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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites 1695

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-a-sticky-wicket dept.
theodp writes "In response to a complaint, Rackspace has shut down the websites of the Dove World Outreach Center, a small 50-member church which has received national and international criticism for a planned book burning of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. The center 'violated the hate-speech provision of our acceptable-use policy,' explained Rackspace spokesman Dan Goodgame. 'This is not a constitutional issue. This is a contract issue,' said Goodgame, who added he did not know how long it had hosted the church's sites. Not quite the same thing, but would Kurt Westergaard's cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad also violate Rackspace's AUP? How about Christopher Hitchens' Slate articles? Could articles from one-time Rackspace poster child The Onion pass muster?"
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Rackspace Shuts Down Quran-Burning Church's Sites

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  • Stupid (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Jarkov (1867240) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:50AM (#33519618)
    As much as I think this whole is stupid and that a tiny fringe group is being given waaayyy too much publicity for something like this, I don't think shutting down its website is appropriate. They aren't hurting anyone (directly) and by shutting them up you are violating their freedom of speech, no matter how ignorant or idiotic it happens to be. Let them continue to broadcast their idiocy to the world and hopefully everyone will ignore them when they realise how dumb the message actually is. We've all heard of the Streisand effect, haven't we?
  • well done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spd_rcr (537511) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:51AM (#33519630) Homepage

    awesome, it's nice to see a company with a bit of a spine, freedom of speech is one thing, but no-one has to provide a stage.

  • First host! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:52AM (#33519640)

    Really though, bigots, use Linode. They don't have a policy like this.

  • by Isaac-1 (233099) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:54AM (#33519664)

    Sooner or later you get into the question, do people have the right to dislike other groups of people?

  • What the hell? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by vvaduva (859950) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:55AM (#33519680)

    So, if someone decides to burn a Bible would they do the same? Look, I am not siding with these bigots, but all this government pressure to attack this stupid church/people, shut them down, and feel them intimidated reeks of police state tactics. Maybe we should all exchange some matches...that way all the bigots on all side are covered and ready to "strike?"

  • by Sentex (625502) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:56AM (#33519696)
    "Freedom of speech" only applies to Government's interference in forms of speech. Rackspace is a private company and can do as they please.
  • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:57AM (#33519698) Journal

    How is this a matter of hate speech laws? There's no law involved here, only the Acceptable Use Policy of Rackspace. It's not a matter of whether people have the right to dislike other groups of people. It's a matter of whether you can be punished for breaking a contractual obligation not to host stuff that violates the acceptable use policy.

  • Re:well done (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:58AM (#33519706)

    I wish I had points to mod this guy up.

    You can say whatever the bloody hell you want to say but that doesn't mean I'm going to support you doing so.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:58AM (#33519708)
    Political Correctness has replaced both freedom of religion AND freedom of speech in this country. We've become a nation of cowards.
  • Re:well done (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JxcelDolghmQ (1827432) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:58AM (#33519716)

    Actually I think it's pretty fucking spineless of them.

    I think this church is an idiot, but they still have the right to do what they're doing. Rackspace is a bunch of douchebags for pulling the plug. "Hate speech" is subjective and can be applied to nearly anything.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 19thNervousBreakdown (768619) <davec-slashdot AT lepertheory DOT net> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:58AM (#33519718) Homepage

    The first amendment prohibits the government from suppressing speech, not Rackspace.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:58AM (#33519720)

    Welcome to the difference between the western world, and the Islamic world.

    Western world: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
    Islamic world: "Die for insulting our moon god!"

    I suppose we should add "...unless some backwards 7th century scumwad threatens to carbomb us" to the Western side though.

    Seriously though, this is getting ridiculous. As Christopher Hitchens pointed out a couple columns ago [slate.com], " As Western Europe has already found to its cost, local Muslim leaders have a habit, once they feel strong enough, of making demands of the most intolerant kind. Sometimes it will be calls for censorship of anything "offensive" to Islam. Sometimes it will be demands for sexual segregation in schools and swimming pools. The script is becoming a very familiar one. And those who make such demands are of course usually quite careful to avoid any association with violence. They merely hint that, if their demands are not taken seriously, there just might be a teeny smidgeon of violence from some other unnamed quarter ..."

    Feisal Rauf, Muslim Brotherhood member, Hamas stooge, etc... has just gone down the line of every other Imam before him in this regard. If you didn't think his whole big speech last night wasn't simply threatening violence if he doesn't get his way, then you're not thinking clearly.

    I could also offer a nicely formatted treatise comparing Mohammed point-by-point to scum like Warren Jeffs and L. Ron Hubbard and David Koresh as well, but that'll keep for another day.

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:58AM (#33519724) Homepage Journal

    is for all these groups going out of their way to condemn this idiotic church but no condemn the threatened response of adherents of Islam. If one little piss ant church in America can cause so many Muslims unglued.

    Frankly, while I find the idea of burning any book abhorrent I think that spitting in the face of these radicals of Islam is more important than not. Either bring your religion to 21st century and join the rest of us or shut the hell up.

    So, yeah a small town church with a ego maniac at its helm is burning a book, it is no excuse by any RATIONAL people to react with violence.

  • Re:well done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Isaac-1 (233099) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @08:59AM (#33519728)

    Would you be saying the same thing if it were the phone company disconnecting their phone service? It is funny how the ISP's and Hosting companies want all that common carrier protection right up until they do something like this, and then don't want to play the neutral party obligation that goes along with being a common carrier.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:00AM (#33519756)

    Individuals have no requirement to respect the "free speech" of others, nor do owners of private property have to put up with anything they don't like. Free speech means the government can't lock you in jail for protesting or publishing against government policies and it doesn't guarantee that anyone else even has to listen. Is the government locking him up? No. Did the government raid Rackspace and seize the server? No.

    The book burning is barely a real political statement, its not an artistic performance, and its certainly not warranted. It's some groaty, pissed-off redneck reminiscent of the side-character Skeeter in South Park -- the guy who hangs out in the bar going "we don't take kindly to your kind around here." In this case its "hey, intolerant Muslims! we don't take kindly to your kind around here!" Just because he has a legal right to proceed with his moronic plan, the irony of which, I'm sure, is probably much too subtle to have an impression on him, doesn't mean that, you, I, Rackspace, or anyone else has to facilitate his stupidity.

  • by dskoll (99328) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:00AM (#33519758)

    ... so I hope that Rackspace would be fair-minded and shut down any site that publishes the Qu'ran. For example, see Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

    To be clear: I utterly despise book-burning and I think the guy who wants to burn the Qu'ran is doing it solely to incite anger. But at the same time, the Qu'ran itself contains many inflammatory passages and should be criticized just as roundly as the wing-nut in Florida.

  • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:02AM (#33519772) Journal

    Actually, this is the part that ticks me off the most about America: thinking that freedom of speech means you can swear at the neighbour's birthday party, or that some company has to carry your drivel.

    In reality it's strictly about your relationship with Congress. The actual text of the first amendment reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Basically Congress can make no law forbidding you to be a bigotted douchebag, but a company is not forced to carry your packets anyway. A private company can't violate your freedom of speech, because in respect to them you had none whatsoever in the first place.

    In fact, if government forced a company to carry someone's drivel, they'd be essentially violating that company's freedom of press. It would be the government telling them what to print and/or distribute.

    And possibly freedom of association too (in forcing them to be associated with some particular asshole or the views thereof), although that one isn't explicitly guaranteed in the USA anyway, only freedom of assembly is.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrHanky (141717) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:03AM (#33519782) Homepage Journal

    Tell me, how is book burning representative for that quote popularly attributed to Voltaire now again?

  • Re:well done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mike2R (721965) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:04AM (#33519800)
    Crap. He may have the right under the US constitution, but no one else has any responsibility to aid this lunatic in the slightest.
  • by spd_rcr (537511) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:05AM (#33519804) Homepage

    Since when does free (hate) speech outweigh freedom of religion. To be free from persecution. Burning the Koran/Quran is a form of intimidation, much like burning crosses in peoples front yards.

  • Re:well done (Score:1, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:05AM (#33519806)
    Caving in and suppressing free speech because you're afraid some Muslim might come after you isn't spine. It's the exact opposite.
  • Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:05AM (#33519812)
    While the submitter makes it sound like they disagree with Rackspace's decision (head boggle...), I would like to say good. Good for them. Freedom of speech does not mean that everyone must listen to you. Freedom of speech does not mean every company must assist you in delivering a message they disagree with. Freedom of speech means the government can't shut you down because they don't like your message. I, as an individual, can shut you off. Companies that disagree with you have no requirement to broadcast your message.

    Good for Rackspace. They did the right thing.

    And, to the church I say this - you're hateful fucks. I hope you find out that your God isn't quite so accepting of hateful actions like that.
  • by clickety6 (141178) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:06AM (#33519826)
    I'm not sure what's sadder. A backwoods pastor trying to provoke a reaction by book burning or the international media giving the idiot so much free airtime and so many free column inches. I bet the guy has never felt so important. If I were a cynical sort, I would think the media is devoting so much time to this subject purely to provoke a reaction from certain groups in order to have something explosive to report and moralise on. After all, nothing sells newspapers like violence and bloodshed...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:07AM (#33519834)

    Reading a book from cover to cover should be a prerequisite to burning it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:07AM (#33519836)

    As does the Bible.

  • by Isaac-1 (233099) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:09AM (#33519876)

    True, but the root of these acceptable use policies that started many years ago with EULA's that stated things like this word processor can't be used to generate hate speech. All goes back to this war on freedom of thought that the hate speech laws so clearly represent. Keep in mind I am not saying anything about the merits of their position, just that using catch all contract clauses that have came about by a cultural lapse in judgement that thinks if you make it so no one can legally have a negative opinion then all will be well.

  • Satire (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:09AM (#33519878) Homepage

    If you can explain to me how burning someone else's holy book qualifies as satire or parody then I'll accept the equivalence with Westergaard's case.

    This situation is closer to a company like Rackspace choosing not to host the KKK's web site. Doesn't exactly make Rackspace a paragon of free speech, but there no shortage of service providers out there who are willing to host the site... most at a premium that covers the inevitable hack attacks.

  • by Salamander (33735) <jeff@[ ]atyp.us ['pl.' in gap]> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:11AM (#33519896) Homepage Journal

    (1) The constitution is binding on the *government*, not private parties. Rackspace may deny service to anyone, just as Dove World Outrage Center may.
    (2) There's a legal and moral distinction between being insulting or derogatory speech (Westergaard, Onion) and inciting violence (Dove).
    (3) "Clear and present danger" is a recognized exception to free speech. Don't yell fire in a crowded theatre, etc. The *predictable* result of Dove's action is a sharply increased risk of retaliatory attacks killing US soldiers.

    IMO any of these three reasons alone is sufficient to say that Rackspace's action is no affront to free speech. In combination, they're sufficient for me to say that anyone who protests Rackspace's actions more than Dove's is exhibiting a lack of understanding and/or perspective so serious that it's the domain of psychiatry rather than philosophy. I say that as a card-carrying monthly-dues-paying ACLU member, by the way. The actual advancement of civil liberties is only harmed by such ridiculous positions.

  • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:13AM (#33519914)
    You're the first I've seen making any reference to "intimidation," which is entirely subjective. How are they being intimidating?
  • Re:Stupid (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:13AM (#33519916)

    Welcome to the difference between flamebaiting, and discourse.

    Flamebaiter: "Witness the nobility of my cultural myth! Witness the reactionary violence of my strawman enemy!"

    Person trying to have discussion: "I don't think that the 2nd amendment protections on free expression limit the ability of private parties to contract."

    PS: You're made of straw and I'm totes noble. Neener neener!

  • by Ardeaem (625311) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:15AM (#33519942)

    To all the people claiming that this violates this church's right to free speech, please inform me of how this is a government action. Because that is what is protected under the First Amendment. Hell, it's the first three words of the fucking amendment...

