Who’s to say one symbol is holier than another? If the US flag can be burnt, so to can the Koran.
Has anybody ever questioned why a violent shooter’s reading history, political affiliations and what kind if people the criminal hung around before taking any violent action, is of such great importance to a police investigation? Why is it then that the Koran a jihadi quotes from before committing acts of terrorism never fails to get a free pass by the media and the politicians?
Well let the Tundra Tabloids answer that question. It’s solely because of the strength in numbers the followers of Islam can bring to bear, coupled with the West’s almost religious-like infatuation with tolerance of anything coming from the 3rd world, and buttressed with political correctness to ensure conformity.
That’s why many within the halls of government and in the mainstream media rush to condemn a simple act of defiance, in this case a burning of a book, (in which by the way, hundreds of thousands of Korans are burnt all the time by other Muslims when they blow up mosques) as well as equate the act with the violence that ensues in the reaction to the original burning of the book. I worst cases, the person committing the act of burning the Koran is blamed for any of the deaths that comes from these riots.
Brendan O’Neill takes a look at the incident and draws different conclusions, and though the TT disagrees with him, that burning of the Koran is a daft move, (then so would be any act of defiance against the Catholic Church leading to the enlightenment) he does offer a needed insight into the matter. KGS
Pastor Terry Jones is no more to blame for the Afghan violence than Martin Scorsese was for the shooting of Ronald Reagan
The American pastor Terry Jones might be a bit of a weirdo with an unhealthy obsession with the Koran, but he’s right about one thing: he is not responsible for the fatal rioting in Afghanistan. His burning of the Koran can no more be blamed for those acts of violence than Martin Scorsese can be blamed for the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981. (Reagan’s wannabe assassin, John Hinckley Jnr, claimed to have been inspired by Taxi Driver.) The feverish attempts to pin the blame for the Afghan instability on Pastor Jones demonises freedom of speech as something terrifying, even murderous, and it treats Muslims as brainless, wide-eyed automatons who can’t be held responsible for their actions.
Jones’s burning of the Koran was daft. But it did not directly cause “the tragic, deadly violence” in Afghanistan, as one Pentagon spokesman claimed. To suggest that it did, to argue that Jones has “blood on his hands”, as the New York Daily News put it, is to overlook the fact that there is an important bridge between words and actions. That bridge is us, people, the audience, the public, who are possessed of free will and thought and who must make a decision about whether, and how, to act on the words we hear. The idea that words lead directly to action, that the image of a burning Koran in the US leads inevitably to violence in Afghanistan, is to cut out these middle men and present speech as an all-powerful force that dictates world events.
Such an outlook is dangerous for two reasons. First because there would be no limits to the curbing and policing of speech if we all bought into the mad notion that it can directly cause other people’s deaths. If words really are so dangerous, then surely they should be treated as just another weapon, like gun and knives, whose usage must be tightly controlled by the cops and powers-that-be? Already, post-Koran controversy, some Democratic politicians in the US are hinting that the First Amendment, which guarantees free expression, might need to be rethought, since certain forms of speech “endanger the lives of a lot of innocent people”. The consequence of calling into question the free will of people who hear or read certain words is to generate an Orwellian rush to clamp down on anything judged to be “problematic speech”.
And the second problem with the “blame Jones” brigade is that it lets rioting Afghans off the hook. It says they’re not really responsible for the bloodshed they unleashed; Jones is. There’s a great irony here, because many of the commentators who make this argument do so in order to express their apparently enlightened and cosmopolitan sympathy with beleaguered Muslims in Afghanistan, yet in the process they patronisingly depict Afghans as overgrown children, as attack dogs almost, who hear a command or see an offensive image and act on it, robot-like. Modern-day liberal pity for Muslims would seem to be a comfortable bedfellow of the old-world colonial outlook: in both instances Third World people are treated as hapless, helpless creatures who must have their eyes and ears shielded from dodgy ideas.