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Koran burnings and their consequences.

Koran burnings predictably lead to murders.

So what. Free speech kills, we knew that. The lack of it kills more. Blame the murders on the murderers.

It should be allowed, but is it, or can it be, right to burn the Koran? In general I have contempt for those who deliberately insult what another holds dear. The fact that I uphold the right to say anything should strengthen, not weaken, my willingness to judge what is said. I despise Pastor Jones. I despise the members of Al-Muhajiroun whose insults to dead soldiers gave birth to the English Defence League.

However now that Jones has burned his Koran, and it has led to murders by Muslim fanatics as he must have known it would, I now see an argument that further murders will be made less likely by further burnings. If they keep happening it will have a desensitising effect.

Yet I still think burning someone’s holy symbol is a contemptible act. To hurt a group (and hurt feelings are a form of hurt) because some of its members are bad people is just another instance of the collectivist error. I would not do it. I suppose what I am saying is that given that it will happen somewhere in the world fairly regularly, this fact should be publicised. Eventually the mobs will get tired of assembling yet again.

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47 comments to Koran burnings and their consequences.

  • The notion there is any meaningful causal link is of course a joke… these people ‘incensed’ over burning a Koran by some irrelevant wacko in the USA are just looking for excuses.

    But yes, I agree with Natalie’s post… indeed the sensible thing is to organise *daily* Koran/Bible/Torah burnings until it is just ain’t news worthy any more and even the loonies on both sides cannot sustain their absurd outrage.

  • Curmudgeon Geographer

    I dunno, it seems that the rampagers didn’t arrive at the conclusion that their mass murderings would in anyway lend proof to the “judgement” that lead to the Jones’ stupid book burning. Therefor I expect no change in their behavior and responses.

  • newrouter

    “Koran burnings predictably lead to murders.”

    so does making up stories of korans being flushed down a toilet. so does drawing pictures of mo. sorry but i won’t let primitive people who follow a death cult dictate what i may do with my property.

  • SundayEvening

    So do you guys reckon that Father Zakariah Boutros is guilty of causing the wave of attacks against Copts by members of the religion of peace and tolerance?. Is he a stupid troublemaker too?. Has PC seeped into your consciousness and tainted your liberal views?.

  • Falco

    The only appropriate response to someone who would kill because their favourite book has been burnt, is contempt. As an expression of that contempt, burning their favourite book is right up there.

  • Laird

    It’s a fucking book. It deserves no more deference than a paperback Agatha Christie novel. Some people deserve to be offended, and should be given offense at every opportunity. Until they begin to act like human beings, instead of bronze age savages.

  • Yet I still think burning someone’s holy symbol is a contemptible act.

    Sorry, but I don’t, and I can give you at least one example where I think you might agree with me, but Godwin is watching…

    I despise Pastor Jones. I despise the members of Al-Muhajiroun whose insults to dead soldiers gave birth to the English Defence League.

    I also have to take issue with that: burning a book is not the same as insulting dead soldiers: the former shows contempt for ideas, while the latter shows contempt for actual human beings (although dead).

    All that said, for me personally, burning any book would be my last choice of a form of protest, if at all.

  • Yet I still think burning someone’s holy symbol is a contemptible act.

    Sorry Natalie, but I don’t, and I can give you at least one example where I think you might agree with me.

    I despise Pastor Jones. I despise the members of Al-Muhajiroun whose insults to dead soldiers gave birth to the ….

    I also have to take issue with that: burning a book is not the same as insulting dead soldiers: the former shows contempt for ideas, while the latter shows contempt for actual human beings (although dead).

    All that said, for me personally, burning any book would be my last choice of a form of protest, if at all.

  • Smited. Got a poem, Laird?

  • Stuart

    burning a book = killing people?

    Not sure on that equation. As I feel part of Britain, how would I feel if an icon of our nation was raised to the ground? A building I would be angry about. My nations constitution and democracy wrecked, yes I would like to visit some physical damage on those responsible, and they happen to be British like msyelf. My countrymen killed, yes I would want to see those responsible given similar treatment. But the bible burnt, or maybe a copy of the Domesday book or Magna Carta? Don’t think I would want to murder someone for that.

  • Rich Rostrom

    There’s something peculiar going on here.

