September 11, Islam in America, & “Burn a Koran Day”

This an open discussion for the above topics. Have fun commenting, but keep it respectful.

Oh, and since I set up this post days ago… If the US has been destroyed from “Burn a Koran Day” due to crazy Christians/crazy Muslims/smiting from Allah, I fully expect my international readers to pick up the slack.


  1. a guest says

    Nine years ago I was on Chambers Street getting an eyeful of the South Tower collapsing in front of my eyes. I can’t think of anything more appropriate for our values than to have a “mosque” or even a community center near the WTC site.

  2. says

    If you can’t take the heat, get your Jihad on. Wait, that’s not how it goes…In the name of diversity, I’m also burning a Bible. I’ll burn a Tao Te Ching too, but no one will care since it’s not the Eternal Tao.This just in (from someone telling me just now): Koran burning cancelled due to publicity stunt/ god telling the guy not to do it. Like Abraham. Only Abraham was smart and didn’t tell anyone about it, said the not-Koran-burning man. Lulz.I wanted to call a news station and tell them I’m burning a Koran for every person that died in the WTC, then get on TV, say it’s fake, and yell at them for publicizing it instead of finding real news they didn’t know would cause violence, but my mom says I’m not allowed to. Damn.

  3. says

    Some of us are trying to create a counter to the hatemongers with ‘Buy a Koran Day’. The principle being that stopping the burning does impede free expression, so stopping them make us as bad as them. But Buy a Koran Day hopes that if only a few people read, or even just skim it, their understanding may be increased, and that can’t be a bad thing.I’m not religious, and I think the world would be better without this kind of superstition, but they are here to stay for the forseeable future, so the next best thing is spreading knowledge and understanding and maybe narrowing the gap of hate a little.

  4. says

    Have you Quran burners no regard for carbon emissions and global warming?? Reduce, reuse, recycle!Besides, “Compost a Quran Day” has a nice alliterative ring to it, dontcha think?As does “Bury a Bible”…

  5. Annie says

    Here in Gainesville, we’re tying ribbons to our trees, mailboxes, etc. to represent peace, tolerance, and the diversity our little city embraces. Mr. Jones has been an embarrassment to our community for years- the city just took away some of his tax exemption a few months ago when it was evident that he was running a furniture business out of the church. Every village has an idiot… unfortunately ours got international news attention.

  6. Moky says

    To counter all the Burn a Quran day bullshit, I went to my schools library and just borrowed one to read. I think I’ll read all of it, it’s due October 2nd. Thinking about Islam in America makes me cringe a bit. While, this isn’t really Islam related, it brings this to mind. I had some people I used to be friends with recently. I decided that I wanted to date a Middle Eastern man I met and things were good… Then my old friends found out that he was Libyan… They completely ok with him until that point, and then I heard one of them ranting ALL the time about him and how he’s a terrorist. Then he got angry that my boyfriend defended himself and he demanded I break up with him for my own good and to regain that groups respect. Naturally I did the opposite and told them to fuck off.That story made me wonder how much shit do Middle Eastern people put up. Maybe some people didn’t get many issues, maybe some got a lot. I know that my boyfriend had the shit beaten out of him by his classmates in the time right after it. I mentioned this to a friend, but I’ll say it here too, the 9/11 attack left consequences that no one thought about. Nine years later, and were still fighting, arguing, and being pricks to people who never had a damn thing to do with it. But it’s ok, it’s rationalized with it being patriotic. I wonder how many people called Terry Jones a hero for burning those books. This whole thing is so ridiculous that the only way I can not get a heart attack from rage is to ignore the whole thing, but ignoring is kind of the same as saying you’re ok with whatever is happening.

  7. says

    I’m not sure it is. Sure this guy is an idiot, but, what happens to someone making protests and burning a scientology book. Who decides who is right and who is wrong. Burning a scientology book publicly is equally likely to get your life ruined, just in a different way. So it has itsown dangers.But scientology isn’t a religion, it is just a cult. Sure, but isn’t a religion just a big cult, who should decide when it is big enough to start persecuting those who oppose it?Now, I’m from the UK, so, really, it doesn’t matter to me personally if the US starts to erode its free speech laws, but, you can’t pick and choose whose objectionable speech you impede. Objectionable speech is, in many cases, the foundation of free speech. If you aren’t offending someone, you arent making them think. Sure, in this case, it is just hate and nastiness, but who do YOU think should legislate where the line is drawn?

