive douchebag.
  • Apogee||

    the modern equivalent of yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre

    The modern equivalent of yelling "I'm invincible" in a room full of the criminally insane.

  • Old Mexican||

    A New Jersey Transit worker was fired from his job for setting the Islamic holy book alight in Lower Manhattan.

    It's a good thing there's freedom of expression in this country, otherwise he would have been hanged, drawn and quartered by NYC major Bloomberg himself...

  • ||

    An employer has a right to fire you for pretty much whatever reason they want.

  • JD||

    A private employer has the right to fire you for pretty much whatever reason they want. Not so if your employer is restrained by the Constitution and your speech doesn't affect your ability to perform your job.

  • DRM||

    The lesson here is that American extremists should burn things like the homes of members of the NJ Transit Board of Directors, not the Koran.

  • jtuf||

    This news is sad, but I can offer a slight glimmer of hope. I'm with the guys quietly holding signs at site for the Islamic Center at Ground Zero. We've been holding calm debates and finding middle ground.

  • Frayed Knot||

    Tom Tomorrow - just another leftist poster child for retroactive abortion.

  • johnl||

    Molly Norris should not be taking FBI so seriously. Those guys have every incentive to exaggerate threats.

  • ||

    Why don't they ever simply suggest that she purchase a gun and put in some practice at a firing range?

  • Paul||

    She lives in Seattle, guns are gross.

  • Amateur Sociologist||

    Unsurprisingly the Seattle Weekly cannot bring itself to use the words "Islam" or "Muslim".

  • ||

    You ever have that conversation where you explain to someone that "Jew"is not a derogatory word?

    "No no they are Jews...that is their name...it is like calling a Christian a Christian."

    In the next 20 years or so i imagine I will be having to explain how Muslim is not a cuss word either.

  • ||

    I was playing an online shooter where the word "Jew" was censored in addition to the normal curse words in chat mode.

  • Michael||

    I was once railed at by a Mexican for referring to him as such. I said it as a matter of fact in casual conversation with no derogatory intent whatsoever. To this day I still have absolutely no idea what to take away from that experience.

  • ||

    But we are all post racial now.

  • ||

    See "Delawarian" versus "Delaweenian" debate.
    Are people from the country of Mexico suppose to be called "Mexicos"?
    Or just be referenced as residents between certain latitudes?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: fresnodan,

    Are people from the country of Mexico suppose to be called "Mexicos"?

    We call ourselves "Mexicanos," which literally translates to "Mexicans."

    "Mexicos" would just be the plural of "Mexico," as in "There are two Mexicos[...]"

  • robc||

    My personal favorite is Mexicoan. Which comes from the last season of Buffy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Michael,

    I was once railed at by a Mexican for referring to him as such.

    Maybe because he wasn't born in Mexico. There's no established Mexican race, you know - I'm from Mexico, and still people think I'm a gringo.

  • ||

    Stop lying, gringo.

  • Paul||

    I was once railed at by a Mexican for referring to him as such.

    Is it possible he was of Mexican descent, but was a third generation American?

    Like, would you call the black guy in the office African?

  • mofo||

    "There is no longer any doubt that certain religions, because of threats made on behalf of its most extreme adherents, have secured certain special protections."

    I think that's only part of the story. Leftists in this country rush to defend Islam because it is a minority religion, both in the sense that a minority of Americans practice it and that minorities (mostly black) adhere to it much more than whites. So to the average dim bulb leftist, defending Islam makes one an enlightened protector of the oppressed, whereas attacking Christianity makes one an enlightened iconoclast.

  • MNG||

    I'm no fan of Islam (a religion full of ideas that liberals should find abhorrent imo), but in fairness I think many leftists are just worried that there will be a "general" antipathy towards all Muslims based on the actions of a few of them, such as that exhibited in the Mosque controversy...

  • mofo||

    Id believe that except that i have never met a leftist who felt that way about Christianity, indeed, most leftists go out of their way to encourage 'general' apathy towards Christians based on the actions of a few pin-heads (Rev. Phelps, Koran burning 'preacher', etc etc)

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    but in fairness I think many leftists are just worried that there will be a "general" antipathy towards all Muslims based on the actions of a few of them, such as that exhibited in the Mosque controversy...

    In the same way they would be genuinely worried there will be a "general" antipathy towards all Christians based on the actions of few of them, especially among the press and academia . . . No?

    I don't buy it.

  • jtuf||

    MNG, the Liberal are outright saying, "Burning a Koran puts the troops in danger". It's rather clear cut that they believe special rights should be given to whatever group has memebers who hijacks planes. I strongly oppose any violence, but I imagine that Liberals would be praising the "brilliance" of Timothy McVeigh if his death toll was 100 times higher.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    No, McVeigh attacked a government building. If his target had been, say, a private office building, or maybe a large theater (the kind where mega pop-star concerts and monster truck rallies are held), then yeah, McVeigh would have been a leftist icon.

