Would that so-called mainstream Muslim groups were as categorical in condemning the actual murder of human beings as leading opponents of radical Islam are in their condemnation of the Koran-burning stunt.
For instance, here’s Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch:
“International Burn a Koran Day” does a grave disservice to the cause of spreading awareness about Islamic teachings and the threat that Sharia poses to our way of life. It is a gift to Islamic groups who would so dearly love to portray all of us who criticize and question Islamic teachings (and triumphalist mosques) as frothing reactionaries.
Of all imagery to appropriate from the past century, that of book-burning is utterly disastrous, inviting comparisons with the Nazis’ famous roundup of banned books, and creating an opening for Heinrich Heine’s famous admonition: “Where one burns books, one will soon burn people.”
The most substantive means of framing the conflict between Western values and Islamic law are productive, not destructive: Artwork, satire, commentary and criticism, to name a few.
Awareness is a mightier weapon than a bonfire.
As such, it would be better to read aloud from the Qur’an for all to hear of its hatred and subjugation of non-believers, the second-class status of women, cruel and unusual punishments, and open-ended calls to warfare in order to impose Islamic law.
I love the idea of an International Read Aloud from the Koran Day!
And Brigitte Gabriel, whose group, ACT! for America, has chapters all over the country to fight radical Islam:
We at ACT! for America denounce and condemn, in the strongest terms, the upcoming Koran burning event organized by Pastor Terry Jones and members of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. Their proposed event is ill-conceived, counter-productive and unwelcome in a world where ideas and philosophies are best debated in the context of the issues and the facts. We find this an archaic act that serves no useful purpose, and as such is a regrettable instance of an inability or unwillingness to discuss the issues facing us in a reasonable and constructive manner.
ACT! for America is, and has always been, committed to exposing the threat of the political ideology of radical Islam and its sharia law through constructive debate, illumination of the facts, and a reasoned analysis of the implications of the threat.
Pastor Jones and his congregation are stooping to the tactics of and joining the inarticulate who express their anger and opposition through destructive and spiteful acts of denigration. What is the difference between his actions and the actions of Islamists destroying synagogues in Gaza or churches and Bibles in Lebanon, Bosnia and Egypt? We are better than that as Americans.
Along the same lines, Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs:
My position on the Koran burning in Florida by a whacko church aligned with the vile anti-military, anti-semitic Westboro Church that defiles the funerals of our honored fallen soldiers:
1. This church’s plan to burn the Qur’an does a grave disservice to the cause of spreading awareness about Islamic teachings and the threat that Sharia poses to our way of life.
2. The burning of books is wrong in principle: the antidote to bad speech is not censorship or book-burning, but more speech. Open discussion. Give-and-take. And the truth will out. There is no justification for burning books.