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Burning the Koran

Last I checked, this is America.  We should be able to burn the Koran, the Bible, the Book of Mormon or whatever if we're looking to make a statement.

Is it a *nice* thing to do?  Nope.  Should we teach our children to do it?  Nope.  But your being dopey and burning the Bible is hardly something that, say, I'd send my kids out to die over.  I'd just figure it was one of those infidel NIV versions and rest easy.  (What-ever. Also last I checked?  The Word of God will NEVER pass away.  You cannot destroy it completely.  Never.  So go have fun with that, but I'm not buying your matches.)

Life must be pretty cheap in these Islamic countries that they can send their kids out to die over some pastor in Florida burning a few Korans in his sorry 50-member church as a publicity stunt.  What are these parents thinking?  "Ohh, I sent Omar off to die for the Dutch cartoonist, and Muhammad can die over the burning of the Koran.  Next week, when someone finds the image of Khadijah on her burrito, I'll have to send Mustafa.  Then I will have only seven sons left, but if the cause is really worthy (like these), I'll just send 'em off.  I hear some teacher in Indonesia nicknamed a teddy bear after The Prophet, so that might be next on my list."

Ok, that was just me showing how IDIOTIC that idea is.  Nobody's gonna do that; come on.  Can we please reason that MOST Muslim people probably are reasonable and not quite that nuts?  Pleaaase?  And yeahh, some of these fundamentalist Islamics have some wack ideas, but I can't imagine REASONABLE PEOPLE sending their kids off to die because some dude in Florida burnt a Koran.  Shouldn't they have killed themselves over Porky Pig cartoons fifty years ago by this logic?  Or over Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue?

I suppose this general fellow has met a few more strange enemies in his time than I have.  And he might just maybe have some more military training and combat experience and whatnot.  I can sort of concede that.

But doesn't this announcement seem a little... political to you?  Doesn't it seem that anyone who wants to link Islam with ohh, "All I need to know about Islam, I learnt on September 11th" and the phrase "Never Forget" is on the wrong end of the marginalization campaign?  I mean, not all Muslims are terrorists, RIGHT?  So... it should stand to reason that one ought be able to burn the Koran without MUSLIM TERRORISTS blowing people up.  RIGHT?  Which is it?  Muslim people are reasonable folks who can handle someone disagreeing with them, or crazy fanatical right wingers that we'd better appease by not eating BBQ ribs or burning books?

I'm sure I've missed a jump in logic somewhere.  Sure seems to me that making announcements like this has the intended effect of silencing speech.  Just think, the next "announcement" might just be that disagreeing with Obama *might* fuel hate, and someone listening *might* take those words in just the wrong way, and then that someone *might* try to shoot him.  And despite the entire US Secret Service protecting him, that someone *might* hit him.  And he *might* get injured.  He *might* even die.  That's a lot of *mights,* and how many people are YOU willing to make shut up so that Obama *might* be safer?  And what would our government look like if debate were effectively shut down?

I can't get on any news article without some lewd reference to Jesus,  Republicans and tea-party folks having sex with their cousins, teabagging, ruining the country, and um, participating in oral sex with donkeys in the comment section.  (Ok, that last one I haven't seen every time.  But I've seen it.)  It's a pretty rare day when Jesus, Republicans or tea-party folks go shooting other people over it. 

I mean... not that it's NICE to do that.  Not that we SHOULD call people teabaggers without a good social consequence.  It would be nice to have some respectful discourse.  But sometimes free people do stupid crap.  :)


  1. A comment by email:

    This is an interesting post, and written from a completely American point-of-view, which would mostly be understandable by other Americans or Europeans, or anyone from a secular country.

    However, this is NOT how Muslims will view these ideas. Islam has not yet undergone any movement similar to the Protestant Reformation. I often hear even very moderate Muslims say, "God is not a part of everyday life for most in America or Europe." What they mean, is that in Muslim countries, God is a part of every moment of life, such as it probably was during the Middle Ages in Europe. Nearly every statement is peppered with words, such as, "if God wills it.." But this is NOT just an expression; people really MEAN it. Even people who don't live by the dictates of their religion DO tend to believe in God.

    There are a few atheists around, but they would never admit it publically. If a person born in a Muslim country were to stand on a street corner in a public place, and say something such as, "God does not exist," they would probably be attacked by a mob on the street right there and then.

    If someone burned the Koran in a public place here (one of the most moderate Muslim countries), they would probably be killed by a mob.

    My husband (very moderate) gets very offended when people make jokes about anything to do with God, and it doesn't matter if it is Christians joking about God in the United States. He always says, "God is not an appropriate subject to joke about or be disrespectful about." Muslims would be equally shocked if someone were burning the Bible, too, as they are taught to respect the Jewish religion, the Christian religion, and the Muslim religion as all true religions of monotheism. All three are considered "People of the Book." This is why a Muslim man cannot marry anyone except a Jewish woman, a Christian woman, or a Muslim woman. (Muslim women can only marry a Muslim man, but that is for a different reason--it's that a man is considered to be "head of the family" and it is assumed that a wife will naturally follow the husband's religion, as will the children. And it cannot be permitted under Islam to think that a wife or children would leave the Islamic religion, so thus, the prohibition.)