    You misunderstand the point of the first amendment, and the founders' conception of rights. The first amendment does not GRANT rights; it merely acknowledges that the right to free speech exists, and constrains the federal government (and by the 14th amendment, state governments) from violating the right. Individuals, and corporations, can violate people's right to free speech without running afoul of the first amendment, because the rights are PRIOR to the constitution, and are inalienable.

    You are thus conflating the "first amendment" as the source of free speech rights. It is not, at least under the American view of rights. Sadly, you've been modded informative, which means many Slashdot readers are ignorant of the basic Enlightenment philosophy underlying American law.

  • Lunatic? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by FatSean (18753) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:15AM (#33519946) Homepage Journal

    He's just burning some books. Our soldiers are being attacked because they are occupying peoples' homes and supporting a new government they don't all accept. The argument that burning these books would put our soldiers in more danger is not only incorrect, but irrelevant as here we are...giving up our rights and freedoms because we fear the terrorists. Another victory for fundies.

  • by stdarg (456557) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:15AM (#33519956)

    I think the line is bit more blurry when it comes to things like ISPs. They're working with public property and they get government funding for crap like the national broadband initiative. So how can they turn around and resell services with restrictions that the government would not be allowed to have? Imagine if your electric company said "We're turning off the lights on any residence we feel is associated with hate speech." Private company, maybe, but I feel like that's different since they're also in a government protected market.

    Both situations are different from, say, a restaurant refusing to allow you to get up and preach to all their customers. That's not the business of a restaurant.

  • Re:well done (Score:4, Insightful)

    by JSombra (1849858) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:16AM (#33519964)
    Doubt they are fussed about "some muslim" coming after them, think more of a case that they don't want to give these fools a platform
  • by haystor (102186) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:17AM (#33519994)

    Burning crosses carried with it a bodily threat. Burning the Koran is merely a rejection of a religion. Roughly equivalent of burning a flag. Shouldn't all you flag burning communists be supporting this? The mainstream wouldn't blink at burning the bible -- been there, done that.

    Rackspace is, of course, free to terminate services with anyone they see fit. I'd say it's probably a bad idea to get into the game of judging the quality of content when you have that much content, however. Someone can be offended by almost anything. And this is what it is about, a group is feeling offended, not threatened.

  • Re:well done (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stdarg (456557) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:17AM (#33519998)

    Indeed. And the funny thing is, people like this pastor who provoke Muslims despite receiving death threats are called "Islamophobes." The real Islamophobes are the ones who are, you know, afraid of Muslims. Pretty ridiculous use of the word these days.

  • by epiphani (254981) <epiphani&dal,net> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:18AM (#33520004)

    Either bring your religion to 21st century and join the rest of us or shut the hell up.

    One cannot force someone to change their religious views (or any view) through taunts and provocation. This exercise is immature, and the response will be likely be violently immature.

    You're certainly not going to have these people suddenly roll over and say "oh hey, you know, this whole book burning thing has really opened my eyes!" Not even one.

  • As does the Bible. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FatSean (18753) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:18AM (#33520016) Homepage Journal

    The Hebrews committed genocide at the behest of their god several times. You really gotta check out the old testament some time.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:20AM (#33520042)

    There is nothing preventing people from criticising Islam

    Yes there is. Fear. Cowardice. Very few are left with the spine to stand up and say that Islam is NOT above criticism. Even show a picture of Muhammad and television networks run away, newspapers cower in fear, the citizens of the most powerful country in the world turn into a bunch of scared children--unwilling to make even the most token effort to defend one of the defining principles of the Constitution that founded modern democracy. People who would have no problem with someone burning a flag or Bible become apologists for repression in the name of religion. And they don't do it because of "respecting religion." Let's be honest. They do it because they're COWARDS.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sed quid in infernos (1167989) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:20AM (#33520044)

    He didn't mention the First Amendment. He mentioned freedom of speech. The First Amendment is the codified protection against government intrusion on that particular freedom. It doesn't apply to private actions.

    But that doesn't mean that private actions can't limit freedom of speech. This private action decidedly does - it's a decision to limit expression based on its content. The fact that this ISP has both the legal right (assuming the contract is in order) and, to many, the moral right to do this does not mean that the decision does not limit free speech.

    We accept limits on freedoms all the time, because we have to balance the rights of some against the rights of others. In this case, the two rights at issue are freedom of contract and freedom of speech. I suspect that the former supersedes the latter for most people in this case because: (1) contracts are voluntarily entered into; (2) there are other web-hosting alternatives available to the church. I suspect that were the second factor not present - say in the event of a monopoly or oligarchy of web hosting providers who all restricted particular content - quite a few people might consider restricting freedom of contract to prohibit certain types of content-based restrictions in web hosting service agreements.

    The question isn't whether this limits freedom of speech. The question is whether this is a proper limitation on freedom of speech. A follow on question would be, if this is improper, should it be allowed under the law.

  • by dj961 (660026) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:20AM (#33520048) Journal

    What about the Civil Rights Act? It explicitly makes this type of discrimination illegal. Basically, if a company is selling products or services to the public, it's can't discriminate against its customers. There's a reason why putting up a "whites only" or "no jews" sign outside your business is illegal. This isn't a freedom of speech issue, but a civil rights issue.

  • by tgd (2822) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:21AM (#33520080)

    As does the Bible, and pretty much any book providing social guidance written from that era of history.

    Slavery? Approved. Beating your disrespectful wife? Approved. Killing your children for being disrespectful to your customs? Required.

    If you are going to make an issue of things said in the Qu'ran, you should give equal opportunity to the (equally offensive) parts of the Bible.

    And then remind yourself that there are equally as many fundamentalist Christians as there are Fundamentalist Muslims, and they are nearly as dangerous today, and arguably vastly more dangerous historically. (And because of the political games played in the US, arguably are vastly more impactful on the day-to-day lives of Americans...)

    And lastly, you should remind yourself that the vast majority of theists of all persuasions use their faith to improve their own lives, and don't treat their core religious books as pure, unadulterated fact, don't push their beliefs on others and don't advocate killing "infidels" or abortion doctors.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stdarg (456557) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:21AM (#33520086)

    When most people talk about free speech, they're talking about the principle of free speech, not the legal right. Rackspace, as an American company, should endorse the principle of free speech. Once there's widespread apathy towards free speech in the public, it's a matter of time before legal free speech is also whittled away.

  • by Spazmania (174582) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:22AM (#33520088) Homepage

    Since enabling a non-violent rejection of someone else's point of view is the entire point of both free speech and freedom of religion. Seriously, what do you think free speech/religion/press/assembly is for if not expressing viewpoints that someone else finds grossly offensive?

  • by TheKidWho (705796) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:26AM (#33520166)

    Hey, maybe across the street from that someone can start burning some American flags too! That'll show them!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:27AM (#33520186)

    We seem to tolerate, even not care when others burning items that are meant to offend us. We say they have a right to do so and many just don't care about people burning, stomping, defacing items that are really targeting us. When some idiot goes to target them, now we're upset about it?

    Rackspace has a right to pull the plug, the government should not step, and burning a Koran is wrong and should not be done. BUT where is our spine when others are doing this to offend us?

    I'm tired of our liberal wimps who have the balls to turn the screws to people who are under our law and likely wouldn't bring harm to them over their actions and works. But we have lost our sense of values and ideals when we don't stand up and stay to people in other parts of the world that do these things to offend us. Do we protest, no, we give them money, aide, the shirts off our back. Good job people, way to reward our enemies.

    Stand up for your values and ideals and grow a spine.

    Now, I'm going to get a latte and flip on the Disney channel. :)

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stdarg (456557) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:27AM (#33520198)

    Just because he has a legal right to proceed with his moronic plan, the irony of which, I'm sure, is probably much too subtle to have an impression on him, doesn't mean that, you, I, Rackspace, or anyone else has to facilitate his stupidity.

    Maybe we need laws to ensure that companies providing public services can't discriminate based on how those services are used in terms of speech. It's a public question after all... we already have laws that limit free will in private companies, like anti-discrimination laws. Seems like we could fold certain protected speech under anti-discrimination in fact. I wonder if Rackspace is hosting a site that is offensive to Christians, and refusing to host sites offensive to Muslims. That's close to discrimination based on religion, which I believe is protected.

  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:27AM (#33520202)
    Its not stupid, its called not being the lowest common denominator and we need to be better at it more often. Regardless of what the radicals or moderates in Islam say or what their reaction is, we should continue to criticise those members of our own society that are willing to incite others for whatever reason - that is what makes us better than them, and that is why we like to live in our society rather than theirs.

    Attempting to change their society will never, ever succeed, its only going to cause more issues than it solves. So the answer is not to change them, but to ignore them and certainly never, ever become like them.

    Burning the Koran is a deliberate incitement, and is on a different level to the Islamic radicals burning American or western flags or Bibles, because we have a significantly lower attachment to the actual physical object (although in some ways, American patriotism and anti-flag burning movements are starting to become a religion in themselves) - burning an American flag or bible isn't going to get the streets filled with hundreds of thousands of Americans denouncing Iran or whomever, its barely going to register on our news cycle that evening.

    Let me try and put this as an example in a purely western scenario - imagine what it would be like if, instead of books, we were talking about abortions, and imagine if instead of burning the book as a protest against what the book stands for, we had the anti-abortionist groups deliberately having abortions as a protest. How many abortions would it take until the other side gives in? How many abortions would it take until society takes action? Sure, the analogy looks wrong, and perhaps it is in some ways, but in both cases its an example (mine is probably a highly extreme example) of the protesters becoming what they protest against in order to facilitate that protest - in this case, the church are becoming the radical group that is deliberately inciting the other party.

    As a higher denominator, this is what we should be preventing - because its not on our level, its far below it and I don't enjoy being part of a society that can stoop that low.
  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cowscows (103644) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:27AM (#33520204) Journal

    There's no question of rights or freedom here. This is about a guy being an absolute asshole and other people telling him that he should stop being an asshole.

  • Re:well done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:31AM (#33520294)
    No, I think they're afraid. Let's be honest. The television networks, newspapers, ISP's, etc. who suddenly developed this great respect for religion (which they never seemed to have before, when the religion being satirized or criticized WASN'T Islam) didn't suddenly have some epiphany of religious respect. They saw what happened to the Dutch press and free speech heroes like Theo Van Gogh [wikipedia.org] and got SCARED. They're not doing this out of respect, they're doing it because they're afraid, and don't have the balls to stand up for the principles that they've always convinced themselves that they supported.

    I would have more respect for them if they could at least ADMIT their cowardice and just admit that they're caving because they're afraid of violent retaliation. Instead they hide behind "religious respect" and try to convince themselves that they're not just a bunch of pussies.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:31AM (#33520300)

    There are many hosting companies that for example prohibit porn. Is that suppressing free speech too?

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Venotar (233363) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:31AM (#33520308) Homepage

    Strictly speaking, you're correct - that is the current state of affairs; but SHOULD it be?

    In a world where so much of the technology we use for communications are owned by private third parties and provided essentially free to the end user, or only leased by the user (rather than purchased); I find myself more and more bothered by the idea that we're protected from our government stifling free speech without being protected from government sized corporations doing the same thing, practically speaking. I really do wonder if it should be permissible for a private contract to sign away freedoms that are otherwise constitutionally protected.

    Doesn't this state of affairs de facto circumvent the spirit of the first amendment, if obviously not its strict wording? After all, the idea of leasing a communications medium would probably never have occurred to the authors of the amendment.

    Shouldn't the very protections that save these companies from liability simply by saying "we're not responsible for content" also protect the people who ARE responsible for the content from meddling by the same company?

  • by Mr.Intel (165870) <mrintel173 @ y a h o o . c om> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:32AM (#33520316) Homepage Journal

    There are over 1 billion Muslims in the world, and several million living in the Western world. What percentage of them will resort to violence as a form of protest when these books are burned? Even a few thousand people is several orders of magnitude less than 1%. So it's hardly representative of the Muslim world. In a similar vein, Christians burnt down the Saint Michel theater in Paris [wikipedia.org], putting 13 people in hospital, just to protest against the film "The Last Temptation of Christ", so it's hardly like Islam has a monopoly on its followers wanting to restrict freedom of speech. (The Bible actually insists that blasphemers" should be killed by Christian congregations [skepticsan...dbible.com]: "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying ... he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.")

