Thursday, September 09, 2010

Schlussel On Burn A Koran Day

A Florida Christian minister's plan to burn the Koran on September 11 in memory of the thousands of Americans who died as a result of the worst Islamic terrorist attack on American soil has provoked a strong negative reaction from President Barack Hussein Obama and various members of his administration, as well as others across the political spectrum. Book burning of any sort has never struck me as a good idea, but it's hard to overlook the hypocrisy of so many on the Left on this exercise of free speech by Rev. Terry Jones. Fellow blogger Debbie Schlussel's take on their "sudden excess of outrage" reaction pretty accurately sums it up. She writes, in part:

While I do not support, embrace, or endorse the International Burn a Koran Day, and it is meant to unnecessarily provoke (and does a disservice to the efforts of those of us who oppose Islam but do not engage in offense like this), I view it as far less offensive than those who burn an American Flag on regular occasions all over America. The American Flag is far more holy to me than a book which inspires mass murder of all of those who do not adhere to the strictest observance of Islam and its sharia (and often the mass murder of rival Islamic factions).

I also see the burning of the Koran far less offensive than “art” sponsored by the U.S. government, such as “Piss Christ,” featuring a cross in a bottle of urine. But Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder never spoke out against that. Neither did the mainstream media. Instead of saying to the Islamic world, “this is what America is about–we say and do what we want, no matter how offensive,” they are cowering to those who have already vanquished us on the anniversary of the planned event. Cowering to the enemy never works. It eggs them on.

I view the planned burning of Korans as far less offensive than the mass murder of Jews and Christian on a regular basis all over the Islamic world on the basis of the contents of the Koran and its related Hadiths, considered the word of Mohammed. But Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder never spoke out against that. Neither did the mainstream media.

I view the planned burning of Korans as far less offensive than the building of a mosque on top of the holiest Jewish site, the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, and the ongoing excavation of that Temple, which further destroys what is left. I view the planned burning of Korans as far less offensive than the use of Jewish gravestones as sidewalk pavement and Jewish graves as urination receptacles, all done by Muslims who took over “Palestine” before it was recaptured by Israel in 1967.

I view the planned burning of Korans as far less offensive as I view the Sunni-dominated Saudi destruction of Sh’ite Korans, in which the leather binding is purposely transformed into thong sandals to denigrate and embarrass Shi’ites and show them their Koran is the lowest of the low, gracing the dirt on the streets. But Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder never spoke out against that. Neither did the mainstream media.

Here’s what I view as far more offensive than the burning of Korans: that the outrage over this is more so than the outrage of any Islamic murder of Americans, any jihadist beheading videos featuring Westerners being slaughtered in the name of the Koran.

And it is offensive that the same liberals who constantly tell me that burning the American flag and denigrating Christianity with urine jars is “free speech” and “that’s very American,” suddenly don’t seem to like free speech.
UPDATE: The Koran burning hasn't even taken place before the American flag burning and chants of "Death to the Christians" rang out by Islamic protesters in Afghanistan.

UPDATE II: NBC News tonight says a call from the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to Rev. Terry Jones convinced him to cancel his planned Koran book burning event on Saturday, the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Rev. Jones tied his original decision to hold the Koran burning to plans to build the Ground Zero mosque. Jones, accompanied by a local imam in Florida, claimed an agreement had been reached to move the location of the new mosque. A represenative of Imam Rauf denies any such agreement has been reached. Rev. Jones says he has a trip to New York planned on Saturday. If the Ground Zero mosque is not moved, Rev. Jones says it means he was tricked and lied to by the imam representing himself as a representative of Imam Rauf. There is something wrong with a religion that the entire world had to be placed on a heightened state of alert simply because some no-name minister in Florida planned to burn a few copies of the Koran. Unbelievable. And yet another Hoosier soldier is dead at the hands of Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan. Marine Cpl. John Bishop (25) of Columbus died when his combat unit came under fire yesterday. Don't expect any apologies from the religion of peace for his death.


Cato said...

There is very little difference in closed-mindedness, in intolerance, in theocratic tendencies, in anti-intellectualism between the Muslims and the fundamentalist American Protestants.

The fundamentalist Protestant would impose Christian Sharia, if he could.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

I fully concur with this writer's views.

James said...