  8. says

    Following on, because my brain didn’t stop thinking when I stopped typing, once you stop someone burning a Koran, do you then stop them wearing a T-shirt saying ‘I hate muslims’? Of course not, that is their freedom of expression.What if that person gets on TV wearing it. Is that then suddenly different? Is free speech only protected if you keep it quiet? Doesn’t sound too free to me.Should you only stop free speech if the group that gets offended has guns and bombs? Should you only stop people offending groups that are big? That sounds like fear talking to me. Free speech is sometimes expensive. Paying that price is what made the US the country it is today.If you ask me, the US government played this one COMPLETELY right. They objected to it, they make it clear that they did not want it to happen, and they did NOT try and stop it other than through dialog. Top marks to Obama’s people.

  9. says

    I have several thoughts on this I’ll post on my own blog, but in brief…If Pastor Terry Jones was the badass he wants to think he is, he’d burn that Koran in Saudi Arabia instead of safe and sound in Christianist Florida.We don’t need to burn holy books; we need to keep to debunk and destroy their contents. Big difference.Attacking anything with petty violence is the surest way to make that thing grow stronger. Assailing with valid criticism and ridicule demeans and reduces its mystique. (See Anonymous and Church of Scientology).And finally, Militant RELIGION is the problem, not militant Islam. That is simply the easiest and most obvious target today. (Aside: Jen, I hope you enjoy the Pacific Northwest. Glad you’re safe)

  10. cat says

    Yeah, you’re dead on. There’s nothing wrong with a legitimate criticism of Islam, but, in the west, racism, xenophobia, and imperialism get all muddled in. I think that, considering the social status of Muslims as an unpopular minority, before people speak they should think:1) would you criticize a christian group doing this in the same way? For example, a christian planning a terrorist attack on an abortion clinic was recently arrested. Do you talk about that the same way you talk about the Times Square Bomber?2) would you criticize a white person the same way? Do you assume that white criminals and religious fanatics are foreign enemies of western culture? Do you assume that white people halfway across the globe represent the ideas and behaviors of the white people living in your city/state (damn whites, always killing Romani in Eastern Europe, bastards)?3) Are you letting issues of anti-immigrant sentiment into your critiques? For example, citing Muslims as ‘them’ compared to ‘our’ culture? Who is ‘us’ and who is ‘them’? Because there have been Muslims in the US since before it was a country (we, in fact, have court records from the 1600s of Muslims and Jews in PA organizing for religious equality in response to laws that only allowed free exercise of whatever sort of christianity a person practiced). Are you assuming muslims are immigrants and immigrants are bad?4) Do you know anything about the issue you are talking about? If talking about a regional conflict, do you at least have a basic understanding of history and other relevant issues? For example, are you blaming the taliban’s rise to power on the Afgani people and ignoring the US’s major role in arming, training, and promoting this group?If a person can’t say that they would criticize a white, western, christian group the same way, or that they aren’t ignorant of the history, they should keep their mouths shut.”I know that my boyfriend had the shit beaten out of him by his classmates in the time right after it.” Yeah, and I have a friend who’s neice was six at the time and was tormented and bullied to the point where she had to be removed from school. This sort of thing is related to the notions of muslims as uniquely violent, as foreign, as nonwhite, etc. So people should really think before they talk.

  11. says

    Without Koran, there wouldn’t have been 9/11 or the bombing of WTC in 1991. We must destroy Koran! Burn it, and let Muslims read Atlas Shrugged instead.

