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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Even though I dislike WBC with every fibre of my body and completely disagree with their reasons, I fully and wholly support their right to burn the Koran.  However, I would prefer a pyre of all religious books if they are to be burned.

This is freedom of speech. We cannot ever, in any circumstance, limit it. This is an extreme form which is in particular need of defense. We must support the WBC right to burn whatever books they want, but we are free to take exception to them doing so.

I would like to say that in my opinion that the Koran fully deserves to be burned repeatedly all over the world, and the prohet should be drawn in cartoon across our free media daily. Islam is a religion of conflict, a philosophy of evil, the rejection of reason, and a creed of ignorance worse than any other major religion. I am a bit emotional about this because I see the flags of countries I respect being burned on a regular basis, leaders I admire are being burned in effigy, the embassies of my neighbors being burned to the ground, critics attempted assasinated - all in the name of fearmongering, humiliation and to cause emotional distress. And worst of all, their ultimate goal is to demolish the rights it has taken us millenia to implement as it offends their holy book.

Yesterday, a fellow country(wo)man, UN worker, champion of equal opportunity, mother, wife - a true heroine -  was viciously and brutally murdered along with 6 unarmed colleagues by an angry mob. This is not how rational humans respond to offense, this is how monsters, created by Islam, react. They obviously want conflict and they deny any compromise. It should be wiped out - by force if necessary. 

Great post Arcus. Thank you for the insight. May I ask, do you reside in the U.S.?? You seem to have an emotional bond to what is going on...


To Albert: you can't blame the deaths on anyone except for the Islamic radicals justified by their quran and hadith to kill all non-believers. It is a purely evil religion and while Christianity may have nuts, their nuts very rarely go out and commit violent acts. The true evils of Islam must be confronted and not ignored, or else a messianic regime like that occupying Iran will obtain nuclear weapons and start a WWIII.

I can and I did. As a moral agent foreseeable consequences of your actions are your responsibility. These consequences were perfectly foreseeable to the extent that they were the goal of the action in the first place. These Islamic radicals are responsible for the consequences by taking advantage of the opportunity those Christian radicals provided them with and the Christian radicals are responsible for giving the Islamic radicals the opportunity.

I think that if you have actionable intelligence about nuclear weapons, you should contact the appropriate authorities, because they seem to be without evidence and desperate for some.

I live in the Czech Republic (originally Norwegian).


I see you'r having soe issues posted, I'll repost your reply:

Albert Bakker replied to Richmond's discussion "Burning holy books" on Think Atheist

This things seems to have been either removed or disappeared in binary limbo but I replied to Arcus that burning books not only comes from burning hatred but that it produces it too. And that defending religious biblioclasm as free speech to me to looks like to require special talents in spin doctoring, a talent I don't have all that much admiration for.
But that I found it more worrisome to have read your last sentence where you allude to something really sinister with some carefully cloaked euphemistic language about "wiping it out" in reference to a "they" and "by force if necessary" or in other words "how else." I further remarked that I hoped it was your emotions talking, you said so much, but I seem to be not the only one sensing that you really let yourself carry away a bit.

Thank you :-) indeed I do experience some troubles with posting at the moment.

Book or flag burning as a means of protest or as an offense is clearly covered by free speech. The difference between ex-soldiers burning the American flag or WBC buring the Koran is that it is not based on threat. Burning the Danish flag and Rasmussen in effigy while vying to eliminate Demark and Danes is not free speech, it is purely a threat. Even then we do not do anything in return than object to their actions. When the Koran is burned they kill. I for one can never barter with my free speech, and the free speech most important to defend is the extreme one such as this - confrontational and uncomfortable.

I have nothing against the average, peace seeking, enlightened person who happens to be muslim. But the fairly substantial number of radicalized muslims, brainwashed by their government institutions, is a clear and present danger. I am not advocating the wholesale annihalation of the people, it's the ideas that must be destroyed. The ultimate consequences of their ideals, the renounciation of the modern western ideals that are clearly superior to their medieval ones, is no better than those espouced by Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. Just as we were forced to pull together to crush those evils, we must prepare for a possibility of combatting this one.

