[M]aking a movie commenting on the sexual proclivities of someone who died some fourteen hundred years ago in no way constitutes “incitement” under any meaningful use of the term.
More importantly, the United States government has no business whatsoever condemning the exercise of free speech, the most fundamental of civil liberties, by a member of the citizenry that employs and finances it. While the First Amendment right to free speech is subject to certain time, place and manner restrictions, the fact that it might “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” is decidedly not among them.
Indeed, when Jones finally followed through on his threatened stunt [of burning Korans] on March 20, 2011, despite pleas from everyone from Afghan president Hamid Karzai to U.S. secretary of defense Robert Gates to refrain, days of mayhem erupted at the UN Assistance Mission compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing seven innocents.
In response to that tragedy, blogger Steve Hynd noted that Jones could have been arrested for his actions in the UK--and Canada and much of Continental Europe, for that matter. And those are hardly totalitarian societies. In America, though, people have a legal right to express any idea they please, no matter how despicable or hurtful it may be to others. Absent very narrow sorts of incitement, the police here have a duty to protect the likes of Jones from the anger of the mob, not shut them down lest the mob erupt.