    The problem with that statement is that Mosaic law doesn't (read: shouldn't) apply to Christians. Most of the Old Testament laws were obsoleted by Christ. See the Sermon on the Mount [wikipedia.org] for a non-comprehensive list. While I certainly don't agree with the Paris theater burning fiasco, I also don't follow that the Bible encourages such action, if read properly.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:33AM (#33520350)

    Muslims, and maybe Scientologiests.

    The reason is that these groups make a bigger fuss about it. If Christians had the same "hair trigger sensitivity to slightest perceived insult" (quoting Pat Condell) then Christians would be given the same consideration.

    If Christians were to start rioting, murdering, or at filing lawsuits, over every silly little thing, then Christians would be given the same consideration.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:34AM (#33520364)

    We've become a nation of cowards.

    People have been saying that exact same thing for decades, it's a common right wing whine. The 'pastor' is not having his freedom of speech imposed on, let Fox News carry his message. However, personally, I won't do business with anyone who gives that guy a platform.

  • Not Applicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Petersko (564140) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:34AM (#33520378)
    "When most people talk about free speech, they're talking about the principle of free speech, not the legal right."

    Right... except you're not guaranteed the principle of free speech by anything. Also, even if the principle of free speach has any backing, Rackspace is not obliged to broadcast it for you. Their version of free speech is to not be required to echo your speech.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:1, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:35AM (#33520390) Homepage

    If it were an ISP even slightly larger than rackspace, then yes, that would most definitely be suppressing free speech. In the case of rackspace, it's an edge case.

    But it's despicable that rackspace doesn't "err on the side of freedom".

  • Re:Stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:39AM (#33520450) Homepage

    And, like in Europe, hate speech laws are mainly used for political purposes, mostly these laws legislate certain parts of the political spectrum out of (legal) existence. Exactly what you'd want to avoid at all costs.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr.Intel (165870) <mrintel173 @ y a h o o . c om> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:41AM (#33520474) Homepage Journal

    He's just burning some books. Our soldiers are being attacked because they are occupying peoples' homes and supporting a new government they don't all accept. The argument that burning these books would put our soldiers in more danger is not only incorrect, but irrelevant as here we are...giving up our rights and freedoms because we fear the terrorists. Another victory for fundies.

    Talk about gross oversimplification. Our soldiers are being attacked because the people they displaced from power want it back. Oh, by the way, the people we displaced from power are Islamic Extremists, who deny basic education to women, recruit children into their armies, and are all around bad guys. The "regular" people of Afghanistan are all too happy to be out from the thumb of the Taliban. Not that our actions [csmonitor.com] have been overtly friendly with civilians as of late, but that's the cost of a guerrilla war [wikipedia.org].

  • Re:Satire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mysidia (191772) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:41AM (#33520480)

    If you can explain to me how burning someone else's holy book qualifies as satire or parody then I'll accept the equivalence with Westergaard's case.

    I'm sure burning someone else's holy book would be vandalism, destruction of property, and a crime.

    However, burning your own copy of a different religion's holy book, would just be destroying your own property, which isn't harming anyone else. And making fun of religious folks in general, and some people's strange notion that destroying one copy of a book is somehow scorning their beliefs.

    If a religion wants to prevent people from burning their book, then they should distribute the book only to their religious institutions, under requirement that special agreements be assigned to protect their copy of the book from vandalism, restrictions against distribution, etc.

  • Re:well done (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tenco (773732) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:41AM (#33520492)
    May i introduce you to a new word today: respect.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerull (586485) <nerull&tds,net> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:42AM (#33520498)

    Slashdot moderation violates our founding ideals. You shouldn't use slashdot.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:43AM (#33520534) Homepage

    You make it sound as if 30% of the country is Patriots, 30% of the country is Tories and the rest are just apathetic.

    Patriots still exist and are tolerated. That's still more that you can say for most places.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mike2R (721965) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:43AM (#33520540)
    This is not a question about rights. No one is denying this man has a right to do what he says he will do.

    What we are saying is that he is a fucking lunatic for exercising this right. Yes it will act as a recruiting sergeant for the Taliban (who must be laughing their heads off about this). Yes it will be used by demagogues to whip up mobs to attack Christians in many countries. Yes it is really just fucking rude and unnecessary.

    If we were talking about cartoons of Mohammed then I might agree with you - there is an important principle about parody there - but this guy has just picked the most offensive thing he could do to the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, and is then going ahead and doing it. Irrespective of any arguments from common sense, principled tolerance, or basic good manners.

    Lunatic is too kind - it suggests he is not responsible for his actions. This man is a crazy evil shit.
  • Re:Not Applicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:45AM (#33520574) Journal

    Also, even if the principle of free speach has any backing, Rackspace is not obliged to broadcast it for you.

    If a company does something that I consider wrong, saying that they aren't legally obliged to do the right thing, doesn't rate as a defense of their behaviour to me.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:45AM (#33520578) Homepage

    Up to the point where it is considered hate speech which this clearly is.

    Huh ? This is clearly not hate speech. It is criticism.

    Is burning an American flag hate speech ?
    Is burning a bible (something these idiots regularly do) ?
    Is universal health care hate speech ?

    Who gets to say what is hate speech ? Quite frankly, half the quran itself easily qualifies as hate speech itself, have you read it ? It's certainly a lot worse than book burning. The same could be said about the bible.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:45AM (#33520582)

    You must not ever have worked for a web hosting company or ISP before if you think its all about legal liability, because it isn't really. Part of it is civil liability. There have been cases where hosting companies of been successfully sued for providing hosting for knock-off louis vitton merchandise and/or pirated software.

    Using "not our fault" doesn't fly when some email marketers skirt in and then start dropping tonnes of spam and get an entire /24 added to SpamHause, pissing off every other customer in the IP block who now can't send legitimate mail to most places.

    The company I worked for hosted some particularly controversial content at one point, until the number of calls from the ADL and the constant DDoS attacks became too much, we kicked off the site in question and re-worked the TOS.

    From the point of view of the host, its much less headache to kick this guy to the curb than deal with the non-legal fallout of complaints, bad press, hackers, DDoSers, etc.

    Rackspace isn't the phone company. They're not a public utility. They don't have a monopoly on web hosting. This is more like a pub owner who constantly has to take down nasty fliers from a bulletin board finally just banning the jackass who posts them from the premises. He's free to try and find somewhere else to host is crap, and those hosts are free to tell him to beat it, too.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:46AM (#33520590) Homepage

    Chill the fuck out.

    The church can still burn the Queran if it wants, it can still spread its message if it wants, and it can still say whatever it wants...just not on a Rackspace server.

    How is this any different than being kicked out of a store for repeatedly saying kike or nigger? You're welcome to say it outside the store...just not in it.

  • by Nerull (586485) <nerull&tds,net> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:46AM (#33520592)

    Right, Christians have never, ever committed terrorism.

    Has the last few years really made people this fucking stupid?

  • Re:Satire (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iceperson (582205) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:47AM (#33520612)
    Would it qualify in your mind if they put them in vats of piss?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ [wikipedia.org]
  • by epiphani (254981) <epiphani&dal,net> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:47AM (#33520628)

    Their response is needed to awaken the secular West to the threat of religion, all of which are toxic. We are used to tame, social-club religions. Islam is not that.

    You do not train a child to be rational and logical by mocking them. You do it by listening to them and educating them slowly over time.

    Why does everyone seem to think that inflammatory actions will somehow improve this situation? Keep in mind that what is currently a fairly fundamental Islamic world was effectively created in the last 100 years through financial oligarchy. The theocracy it has implemented is primarily a means of control, and only utilized out of convenience.

    It will take a generation or two to moderate the middle east - however nothing we're doing now has set us on that path.

  • by Urza9814 (883915) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:48AM (#33520640)

    The first amendment applies to _government_ restrictions on speech. Extending the right to free speech to cover private companies would make spam filtering illegal, it would make forum moderation illegal, it would make filtering bad words in online chats illegal, etc...

  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sed quid in infernos (1167989) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:50AM (#33520660)

    The issue is more complex than both you and those simply saying, "the First Amendment only applies to government" are describing it. Private actors do not have a duty to facilitate the free speech of others. This principle is accepted by essentially everyone - I've yet to meet a person who thinks I should have to allow a sign on my front yard for a candidate I don't support.

    The question is where the refusal of a private actor to facilitate speech crosses the line from perfectly reasonable (as in the yard-sign example) to violation of founding ideals. An explanation of why this instance crosses (or doesn't cross) that line holds much promise for enlightening discussion. A bald statement that doesn't even seem to acknowledge the complex nature of balancing rights does not. The freedom to contract can support a host of other freedoms, including the freedom not to support speech antithetical to one's ideals. That's not something to be hand-waved away with platitudes, but to be addressed with serious discussion that does not assert conclusions as starting premises.

    Also, it absolutely does matter if it's legal. While that's not the end of the discussion, it certainly has a place in the discussion. For example, if it is legal, should it be made illegal? If it's not legal, should it be made legal?

    These issues are complex. Blatant oversimplification - in either direction - doesn't help matters.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tophermeyer (1573841) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:51AM (#33520682)

    If I'm missing something, feel free to "woosh" me. But...

    Declining to distribute is not the same as suppressing. Rackspace is under no obligation to facilitate anyone in distributing their speech. They chose to selectively offer their services to people/organizations that agree to abide by the terms of their service, they define those terms in a service contract.

    Walmart doesn't carry porn in their stores or online. Are they suppressing free speech? If you can honestly say yes, then I'm going to take some dirty photos of myself and mail them to you. By your reasoning if you fail to redistribute those then you are suppressing my free speech.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:53AM (#33520726)

    Oh cut it out with the "freedom is absolute" trash. There are all kinds of anti-hate actions taken all the time by Jewish organizations against anything even tangentially related to anyone standing within 100 miles of an anti-semitic bumper sticker. Have a look at the absurd lawsuits that the various arms of AIPAC engage in on a daily basis.

    Then there's the huge ruckus that the US flag burning caused. Here in Australia the government even attempted to outlaw flag burning as a response.

    Now, all of a sudden "freedom" has to be totally protected because this time its those evil terrorists who are the target?

    Seriously.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:53AM (#33520732)

    These guys are doing -nothing- of consequence. The Koran comes off of a web press in the tens of thousands, just like any other book these days. So all they are doing ultimately is making a bit more business for some printer. It isn't as though they are destroying some special, ancient Koran that has historical and cultural significance, they are just burning a mass produced book. If they can't see the futility of that, well then that makes them the retards.

    Is it offensive? Probably but then when did anyone have the right not to be offended? I see offensive shit all the time out there, particularly against religions. South Park has been positively brutal to the Catholics, the Mormons, the Scientologists, etc. They have been some of the funniest episodes (the Mormon one kills me every time) but I'm sure they offended the hell out of a bunch of people. Tough. Nobody says you have the right to go through life and not be offended.

    So these guys want to go offend Muslims. Big deal, who cares? Let them.

    Tolerance means letting people do what they want, more or less. There has to be limits, you can't harm others, but there's no reason you can't offend them. Also real tolerance would be on the part of Muslims says "Ya knock yourselves out. Retards," and just ignoring the whole thing.

  • by tburkhol (121842) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:53AM (#33520746)

    While I certainly don't agree with the Paris theater burning fiasco, I also don't follow that the Bible encourages such action, if read properly.

    And there's the basic problem. Most Muslims will tell you that the Koran, if read properly, does not encourage such action. Most Muslims believe their faith teaches tolerance and peaceful coexistence with other faiths. It's a relative minority of Muslims who believe the Koran calls on them to blow up infidels, in exactly the same way it is a minority of Christians who believe the Bible calls on them to blow up abortion clinics. Peaceful muslims aren't interesting, though, any more than the 330,000 US churches who will not be burning Korans on Saturday are interesting.

  • Re:No thanks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Urza9814 (883915) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:55AM (#33520784)

    the whole idea behind the 1st Amendment is to protect and allow EXACTLY this kind of speech.

    Yes. But it does _not_ protect your right to use somebody else's services to broadcast that speech. No different than banning spammers. Or giving a '-1: Troll' moderation.

  • by hessian (467078) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:58AM (#33520850) Homepage Journal

    Each philosophy (including all religions) thinks it is the right one.

    Two or more cannot coexist in the same space.

    People have the right to be intolerant... because without intolerance, they allow themselves to be assimilated.

    RackSpace made a stupid error by getting involved in a political issue. Now people will expect more webhosts to do this, and they will waste many more hours trying to figure out what is and is not "hate speech."

    Remember, if you're criticizing a majority (whites, Christians, Jews/Judaism, conservatives, men, heterosexuals) it's OK, but if you're criticizing a minority (African-Americans, Muslims/Islam, homosexuals, polyamorists) it's a "hate crime" (NewSpeak for unsanctioned thought).

  • Re:well done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mike2R (721965) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @09:59AM (#33520860)
    No. If you want to see who is willing to stand up for their principles, pick a principle worth standing up for.

    This idiot plans to insult 1.3 billion people, 1.29recuring billion of which have never done him any harm. He doesn't have anything to say, he just wants to stand on a platform and insult them.

    Sod him. He has certain rights under the US constitution, and he cannot be stopped from going through with this if he wants to. But no one is under any obligation whatsoever to help him. Personally I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire, let alone provide him web hosting services.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:01AM (#33520894)
    Actually, much as I respect people's rights to their beliefs and that burning any book is wrong, you make a good point. In fact, let's just burn a different religious text every week to show we're not biased, we think all organised religions need to calm down and accept not everyone can or will see things their way, and keep doing it until they get the point. Seriously, I don't like cabbage but I've never attempted to firebomb a greengrocers, what makes anyone think this is acceptable behaviour (and let's face it, if they're right and we're wrong they'll have the last laugh when their god sends us to the place with the hot pointy sticks, so why are they getting so worked up).
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:01AM (#33520896)

    It might not be laws, but it DOES violate the spirit of free speech.

    In this case the provider is setup to allow the dissemination of ideas and speech. It's a floor. It was removed from a group due to the content of their speech. If done by the government, then this would be clear and obvious censorship.

    The thing is, you can easily say that "The government didn't do it so ha! We're good!", and legally, you're right. In that case though, you're essentially treated free speech as a burden. Rather than agreeing with the IDEA of free speech and treating it as a good thing, you're treating it as some mistake that the founders managed to write into law that we must now unfortunately obey, but any legal loophole that negates it should be seized on immediately.

    That's the crux if the issue - is free speech a good thing because it's genuinely a good idea, or is it just something we put up with because it's a law we put up with.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrb (1083577) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:01AM (#33520902)

    Western world: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
    Islamic world: "Die for insulting our moon god!"

    Christian world: "Die for insulting our sky god!" [wikipedia.org]

    "When Mighty Mouse falls victim of cocaine, the Devil's talcum powder, when directors with Mafia-sounding names make films about Jesus hanging out with whores just a stone's throw from that wholesome Universal Studios family tour, it is time for action. Unfortunately, conventional protests such as picketing and telephoned bomb threats do not seem to be working" Episcopal Bishop Paul Moore, New York [petergabriel.com]

    “Neither the label ‘fiction’ nor the First Amendment gives Universal the right to libel, slander and ridicule the most central figure in world history.” - Jerry Falwell

    "Following the boycott and protests against The Last Temptation of Christ, no Hollywood movie studio has seriously considered making a film that challenges the gospel story of Jesus." - The Long Term Effects on Censorship as a Result of the Protest Against the Last Temptation of Christ [associatedcontent.com]

    Does this kind of thing still happen in the Christian world? Hmm... Playboy in Portugal shut down for its ‘blasphemous’ Jesus photoshoot [freethinker.co.uk]

  • by alta (1263) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:01AM (#33520916) Homepage Journal

    If enough people like what you say, you'll get sponsors, donations, air time. If people don't like what you say you don't. There's nothing saying that someone has to provide to you the means to distribute your speech. You're free to start at the bottom, craft your message and go as far as you can.

    There's a reason why beck, hannity, o'rielly and fox news are doing so well. People like what they say. If what they were saying wasn't interesting to people then Rupert Murdoch et all would not have them on their networks. If they don't generate ratings they get the ax. Their ratings are at their highest while msnbc/cnn are consistently behind.

    http://tvbythenumbers.com/category/ratings/cable-news [tvbythenumbers.com]

    Please don't complain about not getting your platform if people don't like what you say. If I get up and start harping on purple ponies and aliens, no one is going to pay for me to do it.

  • Re:Satire (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silverhammer (13644) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:04AM (#33520960)

    Step back and take a breath. Look at the sequence of events. Think. This is about provocation, retaliation, and the nature of tolerance. One man threatens to do something but has not actually done anything yet, thousands "respond" by actually doing that thing first.

    The parent asked how this can be satire, so...

  • Re:Stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:04AM (#33520968) Homepage

    Declining to distribute is not the same as suppressing.

    How about blocking p2p ? Or refusing to carry competitor's voice signals ?

    Do you agree AT&T is fully in their right to "refuse to carry" Skype signals ?

    By your reasoning if you fail to redistribute those then you are suppressing my free speech.

    The problem is, of course, that rackspace, isn't "refusing to distribute" it's blocking distribution.

    If you wrote, say, a book on evolution, and I used force (as rackspace did) to prevent you from doing this, surely you'd agree I'm suppressing your free speech. The same is going on here.

  • Re:idiots abound (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:05AM (#33520986)
    Agreed. Remind me never to use Rackspace. There's no such thing as "hate speech." It's a socio-political construct designed to limit Freedom of Speech. Yes, Rackspace may have a right to put such PC lingo in their contract but maybe not. This church may be doing something that is politically incorrect, unwise, and offensive to some people but it's their right. There's probably a lawsuit in there somewhere. It's early, I need coffee, but something about contracting away your rights seems fraught with legal problems.
  • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:06AM (#33521000)

    ...you'd allow a web-hosting company whose CEO and Board of Directors was Pro-Life to shut down the accounts of any blogger who advocated for abortion rights?

    If they're willing to piss off that large of a segment of their customer base? It's within their rights.

    ...you'd allow Comcast to shut down the blog of anyone arguing for 'Net neutrality?

    Hosted on Comcast, or simply accessed through Comcast? Until network neutrality laws are passed, both of the above -- the latter would make a lovely story in the media, and a great one to tell to lawmakers too -- and afterwards, the former remains within their rights. The provisio about pissing off one's customers and getting media attention still applies, of course.

  • As an example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:07AM (#33521024)

    Look at South Park. They have completely and totally slammed a number of religions, drug them through the mud. They had Catholic priests with little boys on leashes as sex slaves (attending a party for Satan), they had a whole episode mocking the Mormon beliefs complete with a brilliant song, they've slammed the Scientologists a couple times. None of these have faced any censorship. However they tried to show Mohammad. Not even insult him, just how his picture, and it got censored.

    There is no explanation other than fear. It's clear Viacom has no problem with mocking religions in general. Why would they? Those episodes are popular. However for some reason Islam is off limits. The only reason is because they are scared. Muslims threaten violence at the drop of a hat, and they just don't want to be a target.

    It it pure cowardice. We stand behind our freedoms... until someone says they'll hurt us, then we cave.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:08AM (#33521032) Journal

    Rackspace is under no obligation to facilitate anyone in distributing their speech.

    It is called 'discrimination'. If you withold your services from some people but not others on the basis of their beliefs / gender / race or, basically, anything other than their actions, then it is discrimination. I would guess that many of us (I do), don't consider burning the Koran to be a valid "action" for discriminating on such as using too much bandwidth would be. Where an action is merely a represenation of a belief rather than something that causes direct harm to another, we do not consider supression of that action to be any less of an act of discrimination than supression of speech. If you say: our shop will develop your photos of you wearing a yarmaluke, but not ones of you wearing a witch's hat, it's discrimination.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by statusbar (314703) <jeffk@statusbar.com> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:13AM (#33521134) Homepage Journal

    First, Free Speech only applies to the government laws. Read About It [wikipedia.org]: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech...

    It does not apply to contract law!

    Second, the Church is free to get their website hosted on a million other web hosting companies. They just need to read the terms of service beforehand.

    --jeffk++

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:15AM (#33521182)

    Oh, by the way, the people we displaced from power are Islamic Extremists, who deny basic education to women, recruit children into their armies, and are all around bad guys.

    It's a pity you couldn't manifest all of this moral outage when we were funding and arming those Islamic extremists to fight the Rooskies.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by digitig (1056110) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:16AM (#33521198)
    Yes, which is why Rackspace shutting the site down is not illegal, just a bad thing for society as a whole. Why do people assume "freedom of speech" is just about the law?
  • ...and? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:16AM (#33521202)

    The most important part of freedom of speech is protecting the parts you like the least. Yes, that means things like hate, like trolling and so on. Freedom of speech must mean freedom of unpopular speech. If not, it has no meaning.

    Too many people on /. seem to have this idea of "All he's doing is pissing off Muslims so it shouldn't happen!" Well yes, that's probably all he's doing. Still should be protected though. The less you agree with something the more concerned you should be with protecting the ability of someone to say it.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:21AM (#33521298)

    Pretty cool, so to bypass the constitution the government just needs to outsource!

    That explains, so much.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:23AM (#33521332)

    Sorry but you are twisting things to your own ends. You are tiring to find a way to outlaw something because you don't like it. That is what I'm talking about when I say unpopular speech is the stuff that needs the most protection. You are not required to prove why you want to say something. You don't have to provide justification for your statements for them to be legal.

    If you look in to the law, you find that for something to be illegal in terms of inciting someone it must be a command. If I order you to go kill someone, I can be found responsible for that killing. However if I just say "Man someone ought to kill that guy," my speech is protected.

    You may not like this expression, at all, but it still should be protected. In fact, that's WHY it should be protected. The more you dislike something that is said, the more you should be concerned with a person's right to say it. We don't need popular speech to be protected, we need unpopular speech to be protected.

  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:25AM (#33521368)

    ...the government announced IDIOT, the International Determination of Islamic Offense Team. The team will be charged with analyzing any and all public actions with awareness factors above 0.5 Lohans (note: the Lohan has now superseded the Hilton as a media awareness unit of measurement by NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and determine at what level the Religion of Peace will be moved to violence.

    The rough first cut ratings are:

    G = General discontent and hate speech directed at the West
    R = Rioting and demonstrations
    B = Burning of American flags, French cars and other related items
    M = Murder of Westerners and the members of other, less peaceful religions
    T = Planned acts of terrorism
    W = Planned acts of war
    X = Global thermonuclear devastation
    Z = Zombie hordes (The IDIOTs failed to fully explain this one. Inquiries are pending)

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr.Intel (165870) <mrintel173 @ y a h o o . c om> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:27AM (#33521390) Homepage Journal

    Me personally? Well, considering I was in middle school at the time...

    Now if we're talking about "Me" as in Americans, that's something different. History is replete with mea culpa moments like that. In fact, two of the biggest threats to US interests were aided into power by America (Afghanistan and Iran). The same lens that we use to pick apart history can't see as well into the future. What's your solution?

  • Re: One Way (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Creedo (548980) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:28AM (#33521404) Journal

    I would agree with much of what you say but that. Christians aren't commanded to eliminate other faiths. Rather, to convert the unsaved. It's about changing minds and hearts. The word "eliminate" brings to mind more extreme behavior. That was probably not your intent, though.

    Really?

    "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." - Mat. 28:19-20 [biblegateway.com]

    Seems pretty clear cut and extreme to me. There is no room in that command for leaving people to their previous beliefs. Just like Islam.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dave420 (699308) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:28AM (#33521418)
    Not this ignorant shit again. You are confusing moderate Islam with extremist Islam. The two are not the same. It's not Islam that makes extremist Muslims crazy, but their extremism.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:1, Insightful)

    by iamhassi (659463) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:31AM (#33521472) Journal
    Are you serious? If a Mosque decided to burn some bibles? Just burning some bibles would be a significant upgrade from what muslims are usually known for burning.

    "You can't come down on a business organization for distancing themselves from that vitriol. They didn't stick their nose into anything. They just cut ties to a customer they no longer wanted to service. Happens all the time."

    Sure I can, because it's ridiculous. They're not the KKK, they're not killing people, they're just burning some Korans and rackspace cut them for that reason only. As Americans we have the right to burn any book we want, why are you defending a company so anti-american? If I burn some Kelly Clarkson CDs would Rackspace call it hate and pull the site?

    Also, if you didn't read the synopsis, it's pretty clear the author is against Rackspace shutting them down so your pro-censorship stance is not popular here.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Thansal (999464) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:39AM (#33521626)

    I am so confused over this.

    First up, Racksapce is a host, not an ISP. There are millions of web hosting companies out there, and a good number of them are known specifically for being ok with hosting anything you want. If rackspace says "nope, we disagree with your statements enough that we refuse to do business with you" it is THEM expressing their freedom of speech, not suppressing the church's.

    If you wrote, say, a book on evolution, and I used force (as rackspace did) to prevent you from doing this, surely you'd agree I'm suppressing your free speech. The same is going on here.
    No, your analogy doesn't work. A better analogy would be the church posting signs on one of those bulletin boards that some bars have for upcoming events and the bar taking it down as they don't think that it is appropriate and thus expressing their right to free speech by not broadcasting the church's message.

    An argument could be made if an ISP starting blocking them, as they are subsidized by the government, and often there is no real choice in ISPs for many people. If their ISP drops them I would take issue with it. However, Rockspace isn't an ISP, they are a web host. There are options for web hosts, they aren't granted near monopoly status.

    Hell, doesn't Google let you post just about anything, that doesn't break the law, on Blogger? (I honestly don't know, but I seem to remember that being the case)

  • by Tom (822) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:39AM (#33521630) Homepage Journal

    ...how does a tolerant society deal with intolerance?

    By using your brains.

    Do we accept the "book on fire == hurt feelings" causality as a necessary and normal one, or do we say that it's your self-made problem and if you want to get rid of it we may help, but otherwise that's entirely your problem?

    That is a question we can answer. We can do experiments, make up a theory, all of it. Note that I'm not saying they can't have those feelings - but we as society do not have to consider it proper that they do. For example, a pedophile very likely feels actual sexual desire for a kid. That is a real emotion that society does not condone, tolerate or support. We do support pedophiles who wish for treatment.

    Still looking forward to the opening of the first mental institute for the treatment of the religiously insane.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brizzadizza (1195159) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:43AM (#33521690)

    Hey guess what, Rackspace has the RIGHT to freely associate with whoever they want! Rackspace is a business and is under NO obligation to be the fall guy for this idiot church. They can get hosted somewhere else, perhaps the same servers that host stormfront.org? Or better yet, all the internet tough guys on slashdot today can probably scrape together enough to put the church's site up on some ubuntu LAMP stack and host the site themselves? You think its vital that the book burning message gets out? Fine, host it yourself. Its not difficult from a technical standpoint and its not difficult from a monetary standpoint. But don't think your insipid bigotry is moral justification to tell Rackspace how to run its business.

    What Rackspace is doing is legal. What you're doing is justifying hatespeech and using that justification to force a business to behave in ways it does not want to.

  • by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:44AM (#33521696)

    Burning the Koran is a deliberate incitement

    From what I can tell, it looks like you're right. It looks like the members of that church are bigoted morons.

    and is on a different level to the Islamic radicals burning American or western flags or Bibles, because we have a significantly lower attachment to the actual physical object (although in some ways, American patriotism and anti-flag burning movements are starting to become a religion in themselves) - burning an American flag or bible isn't going to get the streets filled with hundreds of thousands of Americans denouncing Iran or whomever, its barely going to register on our news cycle that evening.

    No, it is not on a different level. When they burn western flags or Bibles, it is also typically with the purpose of incitement. The reaction is on a different level (although not always, people have posted in this thread quite a few examples of Christians reacting with terrorism to what they perceived as incitement, such as the movie "The Last Temptation of the Christ"). Either way, we shouldn't validate violent strategies of protest by sacrificing our values, in this case, of free speech. I don't agree with the idiots burning the Quran, but I most certainly think they have the right to do it, and to talk about it.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zeroshade (1801584) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:44AM (#33521702)

    It is not called discrimination if you extend your services to someone on the condition that they not do specific things with your services, and then withhold your service when they break that agreement. For example, say there is a bulletin board in a school. Do they have the right to allow or disallow posting of things? Is it discrimination if a lurid and suggestive (but not pornographic) flyer is disallowed from being placed on the bulletin board in the school because they do not want to associate themselves with it? There's no direct harm. The flyer is "merely a representation of a belief". If you say that the school has the right to determine what is appropriate to be on the bulletin board because it is on school property, or any variation thereof, then you are being inconsistent. Essentially Rackspace is providing a bulletin board with only certain content deemed appropriate.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:44AM (#33521710)

    But no one is guaranteed freedom from being offended. If people decide to go off and do something violent just because they were offended, then they are clearly in the wrong, and THAT is the behavior that needs to be checked. Being overtly offensive is less than good, and it should be discouraged, but being violent simply because you are offended is something that should be stopped, controlled, prevented, etc. Attempting to control others' behavior via the expressed threat that, should their behavior offend you, you will become violent, is also something that should not be tolerated. You know, unless you are a government.

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:45AM (#33521714)

    The Muslims have the right to religious freedom to build a mosque right near ground zero, no matter who it offends, but the American "Christians" don't have the right of free speech to burn a few books.

    I do think the so called pastor is an asshole, but I thought that he had the right to be an asshole.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:46AM (#33521750)

    it helps that the "ground zero mosque" is like 4 freaking blocks away from the wtc site. you cannot see it from the wtc site, it's not exactly going to be decked out with minarets, they're not going to be calling muslims to prayer over a PA or anything.... grow the fuck up. it's not even going to be a god damn mosque primarily, but a community center.

    Would you be offended if someone build a YMCA near Auschwitz with a small chapel in the back? I mean, hitler was CHRISTIAN, that would be horribly INSENSITIVE to all the jews who died there.

  • by Artifakt (700173) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:49AM (#33521792)

    Rothbard's argument is relevant, but not sufficient. There's a huge difference between saying that we should consider this from a propertarian viewpoint and that we should consider it only from that viewpoint. Rothbard crosses that line by the time he uses the word "simply" in the second sentence of your quote. As one poster has already pointed out, this situation is complex, and oversimplifying doesn't give meaningful input.
            How would Murray Rothbard's argument address any apparent conflict when property is held in common? Do I gain the right to shout fire in a crowded public venue funded from tax dollars? Your Rothbard quote is arguing that all public property is criminal, because all rights can only be sustained where there is private ownership. But, in the US, it took a whole series of special laws in every state's legal codes for theatre owners to gain the right to be treated as though a contract existed without actually having printed one and gained signatures. A right of implied contract exists only because of specialised laws (a privilege or private law, the very word privilege coming from the Latin roots 'Privus' (Private) + 'Lex' (law)) intended to protect theater owners.
              Rothbard actually is arguing for the unlimited power of the government to create or destroy rights. How else can the right of contract support all these other rights, particularly when, in his own example, a contract doesn't exist physically, but exists only by government fiat. At the same time, he's arguing against himself, holding that same government fiat is insufficent to grant another right by any other means than through property rights. Since the real US constitution is most emphatically not about how the government grants rights, but how it must rather respect them, neither facet of his argument really sheds more light than heat.

  • when the trolls, from the christian world, or the muslim world, or the liberal world or the conservative world, are the ones driving the conversation

    the vast majority of christians, muslims, liberals and conservatives are simply good people. but the ones who make the headlines and drive every subject of conversation are the same sort of people you see with a -1 rating on slashdot: the fucking useless trolls

    i swear, international relations and domestic political commentary needs something like a slashdot rating system

    let the trolls loose on slashdot, with no ratings to tell the difference between something you should read and something you should ignore, and what do you get?: a flooding out of a sane rational commons that anyone with good intent wants to be a part of. you drive good people away, you reward the most useless sort of asshole: the destruction of slashdot

    likewise, when the lunatic asshole muslims and the lunatic asshole christians are the ones who set the news headlines aflame and drive the topic of discussion, you get the destruction of the whole fucking world: no civility, no understanding, empty useless seething emotions, until somebody sets off the powder keg. i weep for our children

  • Re:As an example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:52AM (#33521830)

    We stand behind our freedoms... until someone says they'll hurt us, then we cave.

    Which is why we are now in the process of losing them.

  • Re:well done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lowrydr310 (830514) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:52AM (#33521854)

    This idiot plans to insult 1.3 billion people, 1.29recuring billion of which have never done him any harm.

    Perhaps the 1.29 billion who have never done any harm should simply dismiss this guy as a lunatic and not get their panties all up in a bunch being offended over such a stupid action.

    I'm a christian and an American, yet I don't get offended when I see people burning bibles or American flags; I look at them like they're idiots. Sure, the symbolism of their action is bad, but it's still just a book - it's nothing I'm going to lose sleep over.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BradleyAndersen (1195415) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:54AM (#33521888)
    This is just another case of people claiming to hold beliefs they have not taken the time to understand. It's like me claiming I'm a Democrat because my Daddy said we are Democrats. I am no Christian, but, as I understand it, if there were a Christ as traditionally defined, he would not be burning another's holy book, especially one in which he plays a role as a major prophet. Utterly stupid.
  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:55AM (#33521896) Homepage Journal
    Some pastor who leads a might congregation of 50 members, in a run-down part of a state known for below-average intelligence, has come up with an incredibly short-sighted plan and now the whole world is talking about him. While no reasonable person would overlook the stupidity of such a stunt, this guy basks in the controversy. We can't turn on the news anywhere without seeing either him or his trailer. Even though his event is centered around a group of people smaller in numbers than an average wedding reception he has managed to get himself condemned by people all over the world.

    While his actions are stupid, the effects - in terms of drawing massive attention - are brilliant. Just wait for copy-cat backwater churches elsewhere to fight for the next great stunt; my money is on someone to burn Obama in effigy behind their church next. Considering some 20% of the US still believes Obama is himself a Muslim (or "Moslem" as this guy prefers), it might be sold as a sequel to this stunt.
  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:55AM (#33521914)

    This is not a question about rights. No one is denying this man has a right to do what he says he will do.

    What we are saying is that he is a fucking lunatic for exercising this right. Yes it will act as a recruiting sergeant for the Taliban (who must be laughing their heads off about this). Yes it will be used by demagogues to whip up mobs to attack Christians in many countries. Yes it is really just fucking rude and unnecessary.

    If we were talking about cartoons of Mohammed then I might agree with you - there is an important principle about parody there - but this guy has just picked the most offensive thing he could do to the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, and is then going ahead and doing it. Irrespective of any arguments from common sense, principled tolerance, or basic good manners.

    Lunatic is too kind - it suggests he is not responsible for his actions. This man is a crazy evil shit.

    The ensuing violence will only proven his point about Islam being an intolerant, violent, and hateful religion.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:56AM (#33521926)

    If I own a megaphone, and I don't lend it to you because I don't agree with you, am I violating your free speech rights?

    False analogy. It's more like you demanding back a megaphone you rented me because you decide you don't like what I'm saying.

    Murray Rothbard solved this cleanly by pointing out that free speech is not a right, rather, free speech is derived from, and limited by property rights.

    Property rights are an arrangement of convenience for deciding who can use a limited resource, such as a shirt. Thinking that actual human rights - such as the right to free speech - derive from them is completely delusional.

    But then again, what else can you expect from a libertarian? The whole ideology is just a convoluted excuse for why you shouldn't have to pay taxes despite enjoying all the protections and conveniences of a society.

  • Re:Book burning (Score:3, Insightful)

    by russotto (537200) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:56AM (#33521936) Journal

    Murder? It's a book. A bunch of pieces of paper wrapped in a little cardboard (or stiffer paper), held together with glue and string. Nothing more. Burning it isn't akin to murder.