    Reports are that clerics in Mazar-i-sharif went to a great deal of trouble to stir up the mob, and then encouraged them to attack the compound of the UN, which had no connection.

    There are millions of “angry Moslems” around the world, yet was this the only violent reaction.

    This was about as “spontaneous” as a pro wrestling match.

  • Laird, you wouldn’t go rioting then if I burned AS?;-P

  • Dishman

    There’s something peculiar going on here.

    Reports are that clerics in Mazar-i-sharif went to a great deal of trouble to stir up the mob, and then encouraged them to attack the compound of the UN, which had no connection.

    Agreed.

    I would go further and say that this seems wholly premeditated, and that the clerics were waiting for something to use to incite the ‘mob’.

  • I would go further and say that this seems wholly premeditated, and that the clerics were waiting for something to use to incite the ‘mob’.

    Yes, and bears really do tend to relieve themselves in wooded areas.

  • A mob that is mostly illiterate killing literate people over a burnt book. How many levels of irony can we cope with here?

    One question, A few months ago Jones decided NOT to burn the Koran in response to the Ground Zero Mosque plan. What if anything made him change his mind?

  • thefrollickingmole

    Jones is on par with the “westbro church” (spelling?), a small gropup which thrives on negative publicity.

    Westbro had their rights to picket dead soldiers funerals upheld in the US.
    He hasnt been shot yet, despite all the BBC etc stories about trigger happy yanks.

    A book written by an epileptic madman with a “Holy mole”* is burned and the forces of the state stand to one side while people who had nothing to do with the “offence” are killed?

    One is a functional society with the rule of law, the other a tribal group of theocratic savages.

    *Book 30, Number 5793:

    Abdullah b. Sarjis reported: I saw Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) and ate with him bread and meat, or he said Tharid (bread soaked in soup). I said to him: Did Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) seek forgiveness for you? He said: Yes, and for you, and he then recited this verse:” Ask forgiveness for thy sin and for the believing men and believing women” (xlvii. 19). I then went after him and saw the Seal of Prophethood between his shoulders on the left side of his shoulder having spots on it like moles.

  • Dishman

    Alisa…

    If someone is intent on committing murder for the sake of the murder itself, then whatever post-hoc justification is irrelevant.

    Jones is a red herring in this matter.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Alisa, I think Laird just shrugged.
    Perry, the Torah is culled from the Hebrew scriptures, which Christians call The Old Testament- so burning a Bible, with Old and New Testaments, is a two-for-one package deal! a red-hot bargain you might say….
    As for book-burning, it seems a really silly thing to do. Since a Pastor should try to live up to ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself,’ and burning my neighbour’s holy book is an act of contempt, not love, he shouldn’t have had anything to do with it, and should be the first to condemn it.

  • Laird

    Just saw your posts, Alisa. (I wasn’t ignoring you!)

    (1) I’m running out of quotations; the Smitebot has been working overtime on me lately. Would you like a recycled one?

    (2) Nuke is right; I would just “shrug” (unless, of course, it were my copy you burned!). BTW, I feel the same about burning the American flag. That’s about as potent a symbol of protest as one can find in this country, and I think it’s absolutely appropriate.

  • This thing about burning something someone else sees as holy? Nazi’s thought that the swastika was holy.

    Since the earliest recorded history, conquering people reveled in their victories by desecrating the sacred objects of the vanquished. Currently the Jihadists are seeking to build a mosque to that effect as close to ground zero in New York as possible.

    America needs to revive the tactics that General “Black Jack” Pershing used circa WWI. Or, if you prefer, we need to have the same resolve that the Islamic swine have for annihilating infidels and Jews.

    As long as the Islamic savages insist on pursuing Taqiyya and Jihad for the purpose of instituting world wide Sh’ria, every last one of them needs to die.

    It really is that simple.

  • Samsung

    I don’t why but this whole Koran burning thing, and the killings in Afghanistan by those semi-house-trained savages, reminds me of the ‘Planet of The Apes’ movie. And Charlton Heston saying, “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!”.

    It’s like these backward, unenlightened buggers are still living in the Stone Age.

  • In case burning Korans is considered carbon-profligate by some, perhaps it would be a gesture to have a Koran Recycling Day instead. They could be pulped down and converted into something useful such as toilet paper. Just a thought.

  • My first job was shelving books in a library.

