Should a 9/11 Monument Be Censored?

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An Arizona state Senate committee confronted a tricky issue Tuesday: Should controversial messages be removed from a Septemer 11 memorial?

The committee's answer, as of Tuesday, was "yes." The Associated Press reports:

A state Senate committee on Tuesday voted along party lines in favor of legislation to remove some inscription panels from the state's Sept. 11 memorial. ...

The 11 inscriptions that would be removed include ones that say "Foreign-born Americans afraid," "Must bomb back" and "You don't win battles of terrorism with more battles."

A decade afterward, the 9/11 attacks still raise divisive questions, some without easy answers. Is the U.S. engaged in a theological/ideological/culture war with radical Islam? Should a Muslim community center be built a few blocks away from Ground Zero?

The Arizona Senate committee has taken on a similar question to the one answered by the Supreme Court in its case concerning the Westboro Baptist Church protesters at military funerals. The court found that Westboro's speech, while hurtful, is protected as commentary on the nation, its politics, and its culture.

As with Westboro, these inscriptions pretty clearly count as political speech, but it's the venue that's being questioned.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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