    If you're objection relates to the destruction of the symbols, then it is the speech part you're objecting to.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:57AM (#33521956)

    There's no question of rights or freedom here. This is about a guy being an absolute asshole and other people telling him that he should stop being an asshole.

    He is, of course, completely free to ignore them.

    Don't you think at least one person thought even Ghandi was an asshole?

    Doing what you believe is right isn't necessarily a popularity contest.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by uncqual (836337) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @10:57AM (#33521968)

    If a Mosque decided they want to make a public display of burning some bibles I bet we would all agree that's hate speech.

    You would lose that bet. I would consider that no more hate speech than burning the US (or pick a country of your choice) flag. Or than most of the stereotyping of [ Republicans | Democrats ] that occurs on [ DailyKos | Free Republic ] . In other words, it's just an inarticulate and not very compelling expression of some benign opinion.

    Although I dislike the use of the vague term "hate speech", I can see it applied to speech that calls for harming others. Such examples include speech by white supremacy groups calling for inflicting harms on "non-whites" and by Islamic fundamentalists calling for the destruction of the "west".

    As far as I know (and, honestly, I've not been following it closely as all sides seem rather childish in this debate - why would I care what some small group of people want to burn in Florida or wherever it is), this "congregation" hasn't called for the destruction of followers of Islam or issued any other threats.

    Burning wood or cloth fibers that you own isn't hateful. It may be stupid, it may be meaningless, it may be a waste of time, but for all I care you can burn an entire pallet full of On the Origin of Species - it won't change my belief in how life developed to its current form on Earth, I won't be insulted, I just don't care (except to the extent that presumably whoever is doing this as an expression of opinion is lacking some serious logical skills and I hope they recognize their disability and don't consider themselves qualified to vote, run for office, or serve on juries).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:01AM (#33522048)

    Posting as AC because I modded you up. This is absolutely correct. Personally, I'm an atheist, The Bible, Torah, Quran are just ancient fantasy books to me. I have no ax to grind.

    What really pisses me off is the sense of righteous indignation from the media. When the Christians are feeling oppressed, the media reports it dispassionately. When flags are being burned, the media also takes no position. This is generally, I'm sure you could dig up the occasional media guy who was upset, but in this case they have clearly taken the position that this is a "bad thing" and this guy is a nut job. He is, so what?

    People like to say I'm sure 99% of muslims don't want to kill Americans, just like 99% of Christians don't. Really? Citation needed. I have no numbers to back this up, but it seems to me that significantly more than 1% of muslims want to kill Western infidels in general and Americans specifically. Do I think it's all or even half, no I don't, but I think the radical element of Islam (defined as the idiots that take the book as the litteral truth) is much higher than 1%) On the other hand I think the number of Christians who believe the bible is litteral is also greater that 1%, and this is really sad because most of those people live in a civilized, western democracy with free education for both sexes... But to me the big difference is that most christians don't riot when some dudes make a cartoon about that "fucking pussy" jesus fighting santa. Do they protest? Yes. Riot? No.

    Seriously, fuck these assholes living in the past and their overly sensitive self rightious attitudedes. A lot of people don't like you, just like a lot of you don't like them. Grow up and exit the 12th century.

    Kudos to this nut job for exercising his 1st amendment rights, and screw Petraeus, Obama, etc. Do these clowns realize that by condemning this guy publicly they've given him the stage he wants?

  • by aDSF762 (865834) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:04AM (#33522112) Homepage
    What upsets me is a religious center burning a book that is fundamentally related to our own religion! Even the very idea of book burning reminds me of, Marge talking about Bart: "There's something about flying a kite at night that's so unwholesome."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:06AM (#33522140)

    I'm a muslim, it's insulting that he's burning Qurans... but let's be honest? It doesn't affect my faith or belief. He's a total asshole for doing it, that is clear, but so are lots of people. However I think you are betraying a serious lack of understanding about the community center being built near ground zero that will have a prayer room. Don't get pissed off, don't get offended, just be an adult and take it.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:10AM (#33522202)
    Hi there! I hear you want to use borrow a megaphone to spread your word more clearly to people around you. Ok, sure, but you can't use it to shout out religious hatred, ok? You can shout that out on your own, by all means, but not using my megaphone.

    Hey, I heard you've been using my megaphone to shout out messages of religious hate. I'll be having that back now.

    See? He can carry on screaming about burning the Quran all he wants. Just not on Rackspace's services.
  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mr.Intel (165870) <mrintel173 @ y a h o o . c om> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:12AM (#33522232) Homepage Journal
    Sigh. My father fought in Vietnam [wikipedia.org] and his father in WWII [wikipedia.org]. In each war, there were atrocities committed by both sides of the conflict. Does that make it right? Absolutely not. Does that make it unpalatable to Americans? You betcha. Soldiers of all persuasions are put into positions where they are the ultimate power in a given situation and sometimes, they give in to the urge to behave like animals. Wouldn't it be great if American soldiers were immune from that? Sadly, they aren't and our (America's) image is tainted.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:13AM (#33522254)

    It's not illegal to build it there, even if 98% of Americans don't want it. Guess what, I don't want it. It offends me. It pisses me off. It's a victory mosque. The imam is doing this out of spite. Did you know there was a Greek Orthodox that's nearby and destroyed when WTC fell on it? Do you know that they haven't been given their permit to rebuild but the city has given one to the imam? They've been trying since it was destroyed.. There's that double standard again. How long do we have to put up with it?

    98% of Americans, eh? Only if you consider the Sarah Palin definition of Americans i.e. People who agree with what I have to say.

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1318.xml?ReleaseID=1493 [quinnipiac.edu]

    And I thought the myth of "Ground Zero Greek Orthodox church liberal conspiracy" was fairly debunked. It was nothing but more right-wing hate propaganda.

    http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/32881.html [sadlyno.com]

    Also, it's not a mosque, but a cultural center. And nothing about it says victory. But I digress. And frankly, at this point, this is a lost cause.

    You really should look into other news sources besides Fox News.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:13AM (#33522264)

    There's that double standard again. How long do we have to put up with it?

    Yes! This!! Very, very this!

    This is precisely why I support the man's actions in doing it. We are America, the land of the free. The Muslims have the right to build their Mosque on property they own, and the Christians have the right to set fire to books that they own, and NO ONE in our government has ANY RIGHT to interfere with ANY OF IT. Any public figure weighing in against any of these activities should be impeached immediately. 'Freedom' means freedom from opinion as well. Those public servants surrendered their right to impune others for their protected speech the moment they were sworn in.

    This is about freedom, and if you're against it, you clearly do not understand WHY we have the rights we do. Further I put forward that if you're in favor of Obama going on TV against it, then you'd likewise support laws against it, and if that is the case then you should genuinely be ashamed of who the terrorists have made you become. If you oppose freedom of religion and protected speech, then you don't deserve either.

  • by cawley (1168055) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:15AM (#33522290)
    This guy in Gainsville, with his mega-church of 50 members, is just an attention whore, plain and simple. But he's stirred up a nest of religious bigotry. I'm a Catholic and I lost a college roommate on 9/11, but I understand it wasn't all of Islam that caused the towers to collapse, it was a small group of crazy radicals. I have a friends who are Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Budhists and Native Americans and they are just like you and me, they just worship God in a different way. I vow to buy a Quran on 9/11 to protest this book burning. I've created a Facebook group to get the word out and have others buy one too. I figure we can buy more than he can burn. Please join the group and consider buying a Quran on 9/11.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Matje (183300) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:18AM (#33522334)

    Just burning some bibles would be a significant upgrade from what muslims are usually known for burning.

    citation needed.

    ... so your pro-censorship stance is not popular here.

    Who are you to speak on behalf of the /. population?

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:24AM (#33522426)

    This isn't criticism. This is trolling, and all it will achieve is angering muslims who didn't have anything to do with 9/11 and help those who did.

    Well, if those angry Muslims exercise their free speech rights in retaliation, then we have started a discourse.

    But that's not what you're worried about with 'angry muslims', is it? You're expecting violence. In short you're going as far as condoning the violence by suppressing the man's rights, because you're afraid of it.

    Kinda puts the word 'terror' in 'terrorism', doesn't it?

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:31AM (#33522544)

    Second, you're much more likely to get in trouble by criticizing Christianity than Islam.

    The mere threat of burning the Koran by some no-name redneck minister has caused major diplomatic incidents, mass protests, and death threats. Nothing like that happens when you burn bibles. And it's not the first time: look at the Mohammad cartoons or the Satanic Verses; again, diplomatic incidents, mass protests, death threats, and deaths.

    A bunch of terrifyingly ignorant bigots are going to burn books for no reason other than to insult a large and diverse group of people.

    Mainstream Islam is effectively represented by the Islamic nations around the world: Iran, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan, etc., not by the moderate Muslims in the US or Europe. Those nations have a horrendous human rights record, and their politicians and clerics justify their policies with Islam and the Koran. When people criticize Islam, that's what they criticize, and rightfully so. Furthermore, Islam itself rejects the notion that there can be diversity in its beliefs.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:33AM (#33522582) Homepage

    As Americans we have the right to burn any book we want

    And as Americans, doesn't Rackspace have the right to host the sites they want? What kind of double standard is that?

    I fully support the Church's right to burn all the Qur'ans they want, but I also support Rackspace's right to choose what content they host.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tophermeyer (1573841) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:37AM (#33522642)

    Also, if you didn't read the synopsis, it's pretty clear the author is against Rackspace shutting them down so your pro-censorship stance is not popular here.

    Was this meant to be ironic? "Your position is unpopular, therefore you are wrong!". Only on slashdot can you find people that believe reading a 1/4 page synopsis gives them moral authority to pontificate on the subject. Do you realize that synopses exist to summarize more complex sources.

    Are you serious?

    Yes. This is my serious face.

    Americans have the right to burn any book they want, this is true (Probably. I haven't researched it so there might be some weird conditions, but it sounds truthy). American businesses also have the right to refuse service to customers that violate contractual agreements. One of the terms the church agreed to was to not spread hate speech. Remember that this is what the discussion is about, not about how evil the Muslims are.

    ...but while we're here...

    burning some bibles would be a significant upgrade from what muslims are usually known for burning.

    Christians burn plenty of things too. Their hands are just as bloody as your strawman "evil muslim". You think Christians don't kill people?

    But here's the thing, and this point is often beat to death but seems worth reiterating right now: The actions of a small branch of religious extremists do not reflect the views of the rest of the group. Holding all Muslims accountable for the actions of some crazies is as responsible as holding Christians accountable for burning crosses or molested choir boys or the crusades. Which is to say, it's dumb.

  • by SunSpot505 (1356127) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:41AM (#33522714)
    In his effort to look fearless he is acting reckless, and ends up looking pretty feckless. If he wasn't acting in a way that could get a lot of other people hurt, and people were actively threatening only him, then he would be brave. But since there are many people that could get hurt and he couldn't give two flips that makes him reckless. Our state had a campaign against reckless driving that focused on the roles that passengers can play in preventing accidents by holding bad drivers accountable and saying something when they act dangerously. Pretty similar idea here. I do hope that Government will not step in to stop this (freedoms are still important), but I also hope that private citizens and companies will not abet this nut, and that news will not cover him. Everyone has a right to free speech, but that doesn't mean that anyone else has to promote his dumb ass.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quadelirus (694946) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:42AM (#33522728)
    The website is being hosted by a private company--Rackspace--which has a vested interest in its own self image and no obligation to host a site on its privately owned servers unless it has a contractual obligation to do so. Doesn't matter what loophole they put in their contract, they could have put "if we decide we don't like your site we will take it down," if they wanted, and if this site is indeed in violation of their contract, however loopholey it feels, they have every right to take it down. Nobody has a right to have their site hosted on someone else's server.

