Why not ignore them?

Ok, this is my last word on this silly Koran burning business.

People have every right to burn the Koran if they want to, just as they have the right to build community centers wherever they want provided they comply with zoning laws. But instead of ignoring such a small issue, we have the absurd spectacle of even President Obama and General Petraeus getting into the act and calling for the priest to desist because of Muslim sensitivities. Don’t they realize that you can never placate hypersensitive people? If not this, it will be something else that inflames those who are quick to anger at any perceived affront, whatever their religion.

What is the matter with Obama that he feels he has to insert himself into these trivial issues, like he did before with the Henry Louis Gates affair? Doesn’t he have real work to do like deal with unemployment? By speaking on this he is simply begging for some other publicity seeker to think up some new scheme to grab the headlines.

Update: The burning has been canceled.


  1. says

    To me this group of people seem to be of the “Pay attention to me” crowd. And our lovely free press loves sensationalism over NEWS. This whole situation would have been viewed as a couple of nutters doing what nutters do if the media had not gotten involved and blown everything out of proportion. Please,I know that sensationalism seems to improve ratings but it does not qualify as news and last I checked I watch the news for news and not hype and political agendas. I hope someone in the media reads this and takes it to heart.

  2. Scott says

    Read the news this morning, and apparently the Civil-War-moustache-collecting pastor and the imam had some words, and the burning may be back on.

    I understand that Muslims would be upset, just as I would be upset if people burned Darwin’s books, but I wonder if they realize that their reactions only reinforce the West’s stereotype of them? They could really score some points if they chose to ignore it.

  3. says


    Oh great, I had not heard that latest bit of news.

    I totally agree with you that it would be best for Muslims if they ignore these kind of antics. It should be obvious that if someone is trying to provoke you to anger, the best way to respond is to not get angry but simply laugh at them.

    But this obvious logic seems to be lost on these crazies and I expect the usual over-reaction.

  4. says

    Shalom Mano,

    I too have pondered why we are paying any attention to Terry Jones.

    He has the same right to burn 200 copies of the Qur’an as I have to burn 200 American flags. But that right does not require we pay any attention to him.

    I am a free speech absolutist; Justice Holmes got it wrong, I do have the right to yell fire in a crowded theater and if people panic without checking to actually see if there is a fire, that’s on their heads.

    The response to objectionable speech should never be censorship, but more speech.

    That’s why I’m supporting Buy A Qur’an Day: 9/11.

    If tomorrow we buy 2,000 or 20,000 or 2,000,000 copies of the Qur’an and keep or distribute them to friends, we will have made a bigger statement than Jones ever could.



  5. Matt says

    On my short ride home from work yesterday, while listening to NPR address this situation, I passed almost a dozen churches. Each of these churches are NOT planning on burning Korans, yet their (in)actions are not getting covered non-stop by the mainstream press. The amount of coverage this guy is getting is so disproportionate to the scale of his action. If the burning does happen and any soldier is harmed due to it, I’d put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the press. Religious nutjobs do ridiculous things every single day and are for the most part permitted to carry on uncovered.

    Now that our government has decided to go down the slippery slope of convincing evangelical nutjobs to cancel their constitutionally protected activities for fear of offending, why stop here. Next step should be the Westboro Baptist Church. Why is offending Muslim extremists so bad that the government decides to intervene against a constitutionally protected act but offending the family and friends of fallen soldiers at military funerals not deemed worthy of intervention? Do these family and friends need to threaten to blow up a building in order to get the sympathy of the government?

  6. Scott says


    I think the point with opposing the Koran burning is that the one thing that Pres. Obama seems to be doing right is trying to repair the US reputation in the Muslim world, and the Koran burning counters that, and reinforces their stereotypes of the US and their belief that the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan are wars against Islam.

  7. says

    I understand why Obama has waded into this debate about this idiotic man who wants to burn books -- if Obama stood by and said/did nothing then he would be deemed to have fiddled while Rome burned.

    Trivial though this man is, and all we do is give him the oxygen of publicity that he craves, but he is in the news now and just like Rushdie has found out to his cost, once you are deemed to have done wrong by people who think they are right, it’s too late. Wendy @
    lose stomach fat

  8. says

    I think the question, why is the press paying so much attention… and why is Obama… are good questions to ask, albeit obvious in my opinion.

    The press is fomenting division, which both sells advertising and allows them to kowtow to the U.S. government.

    The president is also selling something: government as the solution to every problem, however trivial. One might think his need to get into the discussion reflects a basic contempt for the common sense of the public (most of whom really are ignoring this flap), but I think it goes further. Government is getting involved because it will use whatever happens as a pretext for some further encroachment upon our lives and liberties.

    What actually happens here no longer matters.

  9. Goat says

    I don’t agree with the characterization of Muslim reaction to the Quran burning as hypersensitivity. This isn’t a mere symbolic dissing, like burning a flag. It’s part of a movement that aims to victimize Muslims, and that movement is gaining strength. The pastor is not burning the Quran because he disagrees with its contents -- he’s burning it because he’s trying to push the boundaries on how racists can treat Muslims. Treatment of people’s sacred items can go hand in hand with treatment of the people themselves -- as when European anti-Semites burned and desecrated Torah scrolls.

    That’s why I think it’s important for people to stand up and oppose the Quran burning. Not to stand in solidarity with Muslim superstition by reading the Quran or buying a Quran, as some people are doing. But by standing up against Islamophobia and all other movements that target people based on aspects of their identity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *