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?

Tags: bible, burning, intolerance, religious

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I'm not prejudiced, burn all the religious books, and replace them with science, math, and mind building tomes. Not stultifying fairy tales from our dark and superstitious past.

There seems to come no end to the amount of hyperbole. Now we're at the point that if you don't support Christian extremists burning Korans then you surrender to terrorists.

Formula: If you don't support [insert current issue here] then the terrorists have won.

At least that other guy who claims Iranian mullahs are going to nuke you if you don't support burning Korans is a bit more original. You don't want the evidence to come in the form of a mushroom cloud now would you? And all that crap.

The problem is that it's not just about that Koran burning. It's also about those cartoons. Those cartoons most self-censored away created much greater turmoil. They don't care wheter it's a looney church or an acclaimed political satirist that are offending them, and if we are to imprison the one, what do we do with the other?

Satire is one of the strongest forms of expression we have, the modern day equivalent of jesters. Our media is obliged to take their input, because that which aggrevates should be fixed. And that is what I would call a victory for the forces which wish to seek special protection of their beliefs from any type of critizism, and by doing so by threatening us with violence they are terrorists.

For good understanding I am not arguing that these morons should be legally pursued, that I think would only be counterproductive, besides it would give these morons also the opportunity to play martyr.

I am repeating myself but I do not equate book burning with satire, or cartoons or books or plays or painting or comedy or movies or articles or art or whatever.  That really is a matter of free speech. But book burning is the exact opposite of that. Going to a museum and destroying paintings you don't like is not free speech, going to book signing and throwing paint on the author is not free speech, it is vandalism. Book burning is just plain old vandalism and nothing more exalted.

What the hell kind of message does burning Korans send anyway?

Does it constitute a victory over terrorism or something? Has Islam been dealt a blow or something, are there going to be less Muslims now? Are they going to be convinced this is just an extension of interreligious debate or something? Was that the higher purpose?  No man, it was just trying to provoke as much aggression as possible.

Freedom of speech as a defense for book burning is completely farcical.

My apologies, I misinterpreted you.

I accept book burning as a form of expression, I guess that is the point we depart on.

 

The book burning in this instance was done with the intention of conveying his view of the contents of the book (much like burning a flag or a person in effigy). Jones did not burning anything that did not belong to him, as the book was legally in his possession. As the Koran belonged to him (and was far from the only copy of the text) your analogy to trashing a museum is thus invalid. However, trashing the contents of a museum could be a powerful way of communicating one's opinions, but in that instance does so would violate the rights of others to private ownership of property and is thus illegal.

"What the hell kind of message does burning Korans send anyway?"

Burning the Koran sends a very clear and powerful message about Jone's opinion of it's contents (as I'm sure the loonies in Afghanistan can attest). I personally cannot believe that there is any doubt about this.

My suspicion is that you would agree that the burning of a flag or the burning of a person in effigy was not a matter of free speech (i grant that I could be wrong about what you feel on those actions).

"Freedom of speech as a defense for book burning is completely farcical."

I agree to an extent, Albert, in this case. Book burning reeks of totalitarianism, which in my mind, is what Terry Jones attempting to achieve in the long run. However, I think the freedom of speech issue here is the mock trial, and the burning at the end was the symbolic factor of it. He put the Qur'an "on trial" and the method of "punishment" was burning out of a list of possibilities. I don't think he ordered a mass Qur'an burning as a form of censorship. Even if he did, we're in the digital age. Book burning is outdated.

If it were so you'd have a point. But the mock trial is irrelevant. They could have held mock trials with truckloads of Korans until their scruffy mustaches fell off their rosy cheeks from sheer boredom. They could have overloaded You Tube with videos of them playing LA Law with a bunch of Korans and nobody would care.

The point is pushing the right buttons. And actually it really didn't work the way Jones must have expected. He must have thought to spark a religious response, but it was a political one. Only in the Af-Pak area were violent demonstrations and only after deliberation and deliberate exploitation for political purposes.

And people have paid for this with their lives. No reset button here. They were butchered particularly gruesome, which is not really all that remarkable in Afghanistan considering Nato bombings and all those mercenaries on the loose, but completely senseless nevertheless. And so avoidable.

the burning was part of the mock trial. That's what I'm trying to say. It was not just a burning for the sake of burning. It was part of the overall "presentation." 

 

And people have paid for this with their lives. No reset button here. They were butchered particularly gruesome, which is not really all that remarkable in Afghanistan considering Nato bombings and all those mercenaries on the loose, but completely senseless nevertheless. And so avoidable.

 

Exactly. But it was done after Friday prayers. Not after a town hall meeting or something.

"But it was done after Friday prayers. Not after a town hall meeting or something."

Okay, yes that is true.

"The point is pushing the right buttons."

It's actually this which isn't the point. It's the pushing of any button which will result in this type of violence.

It doesn't matter who burns the Koran or for which reasons, the response is the same. It will be exploited by their (religious) to move focus away from internal problems caused by their religion.

I don't know. I think this particular drama is difficult enough to analyze without extrapolations to a more general case. In this particular case it is about Jones knowing exactly which button to push to get which "reward."

I guess we will see the next episode were we get an answer as to how many people get the privilege to die for his rights to burn a mock Mohammed.

Again for good understanding I'm not saying these jokers don't have the right, but having a right to do something does not automatically relieve you of your duty to use your brain.

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