Jones says border guards asked him about whether his rally would constitute “hate speech.” Jones surely hates Islam. But no more than many atheists do; no more than many Muslims hate Christianity. That’s the thing about most religions: they draw distinctions between what their adherents ought to love or hate. Twice the Qur’an says that the Jews should be “as apes — despised and hated.” (…)
Many people find Jones’ views offensive. But many people find gay pride parades offensive too. Martin Luther King Jr. deeply offended many people, and so did the Famous Five suffragettes.
We allow offensive people because we believe in freedom — and today’s hated idea may be tomorrow’s wisdom.