I know this is a provocative question but it has to be asked.  What would happen if a group of people went out in the street and burned a Bible and a Torah?  How would people feel.  Burning the Koran was stupid, but its a stretch to say that nut in Florida needs to share the blame for what happened in Afghanistan today. 
What do you think the reaction be to the burning of Christian and Jewish holy books in this country would be?

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I don't think he sees it as taking any of the blame, privately I wager he sees it more like taking credit for it. Today he proudly announced in the media that the people who were killed were not his concern, they just proved his point. It took 11 people to die in two days to prove his point. The point being extremist infighting costs lives.

I like your comparison, that's funny. But I am dead set against burning Bibles or other stupid stunts just to try to aggravate people and I despise street justice and show trials. Even when no one gets hurt.

Just found this article- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12944851

"Ten people have been killed in the Afghan city of Kandahar during a demonstration against the burning of a Koran in the US, officials say."

Freedom of speech is a right, not a privilege. We need to not blame the person or people who burned the book no matter how stupid of an act (I wouldn't burn it) but we must all in society realize how incompatible to humanity and the basic tenets of human civility constitute the Islamic faith .

Simply put: I think we should stop giving excuses every time Muslims do something that is abhorrent. It is not just this incidence; again, let's look at the Muslims being offended and acting like animals when the cartoons were drawn, let's not forget the fatwa issued to Salman Rushdie for writing a book, let's not forget when Theo van Gogh was stabbed to death for directing Ayaan Hirsi Ali's film "Submission" in which a death note for Ayaan was attached to the knife stuck in Mr. van Gogh's chest and on and on and on...

We need to demand to the Islamic world to join the civilized world, otherwise you will remain in the stone ages and wreck will be upon you forever. These are some very dangerous times we are living in which will become even more dangerous when messianic regimes like the one that has occupies Iran obtains nuclear weapons....we must stop with politically correct ideology and call wrong when wrong. What the pastor may have done (mind you he did it a month ago) may have been stupid but something being stupid doesn't mean it is not protected speech. You can burn a U.S. flag, burn the Bible, burn the Torah, etc etc etc but we don't act like uncivilized animals running in the streets and killing people. These issues must be addressed and not ignored.

I've seen nobody making up excuses to those extremists in Afghanistan, I just go one further than you and don't make up excuses either for those radicals in Florida. Furthermore I've told you that if you have actionable intelligence about Iran doing something not in accordance with the NPT, you must not wait contacting the appropriate authorities. You can contact the IAEA directly, they will guide you in the process. Don't waste your time speculating about all the horrible stuff that might happen when we don't support book burnings.

Everyone knows Iran is working to obtain the bomb, and in addition a new video was released and obtained by Reza Kahlili (ex-CIA agent who worked as a double agent inside of the Revolutionary Guards) who obtained a messianic world ending video produced by the regime itself (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwiadYT-N9k) so we must not bow down to political correctness and allow Muslims to dictate our way in life.

There is no giving excuses to any wacko pastor in Florida who did what was his constitutional right in burning the quran. IT IS HIS CHOICE, NOT YOURS OR I OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. By blaming him or saying he "has blood on his hands" is nonsense, pathetic, and aiding the Islamic fundamentalist way of life by suppressing free speech.

Were not going to agree on this. You clearly have issues with Iran and to me it seems you are comfortable to piggy back ride on Christian extremist anti-Islam bigotry in an enemy of my enemy is my friend kind of way. Well good luck to you. Our ways part here.


Piggy back on Christianity?? I have no problem expressing my disdain for all monotheistic religions which include Christianity. I have no problems with my disappointment that most Americans don't have a brain when it comes to science, the universe, and living their life in rationality. I have no problems mentioning how abhorrent it is that nearly 40% of Americans believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old. The difference is that Christian fundamentilists worry about things such as pushing Creationism in schools (which is abhorrent) but Muslim fundamentilists (which are much higher in number) want to kill all infidels and non-believers. Christianity for the most part has become secularized and I have a relative perspective to see this difference. It is not just me who sees the difference, it is the likes of fellow atheists such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Bill Maher. I have issues with ALL of religious belief in that they are inherently evil and incompatible with civility and rationality; but fortunately most Christians don't take the bible as the word of god page by page. They don't act like animals when they get offended. They don't act like we are still living in primitive times. THEY USED TO, but times have changed.


