This church’s plan to burn the Qur’an on September 11 is stupid; I disapprove of it and of many other things about the pastor, the church, and the church’s approach to the jihad threat. I don’t support the burning of books; it’s tactically stupid, as it will make the mainstream media portray the church as a bunch of Nazis, and it’s wrong in principle: the antidote to bad speech is not censorship or book-burning, but more speech. Open discussion. Give-and-take. And the truth will out. There is no justification for burning books.
Marisol’s comments here are apposite: “‘International Burn a Koran Day’ does a grave disservice to the cause of spreading awareness about Islamic teachings and the threat that Sharia poses to our way of life. It is a gift to Islamic groups who would so dearly love to portray all of us who criticize and question Islamic teachings (and triumphalist mosques) as frothing reactionaries.”
Pamela Geller puts it best: “Islamic supremacists can’t whine about ‘insensitivity’ while planning to erect a 15-story mega mosque on Ground Zero.” And the people who are burning the Qur’an on the 11th are, by doing so, placing themselves in much greater physical danger than Muslims are experiencing in this country, despite the recent spate of handwringing articles about a rise of “Islamophobia” and Muslims living in fear. As obnoxious as they may be, they deserve the protections that any American citizen deserves. American authorities should once again stand up for freedom, even if people are using that freedom in a manner of which they disapprove, and against Islamic supremacist intimidation.
But they won’t, of course.
“Indonesian Muslims Protest Plans to Burn Koran on September 11,” by Sara Schonhardt for VOA News, September 5:
Thousands of mostly Muslim protesters rallied around Indonesia Saturday in opposition to an American church’s plan to burn copies of the Koran on September 11.
During the weekend rallies in Indonesia, cities protested an event planned by a small Florida church to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks in the United States.
Religious leaders of all denominations have condemned the plan by the Dove World Outreach center in Gainesville, Florida, whose pastor, Terry Jones, has written a book called Islam is of the Devil. The phrase also appears on t-shirts and a Facebook page promoting the event at the church estimated to have about 50 members.
The chairman of the Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia that planned the protests, Rokhmat Labib, says the plan to burn the Islamic holy book is a provocation.
He says if the event happens Muslims will certainly fight back, and he cannot predict what form the retaliation will take.
Relations between Christians and Muslims are generally peaceful in secular Indonesia. But in recent months hardline groups have staged attacks against churches, stirring concerns of escalating conflict that would damage relations between Christians and Muslims in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.
The Pluralism Care Movement, a group comprising interfaith organizations and representatives from moderate Christian and Muslim centers, has called for the U.S. government to prevent the burning. It says the reaction from Indonesia should be one that shows the country’s tolerance for religious differences.
Labib sees it differently. He says Muslims must not stay silent when their faith is threatened.
He says Hizbut Tahrir does not accept the argument that the reason for burning the Koran is because it is the source of Islamist violence.
Labib says Muslims do not have any problem with Christians as long as they do not spread their beliefs in Muslim areas. And since Muslims are not forcing their beliefs on Christians, he says there is no reason why they should feel threatened.
No reason at all! Never mind all those attacks on churches!