    It was a sacred rite, part of my worship in the church of reason, performing the sacrament of Transmission. Books were holy.

    You know what’s even more sacred, though?

    My liberty.

    Sen. Reid and Graham want to limit what I can do to ink on paper, what I can say, because it might offend those who would destroy or enslave us.

    That, right there, comes close to making it a loyal citizen’s duty to burn a Koran, or defile some other Islamic symbol, and send the video and the ashes to R & G.

    At this point, it’s not even about the Muslim faithful, who in righteous anger might object by, say, stoning me.

    It’s about thumbing my nose at oath-breaking public servants who have profoundly violated their sworn duties, in favor of cutting my liberty off at the knees in order to give aid and comfort to our enemies.

    Piss on Mohammed. Piss on his malign, ignorant dupes, Muslim and infidel alike. Piss on Reid and Graham.

    When I buy a flag, a copy of the Constitution, a Bible, a Koran, a picture of Reid, Graham, Obama, Bush, whoever and whatever, it’s mine to defile or idolize or give away as I please.

    But these pompous filth are defiling my rights, my liberties. They foul that which is not theirs.

    Must. Not. Stand.

    Shall not.

    And if burning the words of the child-molesting murder-cultist Mohammed is what’s necessary to choke those who would have me bow down to a false prophet, so be it.

  • Braveheart

    Didn’t the US Military burn a bunch of bibles taken into Saudi Arabia by their personnel a few years back? As I recall, when the Saudis found out about them, they threw a major tantrum and threatened all sorts of repercussions. Perhaps the entire Saudi Royal Family should have been beheaded for this, together with the spineless US authorities.

  • Mike James

    This Southern pastor could have hurt their feelings even more by preaching a sermon in which he points out all the places in the Koran which document some despicable crime committed by Muhammad (I seem to have heard of a massacre of all the men of a city which surrendered to him, and the enslavement of their widows and orphans), or all the times Muhammad caused someone’s death, versus every single instance in the New Testament where Jesus kills, or orders the death of, another (not one damn time, or any other sort of crime).

    No matches or braziers required–in fact, my system positively demands accurate copies of the Koran, in an unburned state, to inflict the maximum effect desired.

    My point being, if a Christian or Jew commits some wretched act, it goes against generations of law and teachings, or a good example which has been handed down; a Mohammedan doing the same thing is following the example set for him over generations, and hallowed by holy text into the bargain.

  • Stephen Willmer

    Mike James – I think Geert Wilders’ Fitna is a film version of much the same thing. So I’m told.

  • Yes, I agree it is contemptible to spit in other peoples’ eyes for the sake of it. I also think the extreme… specificity… of the reaction in time and place suggests that it’s merely a convenient occasion for the Taliban to do what they wanted to do anyway, whilst wrapping themselves up in a cause wider than their own, and creating perceptions on all sides which help their interests and hurt everybody else’s. The attention-seeking burners were merely convenient, if unintentional or indifferent, accomplices.

    I take almost the reverse view of the solution to yours. Amongst people of the slightest wit, it ought to be a given that somewhere in a world of billions, some fellow is always venting their spleen on some symbol of what they hate. How is this even news? Of course Qur’ans are being burned and otherwise trashed, right at this instant.

    It should be neither played up nor played down: I would report it with exactly the same priority that random flag-burning or Bible-burning deserves – which is low – not with the advance priority that enemy action using it as a pretext would deserve. If a loudmouth wants to do the burning, let him spend his own money and energy publicizing it; if a murderer wants to find out so he can cite the offence on the occasion of his next murder, let him turn it up on his own time and dime, combing through YouTube and all the Smalltown Argus-Mercuries in the great Web of Indifference.

    That would be my expression of the “Some mook burned some book: oh, guys, the horror!” school of contempt. Though since it’s incompatible with media dynamics, it’s your ‘desensitizing’ approach that’s more likely to get the real-world workout.

    And I really don’t think that will work well in places like Afghanistan, because it doesn’t take many people to do a bad thing, and it’s in the chief perps’ strategic interest to keep the outrage coming – whether they particularly feel it or not.

    On the other paw, depraved quote of the decade on the whole subject definitely comes from Staffan de Mistura, the UN chief envoy to Afghanistan:

    “I don’t think we should be blaming any Afghan. We should be blaming the person who produced the news – the one who burned the Koran. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from offending culture, religion, traditions.”