  12. says

    Anyone who burns the Koran is an ass. Anyone who draws Mohammed (knowing it will insult Muslims) is an ass.I was being an ass when I drew Mohammed in order to make a point. I was being an ass on purpose to make a point. Terry Jones is being an ass when he threatens to burn a Koran to make a point. I suspect he thinks he is not an ass when he does that (but I am just guessing).Two points:1) I was making a point when I drew Mohammed. That point was “I can draw whatever the hell I want and fuck you if you want to stop me”. Terry Jones’s point is “I hate Islam.” I think I win on depth of sentiment. I was defending my rights. He is insulting people.2) I actually had the balls to draw Mohammed. Terry Jones threatend to burn a bunch of Korans and then backed out with a made up excuse. I win on the “having balls” scale.So we are both asses. I did it out of self-defense (for lack of a better term) and had the balls to carry through. He threatens an unprovoked assault (regular Muslims did not attack us, and are just regular folk) and then wimps out. Terry Jones’s actions was like a kid saying “I’d kick your butt, but I have to go help mom with the dishes.”

  13. says

    The actual Koran has nothing to do with 9/11. The interpretation of the Koran by the radical Terrorists is what caused 9/11. The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and respectful. I have personally took a look at the Koran myself and the real teachings of the Koran is very similar to the Christian Bible.Every American in the United States have rights to freedom of Religion. That includes Christian, Muslim, Buddhists, even Wicca.

  14. says

    Un, I agree with you completely but one teensy little thing is never mentioned. We always hear that 99% of Muslims are decent, moderate folk. Ok but, there are over 1 billion Muslims in the world, 1% of that is 10,000,000. That’s a lot of scary bomb-tossers!There’s twice as many Christians (and a bigger percentage of fanatics, I’ll bet) but they aren’t nearly so inclined towards violence. This is something that should be considered when discussing the ‘Islamic Terrorist’ issue.

  15. Dale Cope says

    I will have to completely agree with you there. Once you start taking sides and regulating speech an expression (that doesn’t actually hurt anyone) you are starting to cause problems. Objecting is fine, but actively restricting and regulating expression creates censorship and I still haven’t found any ideas (no matter how stupid) that should be censored.

  16. says

    My thoughts on 9/11 are these: I think we’ve had enough time to heal. 9/11 is being exploited solely for political gain and since it happened it was and has used for scare- and warmongering and spreading Islamophobia, by both parties. I’m not saying that there aren’t legitimate reasons to mourn or that it was extremely unsettling to have a terrorist attack on US soil; but, I don’t believe 9/11 is really that special. While it’s true that it’s the largest scale attack experienced in the US, there’ve been many other terrorist attacks before and since, And I don’t think that there’s any real difference between domestic and foreign terrorism. Mostly though, I’m fucking sick of both democrats and republicans who continue to try and justify either war because of 9/11, and who ignore or justify the years long, unending acts of terrorism with far, far greater civilian death tolls that the US is perpetrating upon the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The only real difference between terrorism and war is that war is waged by the rich and terrorism by the poor. Americans need to get over themselves and realise that they’re not the only ones in the world, and that the Afghani, Iraqi and Pakistani peoples have far more reason to go to war with America than we ever had to go to war with them. Neither good intentions nor a wish for good ends justify the means American has used and continues to use today. I’m kind of done with feeling bad for 9/11. We’ve perpetrated far more evil upon both the innocent and guilty than was ever perpetrated against us.

  17. says

    “9/11 is being exploited solely for political gain and since it happened it was and has used for scare- and warmongering and spreading Islamophobia, by both parties…”I’m fucking sick of both democrats and republicans who continue to try and justify either war…with far, far greater civilian death tolls that the US is perpetrating upon the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan…”Ding ding ding! We have a winner!And the scaremongering has, of course, been used to expand the “unitary” (per Cheney) power of the Prez to violate laws and trample civil liberties – openly by Bush Jr, hypocritically and covertly by Obama. Yes, I voted enthusiastically for Obama, and feel betrayed. OK, call me naive.

  18. Abie says

    Better than buying a Koran, make a donation to flood victims in Pakistan, and send it from “the citizens of the US”.

  19. Annie says

    Counts usually say “around 30” or “under 50” members. The guy has a Braveheart poster in his office… not normal pastor decor. I think many of the members are relatives. Some of the women (who are always dressed in very plain clothing) sometimes come to campus to “preach”. People generally just ignore them.

  20. Rollingforest says

    If all religious people followed Atlas Shrugged, which teaches people to ignore the suffering of others, instead of their own holy books, life on this planet would only get worse.

  21. Annie says

    Carrie- I think it is the responsibility of the peaceful and respectful Muslims to denounce the fanatics. I wish I would see more of that.

  22. Annie says

    Thanks Bruce. I would venture to guess there are at least 100 times more atheists than members of Dove World Outreach in our city, and I think that is a modest estimate. We are a little island of progressive and forward thinking citizens, surrounded by the Bible Belt Sea. We passed a law allowing people who identify with the opposite gender of their sex to use the public restroom of their choice (though the church people came out in protest of this), we elected an openly gay mayor (though Dove World protested this with “No Homo Mayor” signs… the general public was shocked… as they spelled all three words correctly), and we continue to embrace the residents who come from all over the world to teach and study at our university. Gainesville residents were heartbroken last week, as Terry Jones is the antithesis of our community.

  23. says

    I know of a church in my hometown like that. It is called the Liberty Christian Fellowship. My best friend was trying to get to go to that church but as i attended I started seeing things so wrong with it including how finances are handled I quit pretty quickly. It is churches like that and the events that changed my life that makes me an atheist anymore.

  24. Rollingforest says

    Liberals who feel betrayed by Obama, I have one question for you: If you stay home this november and don’t vote, do you think that the Republicans who will be elected will do any better than Obama or will they do much much worse?

  25. says

    Yes. And without Koran, there wouldn’t be any interpretation.My point was that Koran is the root cause of terrorist activities and it needs to be destroyed. People should read something more rational such as Atlas Shrugged and learn to think for themselves in order to know how to live their lives happily.

  26. says

    Nope. Atlas Shrugged teaches people to think rationally and independently. Rational people are far less likely to involve in irrational activities such as terrorism and suicide bombing.

  27. says

    Point taken Paul but if you think about it there were fanatical so called Christians in the darker ages of our society that used interpretations of the Bible. That didn’t me the more peaceful people of those dark times had burn the bibles. The point is it is gonna take the peaceful teachings of the the good Islam people to turn and try to teach the fanatics the right way of life. The Christians call Him God or Lord as well as his son Jesus. The Muslim call Him Allah which if you roughly translate it and actually read the Koran is isn’t that much different than the Christian Bible. All faiths in the world believe on one thing. There is a God but different faiths have different approaches and different names. Same with the Jewish, Latter Day Saints, Catholics, and so on so forth. I grew up in Methodist myself and as part of my confirmation I had to study some of the different faiths to understand them and realize we are all under one god but by many names and denominations. But in reality as i grew older and had a rough time in life and had some negative experiences in the church altogether is what made me the atheist that I am today. I am only defending other peoples rights as I would respect and expected to be respected in my own faith or lack of.

  28. says

    I actually prefer to call him “Baby Bush”..In my opinion Baby Bush was just trying to show his father Daddy Bush up because when Daddy Bush was in office and pushed back the Iraq invasion of Kuwait back in ’91 Baby Bush was trying to encourage Daddy to keep going instead of pulling back and declaring a victory. Two Bush’s one issue on both minds “IRAQ”

  29. says

    I feel betrayed by Obama but I do not vote based on Dems or Repubs I vote for the guy I think will get the job done. Obama has not really kept up on majority of promises that made my decision to vote for him. He has 2 more years to go til 2012 and as slow as he is moving on the issues that I voted for him. I believe that in 2012 he will be out of there. There are many others that feel cheated as well. Says one thing in 2008, got elected and now saying completely the opposite mainly LGBT Rights

  30. says

    If America gets this loud and upset over the people that died on 11/9, they must get *really* upset about the 100,000+ civilians that have died in the war on terror since then…. Oh, they weren’t American civilians, never mind then. I guess it was worth it now that the terrorists are all gone. Oh, they aren’t… Errr… Well, at least you got Saddam Hussain, even though he had nothing to do with it… Hang on.. Didn’t you win the Gulf War then? See a pattern?

