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OPINION

A Tale of Two Constitutions?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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In the era of President Barack Obama, more than ever we will witness examples of selective application of the US Constitution's First Amendment.

Long a tool used to cloak everything from pornography to flag burning, today the First Amendment is being commandeered by those in power. Two recent cases reveal just how partisan advocates of First Amendment truly are. One might argue that the USA actually possesses two separate Constitutions: one to control patriotic US Citizens, and one to allow the most offensive even hate-filled rhetoric.

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Chicago Jihad Conference Protected by the First Amendment

A group obsessed with creating a Caliphate based on Muslim religious law -- Sharia Law -- in the United States and other nations is holding their first US conference last weekend in Chicago.

According to Diane Macedo, news writer for FoxNews.com, the group -- Hizb ut-Tahrir -- is a global Sunni network with reported ties to confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed of Al Qaeda and Iraq's onetime terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It has operated discreetly in the U.S. for decades, wrote Macedo.

Last Sunday's conference was titled, "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam," and it's was held at the Hilton Hotel in a suburb of Chicago. The shocking part of this story is that the majority of US lawmakers were silent about this gathering of avowed enemies of the US Constitution and American values. Those who did speak out made certain to preface their remarks with the old cliché' "they are exercising their First Amendment rights." That was the rationale given by the management at Hilton Hotels, as well.

Meanwhile, US government and other security and terrorism experts have reported that Islamic extremism is on the rise worldwide and that the spread of Islamic extremism is the preeminent threat facing the United States. In addition, various sources allege that Saudi Arabia is one source that has supported and funded the spread of Islamic extremism globally. However, here in the heartland of the United States we have those calling for the destruction of the nation freely exercising their First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression.

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Shopping Mall Kiosk Owner Not Protected by First Amendment

The owner of a shopping mall Kiosk in Charlotte, North Carolina's Concord Mills was told to cease and desist his display of anti-Obama, anti-liberal bumper stickers and posters.

Among those singled out for intense scrutiny were "Impeach Obama," "Work Harder. Obama Needs the Money," and "Al Qaeda's Favorite Days: 9/11/01 & 11/4/08," the dates of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC and the election of Barack Obama to the presidency.

The owner of the Kiosk told a local TV station that the stickers and posters sold by Free Market Warrior were intended to be "biting." The slogans displayed on this politically charged Kiosk are no different than those on display in magazines, on the Internet, and posted on walls and auto bumpers throughout the nation.

However, one person who found the Kiosk display offensive wrote to the mall's owners and to the editor of the Charlotte Observer. According to NewsChannel 36, the letter-writer, Jennifer Ibanez stated, "I find it appalling that Concord Mills, North Carolina’s #1 visitor attraction, would condone such a message to be portrayed by their vendors and can't imagine how the outside visitors' perceptions of North Carolinians have been skewed by such an establishment.

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"It’s hard to stay open-minded when such uncivilized and outdated ideas are endorsed on a daily basis. It's 2009; please, let's at least try to put this type of bigotry to an end."

Ibanez told NewsChannel 36 she was so offended, she wrote the mall as well. She says a friend of hers also wrote in. Both threatened not to return to Concord Mills.

Apparently the Ibanez's actions bore fruit: At the end of the month, Free Market Warrior will not be allowed at Concord Mills Mall. The kiosk chain's owner shared e-mail correspondence with NewsChannel 36 that explains that the mall management has decided that the items sold are not "neutral" enough. The lease will be allowed to expire July 31, 2009 without an option to renew.

NewsChannel 36 also reported that the mall owner, Mel Simon, is a generous contributor to Democratic causes and politicians, including Barack Obama. Spivack thinks the decision about his lease is political, since he pointed out to the TV news crew a store that sold items that were just as offensive if not more offensive, only from a more liberal point of view.

So, my friends, there you have it. In Chicago, members and supporters of a radical Islamic group are allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights, but an American citizen and small businessman is denied his right to advertise items that oppose a sitting president. And the US Constitution continues on its downward spiral -- protecting radicals and terrorists, but not protecting American citizens and capitalists.

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It's a topsy-turvy country, folks.

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