Civil Liberties

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.