  • jtuf||

    Good point. Although, if he bombed the Pentagon, he would be one of the role models our president looks up to.

  • Paul||

    "general" antipathy towards all Muslims based on the actions of a few of them, such as that exhibited in the Mosque controversy...

    A general antipathy I could live with. If Christians we're trying to build a church in Muslim territory at the site of a Western Bombing, my guess is there would be a lot more death, not some people waving signs who feel a "general antipathy" towards Christians.

  • Apogee||

    So to the average dim bulb leftist, defending Islam makes one an enlightened protector of the oppressed

    It's also helpful that the idea of self-appointed dictatorial influence that is unchallenged overwhelmingly appeals to the left.

  • Pip||

    You forget that Christains all hate teh gays.

  • MNG||

    This is terrible. We cannot become, like many European nations are currently, a nation that lives in cowardly fear of fundamentalist Muslims. In this nation people can burn Korans or any other book they own, we need to keep it that way.

  • Apogee||

    We cannot become, like many European nations are currently, a nation that lives in cowardly fear of fundamentalist Muslims.

    Then go hug a Marine, because that's the one group of people of which the fundamentalists are genuinely wary.

    This is not an ideological discussion. There are no hurt feelings. It's a power grab, and only by failing to reward that grab will this threatening behavior stop.

  • Matt Welch Makes Me Sleepy||

    If I ever decided to burn books, I can tell you the first book I'd burn...

  • jtuf||

    MNG + 10

  • igor||

    we should burn books... the gentleman from NJ transit will be burning books, twigs, newspapers as he tries to stay warm living on the streets of Newark NJ this winter.

  • Mike in SF||

    So what are the legal ramifications here? Can the agency legally fire him for this?

  • Pip||

    Where's the fucking ACLU?

  • ||

    Can't i at least be a little bit happy a union government employee working for transit got fired?

  • Guy||

    Sorry, not this time. I know, it's a bummer.

  • ||

    Can I shrug it off as "Babylon eating Babylon"?

  • Apogee||

    No, because you're on the next plate.

  • ¢||

    Matt Stone and Trey Parker bear no responsibility for threats made by religious lunatics.

    Parker and Stone are overwhelmingly white crypto-ratbaggers, and everything Muslims do is a pure, unalterable, deterministic reaction to what those people do.

    WHITE POWER

    Can the agency legally fire him for this?

    No. But the message is sent, at no direct cost to its senders.

  • hee||

    Please, what is a "crypto-ratbagger?"

  • wackyjack||

    I think he meant crypto-rat bagger. That is, an exterminator at Langley.

  • ||

    left-wing cartoonist Tom Tomorrow

    I remember reading Tom Tomorrow in The Stranger.

    It was about an oval looking boy wandering around the 1900 world's fair.

    The drawings were beautiful and they grew bigger and bigger with each week The Stranger came out. eventually cover multiple pages in full color. The story never ended as far as i could tell....in fact it seemed more like The Stranger simply stopped printing them.

    the story went nowhere and pretty much focused on being as melancholy as possible.

    I don't recall any left wing underpinnings....

    Then again i might be thinking of a different cartoonist.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Chris War.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Er, Chris WARE.

  • ||

    I wonder what the Islamic religious laws are about extinguishing the flames of a burning Koran by pissing on it. Would that be considered heroic or disrespectful?

  • ||

    A test: Which one are you more worried about.

    A picture of Jesus:

    * *** *
    * *** *
    * * *
    ** *
    *
    *
    * *
    * *
    * *
    ** **

    A picture of Mohammad:

    * *** *
    * *** *
    * * *
    ** *
    *
    *
    * *
    * *
    * *
    ** **

    Will this post be edited by the free speech supporters of Reason? If so why?

    I am not for burning anything or making fun of anyone, but this world is fucked when people riot over a cartoon, or any form of expression for that matter. Being offended is the stupid persons way of defending their own beliefs since they do not have the courage or intellectual ability to converse rationally about their beliefs. People make fun of "crazy right wing religious zealots" while at the same time defending people who would set their own fucking city on fire in protest of a cartoon.

    Final note. If you are offended by my collection of dots (either one of them, though they are both identical), then you are a MORON.

  • ||

    Dang, they were supposed to look like stick figures.

  • sdf||

    Aren't those just histograms?

  • ||

    Its modern art...

  • ||

    ((((:^#

    Here he is.

  • ||

    The squirrels don't freakin' care about Mohammed drawings.

  • ||

    Its all the other assholes that are worried about Mohammed drawings that I am worried about.

    What we need to do is set fire to a few billion metric tons of pot and then fan it into the major cities of the world so everyone can just chill out.

  • ||

    Sounds like you've already tested that idea in miniature scale in your home.

  • ||

    Your representation of Asterik, the omnipotent God of HTLM, by which all existence occurs is offensive.
    In retaliation, I will masterbate until I dehydrate.

