Terry Jones, the pastor who talked about burning a Koran and then didn't do it, is going to be billed by the city of Gainesville, FL, for the "security costs" they incurred in doing what they thought necessary to secure the city as a result of his plans.
Let's think about that: A U.S. citizen plans, and announces plans, to engage in a legal action. Because Islam is a Religion of Peace (TM), and because his planned action is widely publicized, the citizen's city is scared to death of all manner of terrorist threats, and the citizen himself receives death threats. The city then spends extra money on security procedures against the expected or feared actions of evil men planning to engage in terrorist acts, and the city bills the citizen for the costs to public security incurred by a public entity to protect public safety. It plans to bill the citizen on the grounds that it was his announcement of a planned legal action which was expected to enrage evil men belonging to the Religion of Peace (TM) that caused the perceived need for the extra security arrangements.
Is it possible that such a billing is even legal? Could it possibly survive a court challenge on the grounds of its self-evident chilling effect on political speech and action?
Think about how this could play out as a precedent: Suppose that I blog something that makes Muslims angry. Suppose that I were to receive death threats and that my city were to receive threats from terrorists angered by what I had blogged. My city could then, in effect, punish me for engaging in completely legal political speech by billing me for whatever extra actions they had taken not only to protect me but to protect the city as a whole, including sites far from my home, from Muslims angered by my blogging.
This isn't about Koran burning per se. This is about being able to do anything that makes Muslims angry without being punished by your government. In effect, such government billings say, "Sit down and shut up, dhimmi. Didn't you get the memo? We don't do anything around here that makes Muslims angry. And if you do, you pay."
This must not be allowed to stand.