With Iran: you have no clue about anything regarding Iran or choose to ignore their messianic beliefs. Go ahead and watch the youtube link I provided. Islam is the greatest root of evil in the world. Iranians have unfortunately suffered too much the last 30+ years with the Islamic Republic, but one thing is for sure: Iranians will never go back to Islam once this regime is soon over. Iranians are not a Muslim people at all (judging them by being practicing Muslims) due to the fact that Iranians have had a chance to taste what religious theocracy is at its worst. But, in order to think at the world in rational and logical ways, let's not try to ignore the relative difference between Islam and Christianity and how it is played out into the 21st century. The pastor is a nut, no doubt. But he's a nut with the constitutional right to burn the quran just as I am to go burn his bible or call him a nimbwit. Not seeing the relative difference, puts you in odds with reality.

By blaming him or saying he "has blood on his hands" is nonsense, pathetic, and aiding the Islamic fundamentalist way of life by suppressing free speech.

When people seriously keep saying that this is an issue of free speech, then ok... why can't we just extrapolate that to say that those people are now trying to suppress the speech of people speaking out against Terry Jones' act? This issue of solely emphasizing the matter of "free speech" can get ridiculous.

The issue is not just about free speech; it's about incitement of violence for the sake of pushing one's own religion. That is what I will always speak out against.

The best way to show people out there how lucky we are to have the rights that we have is to exercise these rights in a positive way. It would have so much more meaning if (say) Terry Jones burned a copy of the Bible, then held up a new copy and said "See, no damage done!".

Terry Jones' act was a fricken idiotic, hateful, selfish, damaging act that innocent people paid the price for. There, that's my freedom of speech, in response to what he did.

He should have used his right to shut up and listen. So should the people in Afghanistan.

Go Science, where ridiculing is the rule if you hold educated opinions against evidence. :)

He is some more information about the actual facts on the ground

Zakaria States it Plain

Category: Religion
Posted on: April 3, 2011 2:41 PM, by Jason Rosenhouse

CNN's Fareed Zakaria has by far the most intelligent take that I've seen on the Quran burning by pastor Terry Jones of Florida:

Let's talk for a moment about the Quran burning in Florida and it's consequences. Most Americans are repulsed by the offensive actions of Pastor Terry Jones, a publicity-seeking extremist. But they must wonder how an isolated act like that could produce so much violence halfway across the world in Afghanistan.

So let's trace the event.

The Quran burning took place two weeks ago - to not much publicity. It was not highlighted by the international media and was not a big story in Afghanistan. There had been a few small, peaceful protests last Wednesday.

Then, Afghan President Hamid Karzai decided to try to capitalize on the issue and score some political points.

Last Thursday he made a speech loudly condemning the burning and calling for the arrest of Pastor Jones. But having lived in America, Karzai understands well that people cannot be arrested here for engaging in free speech, which includes burning flags or books.

Karzai's speech opened the door for Imams across the country to use their pulpits on Friday to call for protests and more.

That is when all hell broke loose.

But even then, the killings appear to have been the handiwork of Taliban agitators who were using the occasion to score points against the United States, the Karzai government, and to generally cause chaos in the streets.

The senior UN official in Afghanistan said that there was abundant evidence that the killings were not the result of out-of-control mobs but rather deliberate acts of murder by Taliban militia.

Keep in mind that these protests have been extremely small by Afghan standards - not a single one had more than 100 people at it, according to the U.S. army spokesman.

So it's politics as much as religion at work here.

And yet there is something depressing about the fact that when something like this happens, there is an imbalance in the reaction.

Many Muslim leaders - from the Afghan government to the Pakistani government to local activists - condemn the burning of the Quran. That's appropriate. Burning the Holy Book of any religion is offensive.

But so is killing people in reaction to that burning. And this is where there is still far too much silence in the Muslim world.

President Karzai has condemned the killing, presumably realizing that his political ploy backfired, but what about the others? And what about Muslim religious leaders in particular? Why are they silent about the murder of innocents in the name of religion?

This is a perfect moment for them to stand for a modern, moderate Islam that condemns the burning of the book but also the killing of humans.

We will keep watch for those statements.

That's exactly right.

Ah, thank you Jesus! :)

Awesome insight/reporting from Fareed, as usual. I've missed too much of his show, recently.

I'll speak out against Terry Jones' method of activism, but if the Muslim world actually takes notice and makes ammends, I'll be happy and feel lucky.

The best way to show people out there how lucky we are to have the rights that we have is to exercise these rights in a positive way. It would have so much more meaning if (say) Terry Jones burned a copy of the Bible, then held up a new copy and said "See, no damage done!".


Beautifully said, Paul!


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