Just speaking on my knowledge of USA hate laws, but the mere act of buring a Torah would not be prosecuted as a hate crime. This may not be the case in other nations.
In the words of the great American philosopher Rodney King:
"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?" ;)
This is a great discussion you brought up. When someone burns a bible or a torah, I'm sure Christians and Jews will be offended but they don't act like barbaric uncivilized animals and start killing people for a primitive text. You also saw what happened with the cartoons in the Danish newspaper. You know what happened with Salman Rushie and his fatwa. You know what happened to Ayaan Hirsi Ali's film director Theo van Gogh in which he was brutally murdered and had a note stabbed to his chest declaring Ayaan was next.
Say what you want about Christianity and even Judaism to an extent in that they are much more benign than Islam. In particular with Christianity and the New Testament and the symbol of "peace" of Jesus Christ. Christians for the most part have become benign and most of them don't take their holy books seriously. Christianity had its dark ages and reformation period, Islam has not and will not because it is not capable of such things. Islam is a religion that demands adherence; all of us atheists are infidels and all good Muslims are demanded by their holy books to kill us on the spot. Islam is the biggest evil in the world from its holy texts in the quran and hadith, to the symbol of Islam in its child molesting prophet Muhammad.
I am not saying this out of naivety. I have read the quran, I am of Iranian descent and know firsthand the evils of Islam and how it has ruined a once great nation of Iran. It is ridiculous that Muslims can't act like civilized people and understand that in a free society, we are allowed to do things even if they are stupid such as burning a "holy" book. I think one of America's biggest mistakes is not understanding what we are dealing with and are putting it on a back burner not to "offend" anyone. For example, the regime in Tehran is a messianic regime in which they state themselves are preparing for the Hidden Imam which means the end of the world. What some people don't understand is that the real reason why there will never be peace in the Palestine-Israel region is because the bottom line conflict is not land, but religion. You have Israeli settlers who are also religious fundamentilists but with a peace process, the Israeli government can force them out of the settlements. The difference is that Hamas and those Islamic organizations feel they have the duty to put Jerusalem into Muslim hands as that once Jerusalem is conquered, the end of the world is next.
Reza Kahlili was a former CIA agent who was a double agent and had infiltrated into Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards. He obtained a video from his regime contacts in which he translated to English (it is a bit lengthy, 28 minutes) but after watching it you will realize what type of evil and messianic regime we are facing with in Iran. The Iranian people are great people and hate the regime that is oppressing, murdering, and raping on a consistent basis BUT they will kill every last Iranian to keep power and will use a nuclear bomb if they obtain one no matter how many Iranians die. This is a critical time we are facing and we must stand up to western values of liberalization, secularism, and human dignity and not play political correctness or allow others to dictate our values of freedom and choice. Check out the video...: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwiadYT-N9k
On a side note, I do believe that abortion doctors have been targets for murder by some Christians for quite a while. They may not freak out about their book, but they have been rather fanatical about abortion.
By way of action = reaction fanatics of opposite persuasion are each others best friends. Let's not be naive, Muslims killing each other over the book burning is what those fanatical morons in Florida would be gloating over. It was foreseeable it would happen, that their mirror-image fanatics in Afghanistan would use for their ends, and in that sense they are culpable. It was a bit more than just stupid, it was an act of deliberate provocation and they got what they wanted: people died. Hope it pleased mr. Jones.
I agree, Albert. We do hold people responsible for their words/actions when done to incite violence. Not all speech is protected, and speech that is done purposely to cause others to go out and commit murder should not be protect nor applauded.
It is an entirely different discussion regarding religious fanatics and their violent responses. I certainly believe that anyone should be able to burn a book (or a flag or a bra) without political or religious repercussions. But to do so with the INTENT to incite others to murder makes Terry Jones an accessory to those murders, imo
Limiting free speech based on possible violent actions that may follow is a clear victory for those who wish to limit it, as is the self-censorship our politically correct media is currently doing.
After the Mo cartoons appeared, the only Norwegian paper who had the balls to reprint them was a Christian newspaper. Cudos where cudos is due to them on doing it. A number of Muslim newspapers had a draw Jesus campaign, and many of the cartoons entered were horrifying, but Christians did not take to the streets killing Muslims and burning down embassies.
The true test of our support of free speech is to defend vileness such as this. I predict the hate speech laws of some countries to be viewed as historical anachronismes akin to blashphemy laws in the future. The only way we are morally allowed to limit free speech is through social disapprobation.
Dialogue is the preferred solutions, but it will require concessions. When the concession is free speech we cannot justify dialogue, and confrontation is the only option remaining.