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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Bacon, The New Hate Crime

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Gates of Vienna has an interesting post on using Bacon as a new Hate Crime.
According to the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, two hours before the 1 p.m. Friday service, the Koran was found on the front steps of the Islamic Center. Someone had written “Mohammad pedophile” on the front, and an (unnamed) expletive was on the inside, smeared under two strips of bacon. Not only did the local police report it as a hate crime, but they said they would contact the FBI. Mosque representatives are meeting with the City Mayor Johnny Piper to see what he can do as well.
And, of course, our buddies at CAIR are calling for this to be prosecuted as well.

Whatever happened to politeness? Was placing a defaced Koran on the steps of a mosque a polite thing to do? Does it help anything? Or did it just give CAIR some more ammunition?

I really hate to agree with CAIR, but this time I think the case might have a point. What if, for example, instead of a defaced Koran left outside a mosque it was a burning cross left in front of a church? Would people be calling that littering and perhaps an additional charge of a fire without a permit? No, of course not. The placement of a burning cross is an act that is much more powerful than its components.

Hate crimes completely confuse the issue. Either the underlying act is a crime, or it isn't. The motivation just shows intent. The way to view this situation is from a framework of property rights. You're perfectly free to place defaced Korans, burning crosses, and Hillary for President posters in your own yard. People will think you're stupid, but they've got the choice to not listen to you. The government might consider that to be a hate crime, but that just shows that the government doesn't understand free speech.

But when you enter someone else's property, you do so under their terms. No reasonable person would assume that a blatant act, designed to inflame and enrage, would be permitted by the property holder. By leaving that burning cross in their yard you trespassed and assaulted the property owner. You basically trespassed and then stated your intentions (symbolically) to do them harm. You've become a threat that they would be justified in repelling. Or, instead, we enforce our laws against trespass and assault, looking at the motivation to be sure that it wasn't an accidental trespass and the intent for assault was really there.


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