    In further news, freedom of speech means freedom to say anything nobody objects to, whereas my killing random bystanders because de Mistura just grossly offended my culture, religion, traditions would apparently be his fault and not mine? Thanks for the permission, Staph lad, but no thanks! Why would anybody work for a boss who wouldn’t blame their murderers for murdering them out of hand, again?

  • This is where freedom of speech and the right to bear arms come into play. When I say something rude about these bastards and they come for me, I can shoot every last f*cking one of them in the head.

  • Dishman: I didn’t mean to be argumentative, let alone offensive – it’s just that the point you just made seems so obvious that I was surprised to even see it mentioned. But then I probably should have realized that not everyone is lucky enough to live in the ME and the adjacent areas…

    Laird, you know that I’m just indulging in harmless chain-yanking;-)

  • What DJMoore said.

  • pete

    I don’t despise Pastor Jones. He’s done nothing wrong. He can burn as many of his own books as he wants as far as I’m concerned. It’s none of my business.

    I don’t think I’d like him much if I met him. He seems a bit of an attention seeker and obsessional, but that’s no reason to despise anyone.

    It’s not as if he’s killed or injured anyone is it?

  • Laird

    If “freedom of speech” doesn’t include the right to offend someone having a contrary opinion, what use is it? There’s no point to a “freedom to be polite.” We need more offensive speech, not less. Grow some balls and a spine, people. Or at least an epidermis.

    And if you know that someone else’s actions are going to get your goat, it’s best not to tell him where the goat is tied up.

  • Natalie’s comment that “…Free speech kills. The lack of it kills more.” is to my mind the essential argument, right there. Elegantly put.

  • Oops, I should have indicated paraphrasing on that quote… burn that last comment.

  • Dishman

    Alisa..
    Sorry, that one was all on me. Nothing you said warranted how the tone on that came out.

  • If someone believes in the Koran they are an imbecile. If they murder people because someone burned one, then they are a murderous imbecile.

    It’s no more contemptible to burn the Koran than it is to burn Mein Kampf. Being nice to muslims will not stop them from hating non muslims. It’s part of their religion to hate non-muslims, and it says so right in that Koran that is apparently “contemptible” to burn.

  • Dishman: actually it was my own tone that I found problematic, but let us stop here:-)

  • John B

    The murderers were looking for an excuse. One cannot win. If it had not been this it would have been something else.
    The fact that the link is given any credence is simply an indication, a measure, of the degree to which western institutions, including its media, have been subverted.

  • Bill Johnson

    “Yet I still think burning someone’s holy symbol is a contemptible act.”

    I’m sure you would prefer beheading or stoning…..lighten up, Francis. It’s relative. all relative. When they stop killing, we stop burning their bedtime stories.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Yobbo, the muslim world consists of people who are told continuously that the Koran is the Word of Allah. they do not have alternative sources to turn to- especially in a place like Afghanistan. You can only discover the faults in the book if you can compare it to other books. They are not idiots for believing it, as they have never been offered an alternative.

  • Paul Marks

    The Muslims (and it must be remembered that this was NOT a Taliban town) did not murder Terry Jones.

    They murdered U.N. do gooders – who had been giving them aid.

    I do not support the buring of any book.

    But the Muslims (in this town and other places) have made his point.

    From President K. on down they have demanded that that no one be allowed to burn a Koran in the United States.

    Think about that – it is a claim for WORLD POWER, that they can dictate what people can do with their own property (the book was not stolen) and on their own propery – and IN ANOTHER COUNTRY.

    Sorry, but the “nation building” operation in Afganistan has clearly failed.

    What was sold as hunting down OBL and his friend and ally Mullah Omar has turned into “nation building” nonsense.

    Meanwhile Bin Laden and Omar go untouched.

    Both Obama and (yes) Bush are a waste of space – because they are both responsible for this.

  • Laird

    If you don’t like Koran burning you’ll hate the rant posted over on “Gates of Vienna” (thanks to CountingCats for the link). This girl takes no prisoners!

  • lucklucky

    Thanks Laird

  • mehere

    The message is always the same: I am from the Religion of Peace, and I will kill you if you think otherwise.

  • Laird

    Iowahawk has the solution.