    That said, the media is making a non-story a story. This is one crazy guy with his 50 crazy friends burning some books. He isn't a spokesperson for any organization other than the 50 crazy friends. If the Pope or Billy Graham or Richard Dawkins or some political figure decided to do this, then it might have merit as a story, but as it stands this is a very tiny molehill being made into a really huge mountain.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:42AM (#33522730) Journal

    Know that one? All it takes for evil men to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    All it takes for extreme Islam to triumph is for moderate Islam to do nothing.

    And that is exactly what they are doing. NOTHING. And the longer they do nothing to stop the extremists among them, the harder it will become and the more the world will just get fed up.

    Popularity of Geert Wilders and other anti-islam people is NOT due to racism, it is the average voter, the middle class, the ones who pay the taxes to become simply fed up. It isn't hate, it is tiredness. And hate makes evil men act. Tiredness makes good men not act. Hitler didn't come to power because a lot of Germans were evil but because a lot of Germans were tired of their current situation and wanted chance. Any chance, no matter how it came.

    Instead of so-called moderate Muslims correcting their own extremists, they continue to provecate. Is this new building REALLY necessary? How come moderate Islam is more about protesting burnings of Koran's then about American flag burning by Muslims? Go to Iran, stop one of their many many flag burnings and THEN maybe I am willing to listen to your protests about someone burning the koran.

    And this is another thing the average citizen is getting tired off. One rule for Muslims, one for everyone else. Apparently Muslims can insult and declare intifada's on everyone but if anyone dares protest, they are attacking Islam. Where is the Muslim moderate declaring that he will kill the religious leaders of Iran if they declare a single Jihad on anyone? Where is the Muslim who stands up against the extremist of his religion with words and actions that have MEANING?

    Islam is not an extreme religion by itself, but it has problems dealing with its extremists. This is dangerous. It would be like US anti-abortion terrorists moving into Europe to spread their hate. Nobody cares if Americans blow up their own abortion clinucs, but keep the nutters to your own shores. Islam fails at this.

    And democracy in the west ain't about being nice. It is about the majority dictating the minority. And you better do so, because we don't have a history of being nice against majorities that we hold accountable for something, rightly or wrongly.

    I fear this stuff could blow up one day, all because good men did nothing. Because I am tired of Muslims. I admit it. I don't even hate them. I just want them to disappear. For once to open the newspaper and not read about them. Just as I can go weeks without reading about Jews, Christians, Budhists, Atheists getting in the news related to their faith.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cygnwolf (601176) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:45AM (#33522774)
    It's not blocking a thing. it's not saying "We're not going to allow the people who use us as an ISP to not be able to see your website" It's saying, 'we won't be party to you putting this on the internet, you can go do it with some other HOSTING SERVICE. To use an analogy, blocking them (and thus even coming close to the 'net neutrality' issues that people are touting) would be like putting up a wall around the protesters and saying that "we're not going to let anyone see your protest" while what they're actually doing is more like "We're not going to hold your sign for you"
  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:47AM (#33522822)

    Well, for starters, the church now needs a new hosting provider. They'll need to incur the costs of that migration. So here, at a minimum, we have one business causing costs for another business, because they don't like what they are saying, and only recently did they decide not to like it. Only after the federal government, including POTUS, told everyone, including Rackspace, what they thought should be done.

    It isn't as if nothing at all has changed, is it?

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CherniyVolk (513591) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @11:48AM (#33522850)

    I used to work for a hosting company a long time ago. Concerns raised about hosting a porn site had far less to do with any ethical argument and more with the real life probability that a fair amount of bandwidth would be required. Often where things break down is the negotiations between the client and the hosting company (as was in our case) when a potential client of such interest approaches the table; sometimes, they do not understand that abnormal nature of their request in relation to the engineered price ranges advertised. Most hosting companies are assuming each account might require X amount of bandwidth and price a product accordingly, then you have someone that is guaranteed to far exceed that X amount thinking they deserve the same price. The moment a porn site goes online on your network, you notice it quick. So they often have to pay much more, naturally. Which is good, because you wouldn't believe the kind of money made from some of the porn sites I've had to deal with in the past; so they are a reliable source of income.

    Now, some hosting companies might not host them out of ethical reasons. But thinking business wise, I think it's mostly that such clients get immediately directed to a negotiations table rather than just punching in accounts and collecting 20 dollars a month. If it does happen in the latter, then it'll only be a month or two before their are dragged to the negotiations table for continued service as they are sucking up a ton of bandwidth.

    For me, this is an issue of free speech. I learned from the KKK website that they have strong family values... well, that is good at least; not to mention I have great pride to voice my own opposition out of real knowledge instead of belief. It would be a shame that no alternative views are posted online because it's socially permitted to ban a site because it doesn't conform to the zeitgeist.

    This isn't the first time something like this has happened, but I get annoyed every time it does happen. Where does it end? A fair argument can be made against media sites like Ogrish.com's even label them "shock sites" as to belittle their content. But those have real value, those show you the unedited unprocessed video footages of travesties that would never get through Fox/CNN/NBC/ABC/CBS/News Corp/AP or any other outlet. The footage shown on BBC seems edited for "PG", seeing the dead Thai protester who had his head obliterated by a sniper bullet... that can't be imagined, nor the feelings of seeing it be understood without having seen it, it can't be described in words with the same deliverance, and the situation and severity of the clash can never be driven home from seeing people who might as well be merely playing about overdubbed with serious words of this or that. Might make someone get off their ass, so to speak; someone is willing to die, something must be wrong for them to pay that price.

    Anyways, I think RackSpace is out of line trying to determine what is acceptable content for their service. Hate Speech, Love Speech, Shock Content I don't care. I want it all. I feel society would be better off to have access to all of it, open to dispute, debate, scrutiny, criticism, absorption, admiration and appraisal.

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:13PM (#33523260)

    Muslim pastor burns a Bible, Christians do nothing. Which group is wrong here?

    The values are simply put in different places. When it comes to mind control, end results are what count. Our great Christian Nation is working itself up into a lunatic froth over Iran as we speak, just as it did over Afghanistan and Iraq, using the very same lies and media contortions. And we're happily falling for it again. Clearly our populace has only the barest minimum capacity to learn from mistakes.

    Basically, we just rationalize murder and resource theft using different tactics. While I'm sure it was considered, there are simply too many atheists in the West for a big, well-publicized bible burning to have the desired effect in motivating people into a nice profitable war. Though, bible-burning would certainly have an effect on a significant portion of the U.S., propaganda needs to capture the hearts and minds of as big a demographic as possible. There are just too many atheists in the West who would laugh at the "insult" and who would instead feel superior and perhaps even pity toward the East for using such a tactic. So the mind-control experts decided to use the whole terrorist line to get both the religious and non-religious involved in self-destructive behavior.

    As I said, the end results are what count; murder and misery. That's the payoff for the dark side.

    Getting caught up in the oh-so-enticing mind trap of comparing us to them is how they catch us and make us do insane things to each other.

    -FL

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:19PM (#33523344) Homepage Journal

    Everything this so-called "Christian" preacher has done is against the teachings of Christ. The radio news this morning said that this "Christian" was encouraging his flock to arm themselves! He is one of the wolves in sheep's clothing Jesus warned about.

    What's most idiotic about it is that Muslims worship the same God as Christians, and consider Christ to be a prophet. I don't know what a real Christian could do against the likes of this guy, except to speak out against him.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevinNCSU (1531307) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:24PM (#33523440)
    Exactly, no one can keep you from being an asshole in America. But no one has to let you use their property or services to be an asshole either especially when there's a big NO ASSHOLES clause in your contract to use said services/property.
  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ticklemeozmo (595926) <justin.j.novack @ a c m.org> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:28PM (#33523506) Homepage Journal

    I fully support the Church's right to burn all the Qur'ans they want, but I also support Rackspace's right to choose what content they host.

    If they choose which content they host, isn't that dangerously close to saying they SUPPORT content they host?

  • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:29PM (#33523532) Journal

    The GP was probably fantasizing. While a church doesn't need to file the official form to be tax exempt, if the IRS suspects they are violating the rules they'll investigate. There are really only two rules for churches: be sincere in your beliefs and don't violate U.S. laws or policies. That is, no virgin sacrifices, etc.

    Specifically, that one reads:

    That the practices and rituals associated with the organization's religious belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to clearly defined public policy.

    There is a bit of leeway in that to allow the gov't to remove tax-exempt status from churches if they go too far against gov't policy. The first example that comes to mind is if the U.S. decided to seriously enforce immigration law, and a church -- as an organization -- was giving harbor to illegal immigrants, falsifying documents, or lying to federal agents, the IRS could revoke their charitable status and tax exemption. The thing is, what the pastor is doing isn't illegal or against U.S. Policy, thus the IRS can't legally touch his tax-exempt status. They could crawl up his ass with a microscope to see if anything ELSE might be illegal. http://www.smh.com.au/world/pastor-in-koran-furore-accused-of-using-slaves-20100909-153bf.html [smh.com.au]

    On a parallel note, this is also what gives the gov't the power to regulate things like private association membership. (I.E. -- Gays in the Boy Scouts of America) If you take gov't funds, they have the legal right to meddle in your affairs. The key is to not take gov't money and be 100% private. Then you can go tell them to fuck off, and usually get away with it. That's how we still have a few private country clubs in the U.S. that don't allow blacks, jews or women. They're 100% private. Augusta National Country Club comes to mind first.

  • Re:well done (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mike2R (721965) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:30PM (#33523544)

    I'm a christian and an American, yet I don't get offended when I see people burning bibles or American flags; I look at them like they're idiots. Sure, the symbolism of their action is bad, but it's still just a book - it's nothing I'm going to lose sleep over.

    Good for you, if there were more people like you the world would be a better place. I'm sure you recognise however that many of your countrymen do not feel the same way.

    Any nation that wants a cordial relationship with the people of the united states is well advised to avoid incidents of burning the US flag and bibles. This would be true times a thousand if the nation in question had 100,000 of their troops within US borders engaged in fighting an insurgency comprised at least in a large part of US citizens.

  • by yyxx (1812612) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:33PM (#33523572)

    I would bet money that there would be death threats from someone

    From some nutcases, yes. Not from mainstream Christian clerics or politicians. That's the difference.

    Says who? There's a long road to making the point you want to.

    No, not really. That's where most Muslims live, hence the inhabitants of those nations represent mainstream Islam. "Represent" is all I claimed; the causation is complex.

    I see Christian nutjobs doing serious damage to the US, but I don't blame Christianity for it.

    There are few self-identified Christian nations left, and the ones that exist generally have good human rights records. And secular nations with predominantly Christian populations (like the US and France) also have generally good human rights records (better than most predominantly Muslim nations).

    When's the last time you heard of a major and highly-publicized protest where people were burning large numbers of Bibles just to piss off Christians?

    Media don't pick up on Bible burnings because most Christians couldn't care less. There are hundreds of Bible burning videos on YouTube if you care, with no death threats that I could find. Marilyn Manson did it during a concert, and she has a lot more followers than Jones. Even real abuses against Christians in Islamic countries hardly get coverage because few people care.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:34PM (#33523592)

    Seriously? You come up with a handful of christian terrorist acts and compare that to the mounds of Muslim acts? What's your point? Christians have a few nutjobs too?

    Please, google anything you consider an affront to Western values and do some number counts. Most environmentalists are not terrorists, how about posting acts like burning down Vail? Does that mean we should think sensible environmentalism is bad? No.

    Islam can have sensible members, but most are westernized. When sharia law dictates honor killings, are we really going to try to compare this extreme to one small set of acts by a few nut jobs? Look at most muslim countries and tell me how women's rights are protected. How are people seen as equals? How is free speech protected? Islam is an affront to Western ideals. Most ancient religions are (yes I am pointing to other religions here, but hell, Islam is the worst about it now).

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @12:54PM (#33523910) Homepage

    I wonder if Rackspace is this high and mighty about kicking pro terrorist and islamic jihad websites off their servers?

    Somehow I doubt it.

    Hey, I can make up random shit, too! Let's try it:

    ---

    I wonder if WCMI92 stopped raping little girls.

    Somehow I doubt it.

    ---

    See, wasn't that fun?