  31. says

    Bear in mind however that around 85% of the civilians have been killed by other civilians. now, under the Geneva convention the US as the occupying force is obliged to provide security and protection for civilians, and in that they failed, but the vast majority of the deaths have been sectarian attacks, opportunistic score settling and the like.While the US is certainly not doing a good ENOUGH job, you can’t say they aren’t trying. They invest billions on weapons that only hit the correct target, for example.While I am not saying the situation is good, far from it, but it isn’t quite as black and white as you paint it.

  32. Svlad Cjelli says

    As an addition: If you aren’t offending someone, your speech doesn’t need protection. If your speech is protected in any meaningful way, it is offending someone.

  33. says

    Look at WHY he is being slow. Mostly it is because of others blocking him. Do you really think anyone else would do a much better job?From an outsiders perspective, US politics are pretty murky, and way beyond the borderline of corrupt, but I think that most of the world, looking at Obama, sees someone that is at least TRYING to get things fixed. It isn’t fast enough, but is that the persons fault or the systems fault?For the case in point, why do you think he would backtrack on LGBT rights. I expect because he knows he would never get things passed on that front, so he makes sacrifices, compromises, and fights the battles he can win. It is the weakness of the US legislation system that things happen like this, but really, could anyone else do much better?

  34. says

    Or other such irrational activities such as attacking and robbing ships sending food to famine areas because you disapprove of taxes.The Fountainhead, of course, is just as bad with Roark blowing up a hotel that was owned, built, and paid for by other people just because after paying him for his design they decided that it wasn’t right for them and changed a few details. Blowing up buildings because you don’t like how they look is hardly “rational” or “independent” (and incidentally, only being able to create the building you want because some rich patron decides to allow it isn’t exactly “independent” either.)

  35. says

    Even if you accept that figure of 100,000 deaths (which is rather low), and your figure of ‘only’ 15% being killed directly by the military, that’s still 15,000 people, or about five 9/11s worth killed directly by the US. How long would it take to read their names out?

  36. Annie says

    Carrie- Well then the church was beneficial… if it led you to atheism. ;-) I often worry that my daughter, who declared herself an atheist at age five, will someday rebel and go to a evangelical church. I hope she’ll just smoke pot instead.

  37. says

    Annie – have you come out and denounce crimes committed by other women? Have you come out and denounce crimes committed by people in our state? Have you come out and denounce crimes committed by people of similar dietary preference as you? Have you come out and denounce crimes committed by people speaking the same language as you? Have you come out and denounce crimes committed by your country (even though you might get criticised to be unpatriotic by the fanatics)?I wish I could see more of that. Also, good luck getting noticed by the media when you’re going against the narrative.

  38. says

    What do you mean radical terrorists? They were following the true tenets of pislam.When you read the koran, did you simply happen to miss all those verses that promote violence etc.?

  39. says

    What peaceful teachings? The koran is full of instructions to commit acts of terror. Its clear you don’t really know anything about pislam. Go look up abrogation in reference to the koran for a start.

  40. Doug Sloan says

    There are only two religious systems. They are mutually exclusive and usually oppositional.One uses religious belief as the means by which the religious leaders strive to control the thoughts and actions of the faithful followers. By necessity, this religious system favors blind faith over knowledge and obedience over questions. Science is in opposition to this religious system.The other uses religious belief as a means to gain freedom from oppression, seeks justice as restoration, strives for the improvement of human relations and quality of life, and welcomes knowledge and questions. With this religious system, science is synergistic.

  41. danielm says

    I remember when freedom of speech meant something. I remember when the taliban blew up buddhis statues in afghanistan – they can’t be replaced and they belonged, if anything, to the world. I cannot equate burning cheap, mass-produced easily knocked off personal property with destroying something that took many people many years to complete and can never be replaced.shame on those who don’t support it – you don’t have to agree, but freedom of speech means you have no right to not be offended. grow up.

  42. says

    Where did I say they aren’t trying? I didn’t paint anything in black and white, the passage is deliberately vague and simply sarcastic about the failure to achieve the alleged goals of the invasion. In fact, I fully agree with your point that they aren’t doing a good enough job.

