In FrontPage this morning, I write more about how the Qur’an-burning and insane Muslim murders that have followed it are being used as the spearhead of an assault on the freedom of speech:
Everyone is angry with Terry Jones, the Qur’an-burning Florida pastor. Barack Obama issued a written statement saying that “the desecration of any holy text, including the Qur’an, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry.” In Afghanistan, General David Petraeus and NATO representative Mark Sedwill said they “hope the Afghan people understand that the actions of a small number of individuals, who have been extremely disrespectful to the holy Qur’an, are not representative of any of the countries of the international community who are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people.”
The United Nations got into the act, too. “The recent burning of a copy of the Quran in the United States and similar actions anywhere else contradict the efforts of the United Nations to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions,” thundered UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Time Magazine’s Joe Klein even claimed that “Jones”s act was murderous as any suicide bomber’s,” since Muslims enraged by the burning of the Qur’an in Florida have murdered about 20 people in Afghanistan and five in Pakistan.
Is that Jones”s fault? Many, many in the West agree with Klein that it is. Guardian editor Matt Seaton explained that Jones was to blame because his Qur’an-burning was “done knowingly involving reckless endangerment, and quite possibly wishing for this kind of bad result.” Bill O”Reilly even claimed that Jones had “blood on his hands.”
To that, Jones”s response was succinct: “We reject Mr. O”Reilly”s statement. The responsibility should be laid upon the people who committed the acts.” O”Reilly and the rest were assuming that the Muslims who were rioting and killing over the burning of a book half a world away had no control over their reactions, and thus could not be held accountable for them: they were demonstrating their belief that it was the West’s responsibility to make sure the Islamic world behaves in a civilized manner. Muslims had no such responsibility….