    So, back to the book burning, from the Muslim point-of-view, it's NOT about FREEDOM OF SPEECH, it's about BEING DISRESPECTFUL TO GOD, which in their view is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE. Far more important than parents and children, and families, education, or adoption, or ANYTHING. That's why foreign adoptions to non-Muslims are not allowed--it's better to keep children as orphans forever in the Muslim relgion (in their view) than to allow them to have non-Muslim parents. Why? Because God GAVE life, God GAVE husbands and wives to each other, GOD gave us everything. This is their view, that we SHOULD NEVER FORGET GOD IN ANYTHING WE DO.

    So, burning the Bible is equally bad as burning the Koran. However, burning the Koran would be viewed as even worse because it is viewed to be the revealed word of God (as spoken, or channeled through their prophet Mohamed, word-for-word), whereas the Bible is deemed to have been "changed" and to be filled with inaccuracies (which is what the Koran teaches).

    Most Muslims think America gives people TOO MANY freedoms, to the point of causing social disorder. Muslims feel NO ONE should have the right to disrespect God.

    An American in the Middle East

  2. Dear American friend:

    Sorry you had trouble commenting on the blog and had to resort to email! I disabled "anonymous" comments after getting a series of comments about how I'm a crack smoker and my kids are f-d up, all that sort of thing. I think my troll is gone now, so I might re-enable at some point. But my "delete" finger was getting tired.

    The things you are writing are very disconcerting. I know this is not the conclusion you would want me to make, but... by this logic, allowing Muslim immigrants into our country imperils OUR freedoms here. Just think, if each of these families would rather kill their own children than integrate, and they have 8 or 10 kids each, that could swing elections. That could mean all kinds of very bad things. And yet our freedom would be the very enabler of this.

    If this is truly the nature of Islam, I could see where the French are coming from, banning the hijab in schools and trying to stop the Islamisation of their culture. I wouldn't want my children bullied into accepting any religion. In theory, though, I wouldn't want anyone to feel they must give up their own. So how should a free country respond?

    And I find the book burnings distasteful, as well, though killing for it and not having a "right" to disrespect God aren't things I can fathom in a modern country.

  3. from WSJ comment section:

    So now under threat of violence we are having Petraus take time out of his day to comment? Really?

    And why are the liberals so concerned about endangering soldiers? They weren't concerned when they were showing pictures of abused prisoners.

    I just note the double standard. the pastor is just going for publicity. Stop giving it to him.
    And for those that decide that wow, now as a muslim this is finally the tipping point to make me commit violence....give me a break.

  4. Hi, Mrs. C. Hope you don't mind me linking your interesting thoughts in Snook's posts on all this. The Quran-burners live in my hometown, in the same part of town I grew up and went to Trinity United Methodist Church in. These are the same few crazy-mean folks who did those "Islam Is Of the Devil" school t-shirts last fall, remember discussing that?

    So I've been following it pretty closely. The ass't pastor of Dove Outreach (Wayne Sapp) was interviewed live on cable news today packing a gun, and the interviewer asked him about it. He said he had to protect himself, ready to shoot it out with anyone who wanted to try to stop them from "doing God's will."

    So much hate and eye-for-an-eye, so Old Testament. You might like the New Testament approach here better.

  5. Thank you, JJ. I had no idea that it was that close to you!

  6. Just think, if each of these families would rather kill their own children than integrate, and they have 8 or 10 kids each, that could swing elections. That could mean all kinds of very bad things.

    With the greatest respect and not to jerk anyone's chain, you've put your finger on America's current distress and dysfunction, except with the wrong holy book in mind. This is precisely how some extremist Christian politics and policies play publicly. As threatening to other people's freedoms and to their families. If you have a gay son in the military at risk of career ruin or trying to marry or adopt a child or their own, or getting tortured at school and on the street like Matthew Shepard, for example . . .

    And even without their eight and ten or more children, American Christians sway elections already, led not by a lone whackjob but by the likes of rich and powerful, holier-than-thou celebrity figures we've actually elected to national office! (Newt Gingrich is behaving very badly about the Muslim center in NYC, especially for a history professor and recent Catholic convert imo.)

    It's not that the religion and holy book itself is extremists, it's that the extremes in any religion or community need to be repudiated loud and long and strong, by their fellows who are who are NOT extreme. Muslims need to do it and imo so do Christians for the exact same reason. WWJD?

  7. Newt Gingrich is hardly a Christian in his personal life. I can't even count the stupid stuff so-called Christians do in politics. Too often we forget that Jesus's kingdom is not of this world. So what would Jesus do? He died single and so far as I know, killing gay people wasn't one of His miracles. It doesn't follow, however, that he was "pro" gay lifestyle, either.

  8. 1)And he isn't very Christian in his political life, either!

    2)That's how I read the holy books too Mrs. C -- one NT phrase that comes to mind is "in my Father's house there are many rooms." (John? Don't quote me.)



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