MICHAEL GOODWIN: Let's Make a Deal

This is shaping up as one of those goose-and-gander parables. What's good for one is good for the other.

The plan by a fiery Florida preacher to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11 to protest radical Islam is drawing criticism from all sides. Civil-rights and religious leaders are attacking the idea as contrary to American ideals, and the White House agrees with Gen. David Petraeus, our commander in Afghanistan, who says it will endanger our troops.

"It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses, and could cause significant problems," he told The Wall Street Journal. "Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
Already, there was a protest in Kabul, with some in the crowd of several hundred chanting, "Death to America."

I'm with the opponents of the burning plan, and yet there is no argument that Terry Jones, the pastor of a 50-member church near Gainesville, Fla., has a right to burn the Koran or any other book, as Mayor Bloomberg notes.

At least Bloomberg is being relatively consistent. The same can't be said for many of the people who denounce Jones while supporting the plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero. They say building it is a constitutional right and it must go forward, whatever the public wants.

Which brings us to the shared point of both issues. Just because you have a right to do something doesn't mean you should.

So let's make a deal. Jones voluntarily holds off on his bonfire, and the Ground Zero mosque developers decide to find a new site. That's the spirit of America to me.

Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here

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