  43. Moky says

    The Koran is the root of terrorist activities the same way the Bible is. It depends on the person to interpret it. The vast majority of people are very reasonable and won’t strap a bomb to their chest.

  44. Moky says

    Did you ever read the ENTIRE Koran, or did you read bits and pieces that people like Glenn Beck showed you?

  45. says

    And what does that make you? And I see you’re already trying to prevent me from exercising my right to freedom of speech. How typically liberal of you.

  46. says

    Who is Glen Beck? And do you know anything about abrogation of the koranic suras? You know, where the peaceful ones have been abrogated by violent ones.

  47. says

    HA! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!Just too funny. Telling someone to shut up because their argument is stupid isn’t remotely the same as preventing people from exercising their right to free speech. The right to free speech refers entirely and solely to the fact that it is unconstitutional for the GOVERNMENT to prevent you from expression your opinion/beliefs, or for arresting or otherwise penalising you for the same.It in no way entitles you to be exempt from criticism, ridicule, or being pointed and laughed at by society. If by “typically liberal of you” you mean ridiculing bad arguments and pointing out when someone’s being needlessly inflammatory and and purposefully misconstruing an argument, then yes, I’m a very typical liberal. Thanks for the compliment.

  48. Old Earth Accretionist says

    Freedom of speech means we have every right to be offended and horrified and to be allowed to say that we are.I feel no shame for believing that book burning is wrong, corrupt and should be banned… what book burning is saying is that you do not believe that those words should be allowed to exist in the world… it is not exercising freedom of speech it is attempting to subvert/imply that other people’s freedom of speech is abhorrent and should not be allowed. I hate to pull a Godwin’s law here… but every major regime that has ever held book burnings has done so to remove or condemn freedom of speech. Using the “freedom of speech” argument to defend very real ACTIONS. Just tells me that either no thought has gone into your argument.I do not believe in the Koran but millions of people do. And even if it wasn’t a holy book I would be disgusted with the idea of holding a book burning. I do not think there is a reason in the world that can justify holding a book burning. Yes I am a bookish type, yes I love the written word and yes, this biases me… but think about it? What is our history if it is not in books in the written word? Even were the population to go entirely atheist I would not want the religious texts of the world (any of them) to be eradicated… they are as much a part of our history and social story-telling as fairy-tales and popular novels, and unpopular novels and textbooks, and encyclopedias, and scientific journals, and history dissertations…Burning books is the opposite of exercising freedom of speech. It is trying to show other people that you abhor THEIR right to freedom of speech.People disagreeing with any justification for holding a book burning are not trying to silence your freedom of speech… they are telling you that they disagree with you attempting to tell other people that the only speech that is worth anything is the one you agree with.

  49. danielm says

    Freedom of speech means we have every right to be offended and horrified and to be allowed to say that we are.correct. I said you had no right to NOT be offended (i.e. to never have something happen which offends you).I feel no shame for believing that book burning is wrong, corrupt and should be banned…well you should – you don’t believe in freedom of speech if you believe simply burning a book (a privately owned, easily replaceable book, I add, not a work of art) should be banned. Freedom of speech, once again, does not mean freedom for everyone else to say only what you believe in.what book burning is saying is that you do not believe that those words should be allowed to exist in the world… it is not exercising freedom of speech it is attempting to subvert/imply that other people’s freedom of speech is abhorrent and should not be allowed.I’m going to have to make a distinction between books…and books. There are books which are easily available, easily creatable and cheap to mass-produce. Burning a copy of a book (or even many copies) of something which will still exist changes the act from wanton destruction and obliteration of the ideas into a statement.When it’s a statement like that, it is freedom of speech, pure and simple. At that point you can get offended, stomp off in huff or throw a tantrum or even, you know, peacefully protest, but ban it and you’re saying that you have more rights than this other guy. When you do, that makes you a tyrant, also pure and simple.I’ll bet you don’t see why people burn flags, either.Now for the other type of books, and book-burning. There are societies and people who would take something precious and destroy it, ban it, because they do not agree with it. They would take these ideas and make them not only not available but non-existent. These things are such like irreplaceable hand-copied manuscripts, books of ideas from ages past, giant statues to buddha – anything which is not only idea made solid but unique and limited.I would not, and could not ever, agree with destruction of all korans everywhere, nor with all bibles everywhere, nor even with destruction of “mein kampf” – it’s not because I’m simultaneously a nazi catholic protestant jewish islamist (as you can see, that would be absurd) but making a statement by burning a symbol – I have to say it should not only be allowed but encouraged (so long as it’s not stealing anything, destroying public property and so on).And when it comes down to it, protesting the actions of adherents to a religion who perpetrated an act which killed thousands by burning a symbol of that religion doesn’t sound so stupid.I mean yes, he’s an ass, the attack killed muslims too (it killed indiscriminately), most muslims deplored the acts…but still it’s meant to send a signal. It may be inflammatory and misguided, but few things aren’t. Things wouldn’t be so bad if the islamic clerics the world over wouldn’t stoop to manufacturing issues, lying through their teeth and inciting hatred, all the while complaining about ‘unfair treatment”. Basically, you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

