If we needed a reason to fear Islam, Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani gave us one. A call for the arrest of pastor Terry Jones.
"On behalf of a half billion Muslims, I condemn this savage plan and warn of its consequences," Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani, one of the senior clergy figures in Iran, said in a statement…
…"This pastor should be immediately arrested and his church closed down," the ayatollah said in the statement, which was carried on the website of Iran's state-television IRIB.
Our gut response is to recoil from the though of silencing Terry Jones via an official state action. The is no way we would even consider this option in the United States. It does not stopping our citizens and leaders from asking Terry Jones to stop, and many have. It does not stop us from labeling him a nutball or fringe Christian either, and many have, myself included. But when it comes to the question of silencing Terry Jones, I would fight to make sure he could have his protest. It is the American way.
On September 11, after Terry Jones has burned a stack of Korans, Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani will issue a fatwa calling for the death of Jones and possibly even the members of his church. We will then be obligated to protect him when the agents of Islam try to call him to account. Terry Jones is no Salman Rushdie, he does not deserve our protection, but he will get it none the less.