There seems to be a lot of confusion about "free speech" and what that means.

It means that the government can't interfere with your speech. It doesn't mean that there are no consequences for what you say and do or that nobody will have an opinion about it.

So really, Schlussel's argument is to list off things that she finds more offensive?!? Doesn't that seem just a little bit (very) childish?

Yes, the attention seeking "Reverend" has the legal right to display his ignorance - even if that gets troops killed, as General Petraeus has warned. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be unambiguous about denouncing it.

So really... do you think that "Piss Christ" -- as offensive as that was to a lot of people -- rises to the same level as an act that will put our troops in danger?

Advance Indiana said...

extremists are killing American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq on a pretty regular basis. If protecting the lives of American soldiers is our ultimate concern, then why don't we simply pull our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan entirely so they aren't in harm's way? The Muslim extremists don't need the excuse of this minister's actions to attack American soldiers. Their mere presence there is enough to provoke them.

James said...

"If protecting the lives of American soldiers is our ultimate concern..."

My ultimate concern is that we not allow extremists to dictate the discussion. Crashing planes into the towers was intended to start a global religious war. Having a "Koran burning day" seems to be just another provocative act.

I'll respect the General's opinion on if it's helpful to our military operations or not.

I'm a little bit with Cato... I'm not at all happy with the degree to which fundamental American Protestants have taken over "Christianity" and distorted the religion and politicized it. Let's be clear: The "Reverend" in Florida doesn't represent me politically nor does he represent anything like a Christian theology... any more than the Westboro Church does.

James said...

You have to love that the signs in the background are in English... a staged international media event. Thank you AI for carrying their message.

So... will the "Rev" return the favor and make signs in Pashto?

Sean Shepard said...

Book burning is more repugnant to me than flag burning. I guess it depends on whether you believe the Flag represents the people of our country or the government of our country. I think lots of people would agree that they love their country but hate their government.

Historically, we have not looked back favorably on people who engaged in book burning.

As to extremists killing our people in Afghanistan and Iraq every day ... is it not mostly because they don't other nations and peoples occupying their lands and trying to exert strong arm influence on their politics and society. The British got attacked almost every day when they occupied some of these lands in the early 20th Century also.

And, while it is true that Khazarian Ashkanazi Jews are typically credited with inventing modern terrorism (even prior to the King David Hotel bombing in 1946), it is likely they were merely copying Arab tactics that were used against the British earlier in the century.

One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist. Certainly, the British would have considered American Patriots and Revolutionaries terrorists in their day. But, history is written by the victors.

austin said...

It's difficult to know where to start with drivel this ignorant.

Any validity that belongs to Schlussel's broader point -- that Quran-burning is, and should be, as protected under the First Amendment as any other offensive act -- while still true, is completely undermined by the peurile jingoism dripping from her every word.

The American flag, for example, may be more holy to her than the Quran. But to say it has never inspired mass murder is patently false. Just ask the American Indians. Or the hundred thousand or so Iraqi civilians who've died while we "liberated" them.

And for Schlussel to even attempt to wade into the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the history of Jerusalem's temple is laughable. Solomon's temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in the 6th Century BCE -- and its literal and metaphoric descendants have risen and fallen like the tides ever since, as that small chunk of land has changed hands countless times over the centuries. It's an ancient, intractable dispute. Ignorant talking heads like Schlussel would do well to stay out of it and avoid drawing comparisons to, well, anything.

Spare us your ivory tower view about free speech if you're going to use it as a back door to whine about things like "Piss Christ." Either go all the way with your arguments or don't. I, as a liberal, agree that a lot of the rhetoric against the Quran burning is misguided. Free speech must be upheld at all costs, we can't pick and choose. As I recall, Patrick Henry had a notable thing or two to say about that.

Schlussel pretends to take the highroad but tips her jingoist, fundamentalist hand while doing so with all of her whining about what's more offensive -- affronts to Muslims or affronts to Christians and Jews. Grow up and go buy a real argument.

Cato said...


"This afternoon, I heard a brief snippet of an interview with Pastor [sic] Terry Jones of that miserable little church in Florida which is going to mark September 11 this year by burning copies of the Qur’an.

