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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In defence of burning books

So a gun-toting yeehah Southern-fried man of God in the good ole U S of A is going to hold a Koran-burning ceremony.

Not particularly respectful or in good taste, I'm sure you'd agree. Downright offensive to Muslims, one might think. Possibly inflammatory, in fact.

Lots of people are getting very upset about that prospect, and everyone from Hillary Clinton to newspapers in the Arab world have called for the event to be cancelled.

While some people have expressed their distaste for the offence offered to Islam, most are more concerned about the possible ramifications of this activity. They have raised the spectre of the riots across the Muslim world that followed the publication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons being repeated.

Amid all of this, almost no one has pointed out that burning books in itself is distasteful and ignorant and achieves nothing in real terms. The knowledge contained therein does not die, just the dignity of the arsonists.

But while Pastor Jones is undoubtedly a fool, he has one valid point to make. Why should the West continue to tiptoe around the psychosis of radical Islam for fear of offending people who are, at the very least, as idiotic and backward as the Pastor himself?

"Instead of us backing down, maybe it's time to stand up. Maybe it's time to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behaviour," he told Associated Press.

It seems to me that the reason he shouldn't burn the Korans is because burning books is an act of profound ignorance. But he should not be prevented from doing so for fear of offending Medieval lunatics like the Taliban, the mass murderers of Al Qaeda or the Wahhabist psychotics running Saudi.

If Islam is truly a religion of tolerance, then its adherents will see this act for what it is - attention-seeking by a retard - and ignore it.

If however, Islam is dominated by those keen to seek out offence, quick to anger, ready to riot at the perception of a slight, and prepared to refute the pluralism and tolerance that permits their freedom of religion in the West, then they will indeed set fire to their own towns, protest at embassies and issue fatwahs demanding Pastor Jones' head on a spike.

And if that does occur, then Pastor Jones will have succeeded in a very real way in exposing the hypocrisy at the heart of Islam - a creed that demands to be tolerated where it has no rule but tolerates no plurality where it rules.

Let us not forget that a woman accused of adultery still faces death by stoning in Iran. Let us not forget the oppression offered by the Talibanin Afghanistan. Let us not forget that there is no freedom of religion in many Muslim-dominated countries.

It's time for Islam to grow up, and they can demonstrate that maturity by ignoring Pastor Jones' little stunt.

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