Image While the women of Pussy Riot have earned nearly universal support from artists, politicians, activist groups and naked feminist groups (NSFW), one high profile politician wants the Russian court and Putin to be "applauded." Mayor Ed Koch, who presided over the city from 1978 to 1989, said this:

Supporters would take a different position if a black church were invaded and insulted. I recall when I was Mayor in 1989 and [an] AIDS activist group invaded St. Patrick's Cathedral and interrupted the Mass, throwing the Communion wafers. I think the decision of the Russian court to punish a hate crime was just and to be applauded, rather than condemned and ridiculed. 

I do not believe the issue is properly one of freedom of expression. The right to free expression is not unlimited and does not mean one can say anything anywhere and at anytime. Further, Russia and most countries do not have embedded in their law the Constitutional protection of the First Amendment that we do. I for one am delighted they now punish religious hatred.

The church in question did urge leniency in sentencing, but did not shy away from condemning the actions of Pussy Riot. You can read his statement via Politicker.

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