  • BoscoH||

    Mohammad looks kinda like Sarah Jessica Parker. Are you trying to make a non-obvious point?

  • ||

    I'd still bang her.

    No, I was kinda hoping my point would be absolutely obvious. Stupid left justifying posting script.

  • ||

    There is no longer any doubt that certain religions, because of threats made on behalf of its most extreme adherents, have secured certain special protections.

    Really? You are certain it's because of threats rather than just special sensitivity toward minority religions?

    I mean, I oppose the latter attitude too, but it doesn't have the sinister implications you're emitting. I'm sure he would have been fired for setting fire to a menorah too.

  • hee||

    "I'm sure he would have been fired for setting fire to a menorah too."

    But we'll never know, will we?

  • Pip||

    I think you're supposed to set fire to a menorah. That's what the candles are for.

  • Ted S.||

    Where then is the sensitivity towards Mormons?

  • robc||

    or Scientologists.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Google the love for the Jehovah's Witnesses. Not much.

  • ||

    I'm sure he would have been fired for setting fire to a menorah too.

    oh, grow a brain before you post again, ok?

  • joe||

    "I'm sure he would have been fired for setting fire to a menorah too."
    If he was Muslim or a "person of color" and he could frame it as a way to protest Isreali policy towards the Palestinians he would not be fired. The would the the cause celebre to the left "anti racist" movement.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Makes more sense than the average MNG post.

  • MNG||

    With about as many links as the average Johnny LT post...

  • ||

    And thus the Dhimmitude begins, as we impose it on ourselves...

  • Entitled Slacker||

    + 250

  • ||

    There is no longer any doubt that certain religions, because of threats made on behalf of its most extreme adherents, have secured certain special protections.

    You guys are quite dishonest when writing about Islam and Islamic terrorism; or did you think that the phrase "certain religions" and the misdirection of who's making the threats could make the dishonesty seem like a cutesy play on words?

    IOW "There is no longer any doubt that Islam, because of threats made by Muslims, has secured certain special protections."

  • ||

    You guys think this is ominous, but consider this: Muslims comprise less than 1% of the U.S. population now (if Wikipedia is to be believed).

    Just wait until the rate is 10% or more (as in several European countries).

  • ||

    Maybe non-Muslims should stop masturbating and using condoms and start being fruitful and multiplying if that's a concern.

  • Mohammad||

    You know the irony in all of this is that I couldn't even begin to tell you just how many times I have pissed on myself.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    +100

  • Colin||

    Where's the effin' ACLU?

    Probably hiding under their desks like they did during the McCarthy era.

  • jtuf||

    Hmm. A lawyer in Australia might also get fired for publically burning the Koran.

    http://www.israelnationalnews......spx/139640

  • jtuf||

    http://www.israelnationalnews......spx/139640

  • jtuf||

  • jtuf||

    From the article:
    While Stewart waits to see whether he will lose his job over his off-hours activity, various religious organizations are condemning his act and hoping to head off a violent response by outraged Muslims. Muhammad Wahid, president of the Islamic Association of Australia, called on “hurt” Muslims to remain calm Monday morning and urged them not to retaliate.

  • jtuf||

    Oh, and while Reason wrote about a dozen artiles about people who opposed the Islamic Center at Ground Zero, you guys completely ignored Hillary Clinton's demands that Israel tear down a Jewish Temple.

    http://www.israelnationalnews......spx/139638

  • mj86||

    "There is no longer any doubt that certain religions, because of threats made on behalf of its most extreme adherents, have secured certain special protections."

    This is not right. Islam is granted special protections because liberals see them as allies and/or foils in the struggle against conservatives.

  • joe||

    There's a few mentions here of people in the US and Australia who got fired for burning the Koran. In the Islamic world do Muslims ever lose their jobs for insulting Christians or Jews?

  • ||

    You might lose your job (and possibly property and life) for being a Christian or Jew.

  • ||

    You lose your job if you don't insult Jews on a daily basis.

  • ||

    If I pay for the book, I can do whatever the heck I want with my copy: "When things are fully our own, or when all others are excluded from meddling with them, or from interfering about them, it is plain that no person besides the proprietor, who has this exclusive right, can have any, claim either to use them, or to hinder him from disposing of them as, he pleases; so that property, considered as an exclusive right to things, contains not only a right to use those things, but a right to dispose of them, either by exchanging them for other things, or by giving them away to any other person, without any consideration, or even throwing them away. Rutherf. Inst. 20; Domat, liv. prel. tit. 3; Poth. Des Choses; 18 Vin. Ab. 63; 7 Com. Dig. 175; Com. Dig. Biens. See also 2 B. & C. 281; S. C. 9 E. C. L. R. 87; 3 D. & R. 394; 9 B. & C. 396; S. C. 17 E. C. L. R. 404; 1 C. & M. 39; 4 Call, 472; 18 Ves. 193; 6 Bing. 630."

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