Jones said he understands that “Moslems” (his pronunciation, not mine, though I suppose I should be thankful he did not call them “Mohammedans”) will be offended at what he is doing, but (noting that apparently violent Islam has everyone in thrall, including General David Petreus) that he is offended whenever “Moslems” burn “the Bible or the American flag.”

I suppose it’s possible that Muslims somewhere would have burned a Bible or two (maybe Marxist Arabs, as there are a few), but I’ve not heard of such things. Most Muslims do not venerate the Bible anywhere near as much as the Qur’an, but would respect its contents (to the extent they believe them to be true, which is only partly), being as the Qur’an itself tells (and retells) many Bible stories (especially those from the Tanakh) and venerates many biblical figures — especially Abraham and Moses. No Muslim I have ever met would think burning a Bible was a good or worthwhile thing.

But it’s that second bit that gets me. Jones is placing the Qur’an — which Muslims view as the eternal word of God incarnate in the world — on par with the inanimate piece of cloth that is the American flag. For Jones, and too many other Americans, the flag is clearly an object of worship, even perhaps the presence of God in the midst of the people (especially when the President of the United States is NOT a Republican). I can think of no better example of the death-dealing idolatry of American nationalism than that."

Advance Indiana said...

Apparently Cato hasn't heard about how people are arrested and persecuted in Muslim countries all the time for simply carrying the Bible on their person.

Cato said...

Gary, I demur. Assuming that's true, arguendo, are we to become equally intolerant?

Do we truly wish to insult all Muslims on Earth?

dcrutch said...

While concurring with Cato's point regarding the general intolerance of about any extremist, and agreeing with austin that genuine civilians can be both targeted and casualties, I only know of one contemporary faith (differentiating "faith" from "country" or "army") that targets killing civilians. Toppling skyscrapers being one example.

What's the irrefutable difference between a civilian and a soldier? Between a good guy and a bad guy? Is there really anybody wearing a white hat in Israel/Palestine? Is burning the Quran worse than buring the American flag? I can't answer all of those. There's a degree of, "I know it when I see it" in there.

Stop "picking and choosing"?:
Leave civilians alone. Stoning women is cruel and usual punishment, as is killing someone just because they're homosexual. Intolerance of another religion because of ideology is ignorance (thoughts are one thing- actions another).

I agree free speech is an ideal- but that doesn't absolve it of being exercised with reason.

Cato said...

And Fred Reed pens the final word on the discussion:

Cato said...

Gary, look at these stories where our enemies in the Middle East have burned Bibles:,2933,356723,00.html

Marycatherine Barton said...

At the Catholic mission in South Sudan, where my brother, Father Mike Barton, who belongs to the order of the Sons of the Sacred Heart, is pastor, only a few years ago, government officials there under the auspices of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, not Muslim, arrested one of the missionary nuns for having a copy of the Koran in her room. She was studying it.

Advance Indiana said...

You do realize, Marycatherine, you're talking about Darfur where the Sudanese government (Muslim-controlled) has engaged in genocide against black Africans in favor of Arab Africans. The SLA is fighting the government-backed forces for their very survival.

Advance Indiana said...

I should add, Marycatherine, the battles in Sudan are much more complicated than my comment indicates, but your example isn't a good analogy by any stretch of the imagination.

Downtown Indy said...

I am intrigued by the widespread outcry from the Muslim community.

Lots and lots of angry people have been threatening to kill as many US citizens as possible if this church of 50 or so people burns even one koran.

Now isn't THAT a telling statement on their 'religion'?

Not only do they, as could have been expected, get all fired up to kill, they don't focus on just the small group that sources their outrage -- no, they target the entire US population, anywhere on the face of the earth that opportunity might present itself.

Now either this is strictly being voiced by terrorists who happen to be Muslim and there are lots more of those scattered around the globe than we are led to believe...

OR, the terrorist mindset is fundamental to a significant fraction of the practitioners of this religion.

The threat of violence has NOT been limited to coming from a small handful of people with terrorist ties. In fact, most have been quoted as saying they would rush to jon up with organized terrorist groups to exact their revenge.

This further erodes the notion the religion is one of peaceful ways and does not foster terrorism. That's bunk. Killing non-Muslims is a fundamental tenet of the practitioners.

Advance Indiana said...

Cato, You must have overlooked the stories of Muslims burning Bibles and crosses.