  50. danielm says

    oh, and one other thing – as far as ideas that shouldn’t exist go, I do think that this world has no place for the kind of ignorant, barbaric, violent extremist religion (be it islam, judaism, christianity or any other) which causes people to strap on bomb belts, fly planes into buildings, shoot abortion workers, set fire to children because they looked at you funny, stone women because they were raped and deserve it or would kill, maim or destroy because somebody drew or said something that some mystical magical sky-fairy could get upset of those religions calls itself “islam” – it shares with it a set of believers who believe in a religion calling itself “islam’. one of them is ignorant, violent and destructive and calls itself the religion of peace. the other one is merely weird and a bit backwards. Sadly, there’s no easy way to tell them apart because both sets believe the other are members of the same religion.

  51. Old Earth Accretionist says

    The problem being do you really think he was actually threatening to burn korans because he thought that it was an intellegent maneuver a means of peaceful protest whereby he was deploring the acts of a minority of the followers of the religion by cleverly attacking one of their symbols of belief….Or do you think he was thinking that he disagreed with the Islamic religion and those that follow it as a whole and that it shouldn’t be allowed to exist and they shouldn’t be allowed to exist because his way was the only way? If you look at what he says and how he goes about saying it he is NOT trying to thoughtfully denounce deplorable actions… he is trying to attack a whole culture… and in a way that was almost garanteed to incite more deplorable actions within the extremist groups in the religion and possibly even push some to support those actions…. much like a book burning in an Islamic country of the Bible would be used as justification in the minds of many Americans for the wars and bigotry perpetrated against all members of that nation.I do agree that a book burning of this sort is not eradicating the book or it’s ideas…. but it is an action that says in no uncertain terms that you believe that the book ought to be eradicated and is as such more of an attack on freedom of speech than it is a defense of it.It isn’t overly difficult to tell the two sides of the religion apart… it’s just that (like the fundamentalist young-earth creationists are more vocal and visible) the more violent and fundamentalist followers of Islam are more vocal and visible particularly when viewed from the outside.(Also there isn’t a religion in the world that when viewed from the outside isn’t weird and a bit backwards – though some have changed or aged slightly better than others… but only to a limited degree). And even without religion people would commit atrocities in the name of something else… religion is just a handy excuse – a terrible one… but what isn’t?A book burning is not clever, it is not cutting, it is not going to impact a regime, it is not going to make anyone reevaluate their position, it is not going to support a more progressive stance and I stand by my opinion that it is not a peaceful act.Oh and I do apologise for misreading the “offended” line… I do agree that offending someone is not a reason to not be allowed to say something. It is just that in my opinion book burnings fall on the blacker side of the grey boundary between expressing an opinion and acting on it in a way that starts to impede other people’s own rights.

  52. Pratchettgaiman says

    I was going to read the Koran on September 11th, but all of the copies at the library had been checked out (given the makeup of my hometown, I’m guessing that at least a few were checked out for the exact reason I wanted to get one), so I checked out a book on Sufism instead. I didn’t end up reading it in the end, but I hope others weren’t so lazy in their attempts to understand a much maligned culture and religion

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