  • Re:well done (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:08PM (#33524146)

    I'm a christian and an American, yet I don't get offended when I see people burning bibles or American flags; I look at them like they're idiots.

    Going by the number of people who support the idea of amending the fucking Constitution to make it illegal to burn a bit of cloth with some stars and stripes printed on it, I'm going to say that your level of enlightenment is pretty rare. Well done, but don't fool yourself you're in any way representative of Americans as a whole.

  • by Schadrach (1042952) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:08PM (#33524148)

    That creates an interesting idea for a monument this Christmas. When the assorted religious types want to put up assorted displays on state property, I wonder how hard it would be to get a permit to put up a small bonfire of religious texts of those faiths who have a holiday at that time of the year.

    Would be an interesting combination artistic statement about what commercialism does to faith/militant atheist display.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:12PM (#33524216)

    The problem I have with your argument is it is the opposite used by those who are OK with the Mosque in N.Y. Even though it offends millions of people, it is defended as Constitutionally protected. Yet here today, we read in this forum how this man has no Constitutional protection and what he is doing is offensive to Muslims. You can't have it both ways.

    The left on this site offend Christians on a daily basis so it is really funny to see so many of you upset because some guy is going to offend Muslims. Hypocrites. I am hoping that terrorism goes up 100 fold because of what this guy does. Why? Because on one side we have people who over react and say all Muslims are evil, but on the other side we have people who go to every extreme not to point out those that are Muslim extremist. We don't call them terrorist any more, no terrorist attacks,now they are man made disasters. And the people in power are on that "Muslims are peaceful and do no wrong" train of thought. So perhaps you will wake up and realize that, while you HATE Christians and consider them as evil as any other religion, perhaps more of those that follow Mohammad are a bit more dangerous in today's world. (and I am so tired of idiots bringing up the Crusades or Timothy McVeigh.

    Crusades 700 years ago. Muslim Terrorist terrorizing the world TODAY!
    Timothy McVeigh is not equal to 120 million Muslim Extremest. (10% of the Muslim population)

    The other 90% of Muslims need to step up but who can blame them when they don't? The Extremest kill a lot of people. Penn Gillette said his show Bullshit will not do a show on Muslims because he fears for his families welfare. They have done shows on Christianity and Jesus, no fear. You on the left need to wake up.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jdcope (932508) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:16PM (#33524282)
    What does the size of the ISP have to do with it? The Constitution in this case is irrelevant. The Constitution is a list of limits on government, not ISPs. If you dont like their contract, use a different ISP. That said, I would like to know who gets to determine what is, or is not, "hate" speech. The whole concept of hate speech and hate crimes is bullshit IMO.
  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLink (130905) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:26PM (#33524428) Journal

    Does that make it unpalatable to Americans? You betcha.

    That's not actually the biggest problem. The problem with crappy soldiers like that is:

    1) You get the general population against you.
    2) Genocide nowadays is not such a viable candidate if you need to trade with lots of other countries and their support. And the survivors will "never" forgive you, it'll take many generations.

    they give in to the urge to behave like animals.

    There's the problem, it's not a shortage of soldiers, it's too many bad soldiers. You CANNOT afford to keep shooting the wrong people/targets.

    It takes very brave and professional soldiers to be careful to err on the safe side and not shoot people when their own lives are under threat.

    You screw up, next thing you know an entire village is now against you. They may not say to your face, but they now want you out. Previously they might have been neutral. After your screw up, building bridges etc isn't going to win them so easily. You are foreigners, if both foreigners and locals are screwing up, most will prefer the locals.

    Screw up enough times and you lose the entire country. I think the US has lost Afghanistan and it's just a matter of time. The morale of the Taliban is higher than that of the US soldiers. Their soldiers take their losses better, they believe in what they are doing, they have supplies and support, they now control most parts of Afghanistan even if not officially.

    It's easier for the Taliban to not make mistakes, when in doubt just shoot the guys in the US uniform instead of some brown guy in a shalwar kameez.

    Such wars are not easy to win. In my country (Malaysia) they moved many entire villages to new villages ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayan_Emergency [wikipedia.org] ). Foreigners did come in to fight and they did an overall good job, yes there were mistakes, but they were definitely not making trophies out of civilians.

    The US can't fight it the way it fought Vietnam. They lost that war. They wouldn't have won. Soldiers in such wars cannot be trigger happy idiots. You need soldiers who would behave professionally.

  • by HeronBlademaster (1079477) <heron@xnapid.com> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:26PM (#33524430) Homepage

    It might not be laws, but it DOES violate the spirit of free speech.

    No it doesn't. Consider:

    A man knocks on your front door and asks if he can use your front lawn as a sitting area for talking to passersby. You agree, on the condition that he doesn't cause a commotion or damage your property. He proceeds to set up loudspeakers, shouts opinions with which you do not agree, riles up a crowd, and so on. Is it suppressing free speech if you kick him off your lawn? Of course not -- your front lawn is your private property, and he's only allowed to use it as long as you permit it.

    Rackspace is in exactly that situation. They have private property -- servers -- which they rent to people who come up to them and ask for hosting. Rackspace agrees to provide servers for those people, provided they don't e.g. engage in hate speech using their services. When those people violate that agreement, they no longer have the right to use Rackspace's private property, and Rackspace is not suppressing anyone's freedom of speech by kicking them off their servers, any more than you would be suppressing that man's freedom of speech by kicking him off your lawn.

  • by quax (19371) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:46PM (#33524756)

    ... when your government threw habeas corpuse [wikipedia.org] under the bus [aclu.org].

    The book burning is just a side show. The terrorists already won.

    At least there are some bloggers on the right political spectrum like this libertarian [alexanderhiggins.com] who understand the actual issues.

    Unfortunately these days something that shouldn't be a partisan issue at all is pretty much completely ignored. The right windbags seem to confuse torture with patriotism or sado-masochistic fun and the lefties shut miraculously up once Obama came into power. So now the policy has the blessing of the US federal appeals court.

    Have fun living in a country where due process is not a right but a favor that your government can withdraw at any time.

    "Land of the free" what a joke.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mweather (1089505) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @01:59PM (#33524942)

    The problem is that Rackspace is essentially declaring here that they themselves do not support free speech, and they will apply their legal right to limit speech they don't like.

    I don't see that as a problem. Rackspace has been open an honest about its policies against hate speech.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 09, 2010 @02:00PM (#33524946)

    this guy isn't just a lunatic. This is a measured deliberate grab for media spotlight to sell his book and line his own pocket. He learned well from the right wing fringe that has infiltrated the politics of the last several years. Fear sells.

    He is an opportunist that puts his own financial enrichment above the safety of americans. Shame on him.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rm0ny (722443) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @02:07PM (#33525050) Journal

    If a mormon group had 'violated the hate-speech provision of [their] acceptable-use policy,' I'd expect them to be cut off. If a kitten-cuddling group had 'violated the hate-speech provision of [their] acceptable-use policy,' I'd expect them to be cut off too.

    You see my question to you is why are expressions of religious belief protected, e.g. you presumably agree that to ban the contents of the Koran would be wrong, but expressions such as this, are okay to ban? "Hate speech" is a political term and the thin end of a wedge. Accept that some opinions we don't like are acceptable to surpress and where will it end.

  • Re: One Way (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @02:19PM (#33525244) Homepage Journal

    It is basic to Christianity that there is one true faith and that Christians will work to eliminate any faith other than Christianity.

    You need to cite chapter and verse for me there, especially since Christ and his disciples were all Jewish and followed the Hebrew faith. Jews and Muslims worship the same God that Christians worship; they're by no means satanic at all.

    And unlike Jews, Muslims consider Jesus a prophet. Jews consider him "a good Jewish boy who did well in his life", but they still worship the same God that Jesus (and you) worshiped.

    His faith does NOT require or even allow him to ask his congregation to arm themselves! That is the antithesis of Christianity and decidedly anti-Christ. "Love those who hate you, do good to those who harm you" is the Christian way; that's Jesus' own words. When Peter picked up a sword to defend Jesus against the Roman Soldiers, Jesus rebuked him saying "those who live by the sword die by the sword." You are supposed to love the terrorists, strange as that may seem! Just as Jesus loved and prayed for the men who had beat and crucified him as he was hanging on the cross in agony.

    This so-called "Christian" preacher is one of the wolves in sheep's clothing Jesus warned about. Beware of men like him; read the bible yourslef, especially what Christ himself said if you consider yourself a Christian.

    And your attitude has, through the centuries, caused much evil in the world; the Crusades, for example, and the abuses by the Medevil Popes and Bishops that led to the reformation.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @02:23PM (#33525296) Homepage Journal

    Gandi was an asshole.

    Here is my favorite example, (there are many others)
    He told others not to use 'western medicine' Many people died(Including his wife) because of that. When he was ill? he was all about using western medicine.

    Yes, that chap was an asshole, and a religious extremist.

    But hey, if he didn't lead if Indian Independence, India wouldn't have all the poverty and disease, so he's got that going for him.

  • Re:Lunatic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @02:30PM (#33525414) Homepage

    What's your solution?

    Never get involved in a land war in Asia?

  • by alexo (9335) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @02:36PM (#33525518) Journal

    We host the Church of Scientology, so hosting this site was mildly tame compared to some of the customers we host. The media just so happens to be making a sensation out of this, and it will come across in our favor to drop them as a customer rather than to keep them and stand behind their free speech rights.

    And there you have it, folks: it's all about the bottom line.

  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @02:52PM (#33525760) Homepage

    But when it comes it Islam, people become cowards. Take the President talking about the Ground Zero Mosque project: 'As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,' ... 'That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.'

    But when it comes to a Christian Church staging a protest: "If he's listening, I hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans that this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance."

    Oh I see!!! In the first case, he was defending religious tolerance and, in the second, he was defending religious tolerance. Jeez... that's so hypocritical of him!

  • Re:Not Applicable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rary (566291) * on Thursday September 09, 2010 @03:28PM (#33526310)

    However, I consider it wrong to interfere with people's freedom of expression. As a major company, that ethical position requires me to treat all customers equally and not cut off those whose views conflict with me own.

    Would that ethical position require you to treat all customers, including customers who don't pay, equally? Would you continue to provide service perpetually to those who refuse to pay for that service?

    Paying for the service is a term of the agreement. If you violate that term, you will have your service cut off. There are other terms of this particular agreement. One of them is that you don't post hate speech. This Church violated that term, so they had their service cut off.

    Pick any religious group you like, from Catholic to Luciferian to Ba'ahi and tell me it's okay for companies to turn their money away purely on the basis of that belief, and I'll say that it's wrong.

    That is not what Rackspace is doing. The Church was accepted as a customer until they violated the terms of the agreement— an agreement the Church willingly entered into. If they didn't like those terms, they should've gone with a different provider. There are plenty of providers out there who do not have that particular clause in their policies.

  • [citation needed] (Score:2, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday September 09, 2010 @03:40PM (#33526466) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if Rackspace is this high and mighty about kicking pro terrorist and islamic jihad websites off their servers?

    Can you find an example of Rackspace hosting a jihad or terrorist website?

    If they state that the dove church group is violating its TOS or AUC, it is because of what they have done recently. If a group wanted to open a website to promote jihad or terrorism, it would likely have been rejected beforehand for violating the same.

  • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreampod (1093343) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @04:38PM (#33527132)

    Might I suggest actually READING a bible (or heck a Quran) sometime before spouting off like that?

    Both books endorse violence, punishment, and death to those that violate their laws and customs many times within them. Simply because you like Christianity (most likely because you were raised within the church) and hate Islam (because it is foreign to you and you have not educated yourself) doesn't mean you can ignore the content of these books and pretend that the Bible is all love and daisies while the Quran is hate and flesh eating locusts. They both also have a lot of extremely positive stances on social issues, particularly when you consider that they were both written in human rights dark ages.

    The fact of the matter is that neither Christians or Muslims follow the literal writings of their holy books and instead selectively pick components that support their moral stances. In truth the two books are fairly equivelent which shouldn't come as a surprise since they are Monotheistic tomes written in ancient times when there was a profound lack of understanding of the world and a general disrespect of people who are different.

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