I hope that we are never forced into such a situation, that the Muslim world joins us in peaceful advancement, but it is hard to see that happening when the leader of the most populous Muslim nation has said its a threat to global peace if we continue drawing Mo. Let that sink in: Global war over cartoons.

You can see where these new protests take place. Seems to be pretty much concentrated in Afghanistan. Perfect opportunity to be politically exploited by some extremist Islamic resistance factions in Afghanistan. Were it not for the momentum of popular resistance against dictatorial regimes in many Muslim countries now, these regimes could have done the same trick and exploited it for rallying events too. Nothing gets you the unifying support of the populace as a foreign threat or atrocity.

The same, largely, with the Danish cartoon protests, lots of politics in the mix. In Iran and in Syria (Wikileaks came out with some documentation on that) their respective government organized cartoon riots, precisely for this goal. At the time some of them, like in South-Afghanistan were about the egregious inequalities in job opportunities and wages, not even in direct opposition to the military occupation and the corruption of the puppets were ascribed in the press (not everywhere btw) to these cartoons.

But you are right that there are a substantial number of brainwashed radicalized Muslims, only not so much by their respective governments but by themselves in small, closed groups that usually, but not always, have isolated themselves from society at large or even the Muslim community they might or might have been part of, that do form a danger and need to be watched closely.  That's what happened here with van Gogh for instance, but OTOH shortly before that we had another similar novelty with the shooting of Fortuyn, who was shot point blank in the head by a non-affiliated environmentalist.

I do agree wholeheartedly with you that it's the ideas and practices of Islamic religion that need to be attacked head on and criticized and I would agree with you that authors and publication of possibly or even clearly offensive cartoons, books, theater, movies, poems or whatever need to be squarely defended and that this can't be bartered with.

But I draw the line at book burnings. That isn't free speech, that is precisely the reverse. And it is not a defensible act. It is perhaps legally a right to burn books, but it isn't right and that the reaction of those Islamic radicals is worse, much worse, doesn't make it any less wrong as far as I'm concerned. I am not going to defend it.

And I'm not going along with that alarmist global war stuff either.  I see it as warning not to allow ourselves to go spiraling downward with the extremists, who are holding each other in a tight grip because they're afraid what might become of them if they have to face the world on their own.

I think we agree very much about this. Note that I wasn't defending book burning as a right thing to do, it is an act of ignorance that needs to be condemned.

I am being a bit alarmist because the Muslim world is undergoing much required social change and societies which has done so in the past have often been hijacked by extremists which moved on to orienting the population against an external force to move focus away from unresolved domestic issues. Examples would be Europe in the years/periods 1775-1815 (fall of kings), 1865-1945 (causes too numerous), and most recently the breakdown of Yugoslavia in the nineties. Counterexamples would be the 1848 spring of nations and the fall of Communism in 1989-1991. Hoping for the latter, fearing and preparing for the former.

Oh, and I can add Cuba, North-Korea, Venezuela and China to the same list, but I think they have a higher probability of imploding fairly peacefully.

I think we agree on what matters. I see where you're coming from. Maybe I'm a little less worried, maybe I'm too naive. We shall see. We live inside a Chinese curse anyway.

so what is the appropriate response? We seem to agree that book burning should be condemned, and we also agree that killing people over a book burning should be condemned. Terry Jones next stunt is going to be to put Mohammed on (mock) trial and burn him in effigy too. Free speech? Or more pursposeful invitement to violence?


Free speech for purposes of protest is one thing. What exactly is Terry Jones protesting?

The logical conclusion is that we have the right to perform the act. Wheter or not one should do it is another discussion.

Personally, I don't believe he can justify it, the harm outweighs the benefit. If it been burned to protest the widespread circumcision of women done in it's name, I might have supported it. The benefit of using one of the strongest forms of protest may outweigh the harm.


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