Pastor Terry Jones arrested before he could burn 2998 Korans

Rick Moran
Book burnings are what Nazis do. It doesn't belong anywhere in America for any reason whatsoever. There is nothing in any book ever written or published that should be suppressed.

But why was controversial pastor Terry Jones arrested by Polk County sherrifs on his way to burn 2998 Korans? Doesn't he have the right to act like an ignoramus if he chooses to burn books?

Jones was arrested, according to the Orlando Sentinel, for unlawfully carrying kerosene in his vehicle and for carrying a firearm.

LA Times:


Jones is best known for stoking Muslim anger by publicly desecrating the religion's holy book, sometimes with international consequences.

This time law enforcement officials intervened before Jones could carry out his plans for a ceremonial Sept. 11 burning.

Jones had planned to set alight 2,998 Korans at a Polk County park for the 12-year anniversary, with each Koran "representing one of the victims, every person who was murdered by Islam," according to one of his news releases -- a casualty total that perhaps accidentally included the 19 hijackers.

County officials had reportedly denied Jones' permit application to use the Loyce E. Harpe Park near Mulberry for the burning.

Before the event, which Jones had planned to attend anyway, the Gainesville-based preacher was reportedly arrested for driving with kerosene in a barbecue grill, officials told The Ledger, a Polk County newspaper. A local ABC affiliate reported that Jones had Korans inside the grill.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Jones had previously called off a burning of 200 Korans in 2010 after federal officials warned him that the burning could put U.S. troops at risk and boost recruitment for Al Qaeda.

Some may object to me referring to Jones as an "ignoramus." Oh, really?

Jones had planned to set alight 2,998 Korans at a Polk County park for the 12-year anniversary, with each Koran "representing one of the victims, every person who was murdered by Islam," according to one of his news releases -- a casualty total that perhaps accidentally included the 19 hijackers.

I rest my case.

Jones stupidity does not obviate his right to burn the Korans. Technically, Jones was, indeed, in violation of the law. But how many other Polk County residents have been arrested on the same charge of unlawfully carrying fuel in their pick-up? No one doubts that this arrest was made to head off Jones in his quest to exercise his constitutional right of free speech. For that reason, the sherriff should be sued by Jones. He certainly has a case.

There are other ways for people like Jones to express themselves without stooping to the level of Nazis and burn books. The constitution is there to protect free speech but it is silent about the lack of judgment from those who practice it.



Book burnings are what Nazis do. It doesn't belong anywhere in America for any reason whatsoever. There is nothing in any book ever written or published that should be suppressed.

But why was controversial pastor Terry Jones arrested by Polk County sherrifs on his way to burn 2998 Korans? Doesn't he have the right to act like an ignoramus if he chooses to burn books?

Jones was arrested, according to the Orlando Sentinel, for unlawfully carrying kerosene in his vehicle and for carrying a firearm.

LA Times:


Jones is best known for stoking Muslim anger by publicly desecrating the religion's holy book, sometimes with international consequences.

This time law enforcement officials intervened before Jones could carry out his plans for a ceremonial Sept. 11 burning.

Jones had planned to set alight 2,998 Korans at a Polk County park for the 12-year anniversary, with each Koran "representing one of the victims, every person who was murdered by Islam," according to one of his news releases -- a casualty total that perhaps accidentally included the 19 hijackers.

County officials had reportedly denied Jones' permit application to use the Loyce E. Harpe Park near Mulberry for the burning.

Before the event, which Jones had planned to attend anyway, the Gainesville-based preacher was reportedly arrested for driving with kerosene in a barbecue grill, officials told The Ledger, a Polk County newspaper. A local ABC affiliate reported that Jones had Korans inside the grill.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Jones had previously called off a burning of 200 Korans in 2010 after federal officials warned him that the burning could put U.S. troops at risk and boost recruitment for Al Qaeda.

Some may object to me referring to Jones as an "ignoramus." Oh, really?

Jones had planned to set alight 2,998 Korans at a Polk County park for the 12-year anniversary, with each Koran "representing one of the victims, every person who was murdered by Islam," according to one of his news releases -- a casualty total that perhaps accidentally included the 19 hijackers.

I rest my case.

Jones stupidity does not obviate his right to burn the Korans. Technically, Jones was, indeed, in violation of the law. But how many other Polk County residents have been arrested on the same charge of unlawfully carrying fuel in their pick-up? No one doubts that this arrest was made to head off Jones in his quest to exercise his constitutional right of free speech. For that reason, the sherriff should be sued by Jones. He certainly has a case.

There are other ways for people like Jones to express themselves without stooping to the level of Nazis and burn books. The constitution is there to protect free speech but it is silent about the lack of judgment from those who practice it.