I've already posted that I think that burning any book is a bad idea. I would prefer that Fenton read violent verses of jihad from the Koran to illustrate why building a Mosque near the place where worst attack in America took place. But I also believe that Ground Zero protester Derek Fenton has a right to protest without losing his livelihood.
NY Daily News-Derek Fenton's 11-year career at the agency came to an abrupt halt Monday after photographs of him ripping pages from the Muslim holy book and setting them ablaze appeared in newspapers.
Fenton, 39, of Bloomingdale, N.J., burned the book during a protest on the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11 outside , the controversial mosque slated to be built near Ground Zero.
Several neighbors in Fenton's town stood up for his right to express himself with flames.
"Good for him for burning the Koran," neighbor Jacqui Marquez, 40, said. "Everybody's entitled to their opinion ... by firing him, they're sending a message that there's no freedom of speech. They're completely wrong for doing this."
"He's a family man," neighbor Randy McConnell, 43, said. "He loves his kids and he loves trains. I don't agree with what he did, but he shouldn't lose his job over it. That's his right."
If Fenton was fired for burning the Koran while off-duty, his First Amendment rights probably were violated, Chris Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union said. "The Supreme Court has recognized a constitutional right to burn the flag. As reprehensible as it may be, burning the Koran would be protected as well.
Its interesting that Fenton could have burned the Flag, or even the Bible and not fear for his job at all.