Where There's Smoke, There's FIRE

College administrators at San Francisco State University (STFU, oops, SFSU) are about to get a tutorial in First Amendment Law 101, courtesy of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).


Well, the College Republicans at SFSU held an anti-terrorism rally last October, in which they stomped on Hezbollah and Hamas flags. These flags "allegedly" bore the name of Allah in Arabic script. Complaints resulted, and the College Republicans have been summoned to appear before a review panel, a first step in possible disciplinary action.

Observes FIRE:

Now, it's well-known to just about everyone with any knowledge of the First Amendment that burning an American flag is protected political expression. We have to assume that SFSU knows this too, and has managed to reason out that if you can cause whatever damage you like to an American flag, you can certainly do the same to the flags of Hamas, Hezbollah, or any other country or organization. So, when Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle asked SFSU spokesperson Ellen Griffin why the complaint was being pursued, she got this answer: "I don't believe the complaint is about the desecration of the flag. I believe that the complaint is the desecration of Allah."

It's not recorded whether Ms. Griffin also admitted that just about anyone with half a brain would find that distinction ludicrous. Here's hoping for a quick resolution to this that somehow involves a maximal amount of well-deserved ridicule directed at the SFSU administration.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 2:42 PM EDT