Re: Not In My Name

by Jonah Goldberg

Nearly all readers — so far –  agree with me about the stupidity of this Koran-burning stunt. But a few offer some “Yes, buts.” Here is one actual dissent that captures some of the mixed feelings:

Burning Korans is bad. Is it really?

 Saudi Arabia burns Christian Bibles, and any non-Muslim holy books as a matter of public policy. Bringing them into the country is forbidden, even if only for personal use. Neither Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, etc. riot because of it.

If all it takes to cause harm to our troops is for a small church in Florida to publicly burn Korans, then it is time we admitted that Islam is simply incompatible with Western thought and the US constitution. And acted accordingly.

Already we have seen the MSM refuse to publish the Danish Muslim cartoons, ostensibly out of “respect”, but in reality out of a desire to avoid death threats and becoming the target of violence.  Threats of violence seem to be working.  And you are helping.

Your position essentially advocates that we should treat Islam differently than we treat any other religion.  And your reason?  That if we don’t, Muslims will become violent.  Think about that for a minute.  Now tell me, what other things might Muslims want other Muslims and non-Muslims to do or not do, and be willing to make threats (and carry them out) in order to get their way.

- apostasy – publicly leaving Islam is punishable by death
- criticizing Islam.
- insulting the prophet Mohammad
- blasphemy
- equal rights for women
-wearing of headscarves and burkahs.
-making homosexuality a crime

It is all part of a parcel, and your failure to recognize the implications of your position, which  is that we must grant Islam a respect that is not demanded by other religions.  In fact, my guess is that were Christians to protest about Saudi Arabia burning the Bible, if they marched in the streets causing riot, death and destruction, you would condemn them unequivocally, and say we all ought to burn a bible.  I would.

Remember “Piss Christ”?  Christians weren’t complaining so much about the actual work as they were opposed to the federal grant that funded it. Did violence come of it?  No.

Religion, any religion, does not deserve an exemption from critical examination. Islam is no exception.  Enough is enough.  It is time we all stopped ignoring the 800lb gorilla in the room, who is happily destroying the furniture, walls, crapping on the carpet, and hurting the other occupants.  Islam is not a religion of peace, it isn’t tolerant, and it is, epistemologically  speaking, fundamentally antithetical to reason. 

Saying otherwise won’t make it so.  Treating Muslims as though it isn’t so, won’t make it so.  Government imposed censorship leads to tyranny; what do you think religiously imposed censorship will lead to? Peace on earth?

Your position requires that we trade liberty for security, but you will end up with neither.

(PS:  if you use any of this, I ask that you do not print my last name, or phone number, or town.  I don’t wish to be a target of Islamic violence.  Is my reasoning incorrect?  And in this light, one has to ask this question:  Do you think that you could become a target of Islamic violence were you to  advocate burning Korans in your column?  I bet you feel safer already. )

best regards,
 

I assume most folks can spot the problems here. First: Who gives a rat’s ass what they do in Saudi Arabia? Oh I do, insofar as I think we should put pressure on that backward, theocratic, religiously totalitarian, monarchy to change its ways. We shouldn’t care about what they do as if it’s some sort of religious, political or moral yardstick for our behavior.

Second, it’s a perverted form of logic that says “Since jerks burn bibles, we need to be consistent and approve of the burning of Korans.” Does this Florida church approve of burning bibles? If so, then at least they’re not hypocrites. Woo hoo.

Third, the fact that this will incite violence is significant in and of itself.  But that doesn’t mean Islam is homogeneous. The worry is that stupid, ugly, stunts like this will make Islam more homogeneously violent. In other words, it will make it easier for the extremists to convert the non-extremists. And to what end? To prove what, exactly?

The Danish cartoons struck me as legitimate political commentary. Burning Korans isn’t political commentary, it’s an ugly, bigoted, temper-tantrum.

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