Free speech & faith event goes ahead without Terry Jones
It was missing it's marquee guest, but what was billed as a frank talk about faith & freedom of speech drew about 60 people to the front lawn of Queen's Park Thursday night.
Terry Jones, a Florida pastor infamous for burning copies of the Qur'an outside his church was denied entry at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor.
Jones was set to debate Imam Steve Rockwell on Islam outside the legislature. As the event got underway, organizers said Rockwell had backed out, calling him "a coward". But the Imam showed 10 minutes late, saying Jones' brand of hatred shouldn't go unchallenged.
Rockwell praised the Canadian Border Services Agency for keeping Jones out, saying the pastor infects "borderline people" who haven't researched a religion.
But most other people who turned out to the event could find no fair reason to keep Jones out.
One atheist woman came to hear 2 extreme points of view & was frustrated at an evening that often boiled down to religious pot shots from a handful of speakers.
Imam Rockwell said he'd heard no good reason from pastor Jones to put a match to Qur'ans as he did in 2010. Rockwell went on to say if Jones were to torch any religious book, it should be the Bible because of it's profound anti-Semitism.
Mubin Shaikh, an ex-undercover operative with CSIS who helped bring down the Toronto-18, called for cooler heads. Shaikh says rather than demonizing each other, we should try to understand each other.
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