New Jersey Transit enforces Sharia: burning the Qur’an is not against American law. It may be obnoxious, but it is not illegal, it harms no one, and if we don’t stand up for freedom of expression now, we will surely lose it. Free Expression Death Watch Alert: “Koran burner Derek Fenton booted from his job at NJ Transit,” by Alison Gendar, Kevin Deutsch and Pete Donohue for the New York Daily News, September 14 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The protester who burned pages from the Koran outside a planned mosque near Ground Zero has been fired from NJTransit, sources and authorities said Tuesday.
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….
“Mr. Fenton’s public actions violated New Jersey Transit’s code of ethics,” an agency statement said.
“NJ Transit concluded that Mr. Fenton violated his trust as a state employee and therefore [he] was dismissed.”
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.”…
“Good for him for burning the Koran,” neighbor Jacqui Marquez, 40, said.
“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion … by firing him, they’re sending a message that there’s no freedom of speech. They’re completely wrong for doing this.”…
If Fenton was fired for burning the Koran while off-duty, his First Amendment rights probably were violated, Chris Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union said.
“The Supreme Court has recognized a constitutional right to burn the flag. As reprehensible as it may be, burning the Koran would be protected as well.”
Good for the NYCLU.