"We ought to be very cautious in the prosecution of magic and heresy.
The attempt to put down these two crimes may be extremely perilous
to liberty, and may be the origin of a number of petty acts of tyranny
if the legislator be not on his guard; for as such an accusation
does not bear directly on the overt acts of a citizen,
but refers to the idea we entertain of his character."
Charles-Louis De Secondat
(1689-1755) Baron de Montesquieu
The Spirit of the Laws, 1748
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Reader comments about this quote:
This should serve as a warning to those who now villify Islam and its billion followers. The rallying cry to bomb Muslims will most likely increase retaliatory acts against Americans worldwide -- no matter what their faith. Yes, certain Muslim groups label us as heretics and infidels -- but shall we reply in 'kind?'
 -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Joe, Rochester, MIL      
    Hi E Archer This is what makes terrorism so insidious--"they" are among "us" and "they" threaten "our" very survival. When survival is really seen as an issue, mistakes are tolerated--mistakes that hurt the innocent. I believe it was Gen Tommy Franks to alluded that our Constitution would not survive if a WMD was deployed anywehre in the Western World. That is why, my friend, that we MUST find reasonable ways to deal with the real threat among us BEFORE that very real possible day.
     -- Michael , Houston, TX     
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