Yesterday, hate pastor Terry Jones — who made a name for himself by burning the Quran — delivered a speech at the state capitol in Lansing, Michigan about “the destructive force of Islam.” According to one count, “there were four Jones supporters…, at least double that number of counter-protestors, 18 state police officers and at least 20 media members.” As Jones began speaking, protesters began chanting “Say no to hate.”
But the protesters said they were soon told by the state police to keep their voices down during Jones’ speech, or they would be arrested. One protester called it “ridiculous.” “We’re on a state capitol. This is owned by the people,” he said. “And we have a right to make our voice heard just as much as he does.” (Ironically, Jones complained in an interview that his critics are “trying to silence us.”) Watch it:
Jones’ hate provocation tour will travel through New York City’s Time Square on 9/11. Early indications are that Jones is attracting far more opponents than supporters. The Lansing State Journal reports, “It was those who wanted nothing to do with Jones who drew a crowd.” In addition to the protesters at the Lansing capitol, a separate interfaith event at a Greek Orthodox Church drew more than 100 people.
Rabbi Michael Zimmerman sarcastically thanked Jones for coming to Michigan, saying, “We [have] learned, paradoxically, that we need the hatemongers, the rabble rousers, the unwelcome and repugnant attention grabbers, because it is they who force us to remember and affirm who we are and who we are not.”