Burning the Koran: Really Stupid

If you want to get media attention, saying you are going to burn the Koran does that just fine.  But it is wrong on so many levels.  Let’s count them, shall we?

1. It anger Muslims, as opposed to persuading them.  There are a lot of serious criticisms that can be made of the Koran and Islam, but burning the Koran isn’t a serious criticism.  It’s childish.  That pastor should have organized a daylong serious analysis of the Koran’s inconsistencies and the difficulties with reading its text that have been acknowledged by Muslim scholars since around 1000 AD.  Would it have converted many Muslims?  No.  But it would not have generated the…firestorm (yes, that’s the word) of passionate rage.  It makes America look stupid.

2. Book burning has become a symbol of fascism.  Even the Catholic Church, when it maintained its list of prohibited books, did not burn books.  Great: a Christian pastor uses a symbol of the Nazis.  What were you thinking?  Were you thinking?

3. It provides yet another example of an ignorant Christian pastor for the news media (which is constantly ignoring the many equivalent Islamic radical imams) to use to portray Christianity in a bad light.

4. It almost certainly increases the risk that some Muslim fanatic is going to kill some American somewhere–and there is nothing that we get in return for that increased risk.  If some action that we took actually increased the possibility of winning the war against Islamofascism in exchange for that risk, it might be worth considering.  But what does burning Korans buy us?  Nothing.

I hope this pastor enjoys his brief moment of fame.

19 thoughts on “Burning the Koran: Really Stupid”

  1. One more point: Look anywhere and see radicals burning our flag or an effigy of our leaders- in effect, burning our symbols. Is this really what we want to be?

    This is America. We are better than that.

  2. I agree with all your points. But it is his right to burn it as disgusting the thought might be for the rest of us. And that is what separates us from the Koran.

  3. “It makes America look stupid.”

    I think you just isolated the reason that this has gotten so much media attention. The idea that some backwoods church would burn korans can be used to equivocate fundamentalist Christians with the Taliban/Wahabbists.

    It also plays into the narrative constructed by Chairman Obama that we’re the ones at fault and should be apologizing to the rest of the world.

    This also wouldn’t be an issue were it not for the readily available effigy-burning grievance mobs in Muslim nations. I think Europeans will find out in this lifetime that burning the Koran isn’t the only thing that’s offensive to Muslims, the practice of religions other than Islam is gravely offensive to Muslims once they’re a substantial percentage of the population.

  4. Sorry, but I beg to differ. We need to stop worrying about what might offend muslims. Heck, eating a donut on a Friday morning in September offends them. we look like cowards giving in to punks. And about book burning being “fascists”, I also disagree. for one I am sick and tired of having to worry to be considered “fascist” just because 70 years ago Germany was ruled by some dipshits who did some extreme things. Heck, hitler liked dogs, *I* like dogs, does that mean I am a “fascist”? Let’s be honest, burning things has a long tradition in opposition movements. Like it or not, but burning Old Glory is a time honored tradition not just in America, but around the world. And usually is celebrated either as art or expression. The guy should have burned the damn books, him backing off makes everyone of us look weak. yay, another score for islam. When will we wake up?

  5. I suspect that the only thing this particular guy wanted was publicity, but that doesn’t mean that he was wrong. Your point that burning Korans will not convince Muslims is only meaningful if you make the false assumption that Muslims are worth convincing. As “the one who knew” said above, the advantage is to tell Muslims that we recognize that they are our enemies and will deal with them appropriately. It’s better to be hated as enemies than despised as cowards. A hated enemy can also be respected and feared. A coward can not, and that’s what Muslims assume we are, given that since 9/11 we’ve been more worried about being fair to Muslims than killing our enemies. You say “America is better than that,” but that’s not how Muslims see it; they see the same thing and say “America is afraid of us! We can beat them.”

  6. I think that this whole event was the fault of the media. If they hadn’t have camped out on his lawn and given 24/7 coverage, no one would have noticed.

  7. The only problem with burning the qur’ans was the fact that by buying them, he supported islamic publishers. He should’ve found a Christian, Jewish, or even atheist publishing company and had about 1,000 qur’ans printed and soaked in kerosene and streamed live coverage on the internet.

  8. Miguel, I think you can find no serious argument that his right to burn Koran is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

    But on this issue, I agree wholeheartedly with Clayton. And on the philosophy at play here, I agree with Churchill.

    When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.
    Winston Churchill

  9. After seeing decades of feces and urine covered Jesus, Mary Crosses and Bibles as “art” without any Christians rioting or threatening to kill anyone, screw em…

    Let em burn!

  10. Chris:

    What you mention is cause for Christians to celebrate their righteousness … and to turn the other cheek. Not to cry “an eye for an eye.”

    It is moments such as these that make men.

  11. In ww2 can anyone imagine saying, “we mustn’y burn Mein Kempf?” It will enrage the Nazis!

    Does anyone believe that burning the Koran will cause the people who behead people and sell the videos for recreational enterainment to love us if we don’t burn this book?

    If so I have some beachfront property in Montana that you simply must invest in.

  12. There are so many things that are offensive to Muslims on so many levels. Let’s count them shall we?

    1. They object to co-ed public swimming pools
    2. They object to dogs
    3. They object to a passenger carrying a bottle of wine in their cabs
    4. They object to democracy (I do too. We are a Republic)
    5. They object to Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists …
    6. They object to the Constitution
    7. They object to cartoons
    8. They object to Israel
    9. I could go on but but my server only has 500 GB of storage capacity.

    They object, they object, they object.

  13. I like Ann Coulter’s response.

    “The reason not to burn Qurans is that it’s unkind — not to jihadists, but to Muslims who mean us no harm. The same goes for building a mosque at ground zero — in both cases, it’s not a question of anyone’s “rights,” it’s just a nasty thing to do.”

  14. Small talk about this way over in here in the lion’s den. People with fancy symbols on their chest are in Sebastian’s camp. The rest of us who work for a living with no chance of climbing the ladder… “Don’t care if it’s burned…. Higher chance of attacks? Bring it….”

  15. “Never offend with style when you can offend with substance.” Burning Korans has no actual benefit. Prohibiting foreign governments from subsidizing the building of religious buildings in the U.S. would offend Muslims also, but at least would have some substantial benefit. And what would Saudi Arabia do? They already prohibit the building of churches.

  16. Oop… Talk about a major brain fart… Oh well… At most risk of an attack, but I still say bring it. With that said I shall take the opportunity to shamefully slink toward the door for that embarrassing slip of the mind…

  17. Matt Carmel,

    Do you know any Muslims? I’ve never seen such an idiotic list before.

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