Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Cathy Young has an interesting article in Reason about the College Republicans at San Francisco State University who were brought up on charges because they trampled upon paper "flags" of Hamas and Hezbollah. These flags contain Arabic script (which I think it ugly on a flag), and does it shock anybody to learn that the script includes the word "Allah." This didn't go over too well with some Muslim students, who objected to the trampling upon the name of Allah. Apparently believing this objection to be reasonable, some of the college Republicans invited an offended Muslim to scratch out the name of Allah with magic marker. I guess his theory was that scratching out the name with magic marker and then trampling wouldn't be offensive. Predictably, this did not satisfy other offended Muslims, the demonstration broke up without violence, and a disciplinary complaint was filed. San Francisco State has now cleared the College Republicans of all charges. Hooray!

But Cathy Young objects to one supposed defense of the students over at National Review Online. Brendon Conway conceded that "The objection to the trampling of the name of Allah is reasonable. Done willfully, it would be an act of religious intolerance."

Sure, trampling on the name of Allah demonstrates disdain for Islam. So?

This is America. People have the right to be disdainful, of Islam or any religion for that matter. They have the right to trample upon the name of Allah, to print the Koran on toilet paper and wipe their ass with it if they want. Now certain forms of religious intolerance are verboten -- for example, one is not allowed to kill Muslims, or beat them up, or even discriminate against them in employment.

But blasphemy? Hey, that's what freedom is about, man.

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