…burning a Qur’an is no different than burning a Bible
I have to start to disagree with him immediately however, since his next few words are “This is a book of faith.”
He goes on, with Stephen Harper spout platitudes about religious tolerance (except of gays and abortions of course), to talk about how burning Qur’ans potentially puts soldiers fighting in Afghanistan at risk for increased violence from extremists who would use these images.
So I finished reading this CBC article, which includes a number of quotes from pastor Terry Jones (who has co-protested with the Westboro “God Hates Fags” Baptists), and I realized something.
I have much more support for Jones and his position than any one else’s.
Here’s his justification (at least now):
“Our burning of the Qur’an is to call the attention that something’s wrong,” Jones told reporters. “We are not convinced that backing down is the right thing.”
“Earlier Wednesday, associate pastor Wayne Sapp told CBC News “people have to be accountable for their own actions.”
“I don’t believe that anyone would die as a result of something we do,” Sapp said. “If a radical element of Islam is violent, if it’s out to take American lives, today it will use this as an excuse. Tomorrow it will find something else.” [emphasis mine]
He gets it (at least in this case).
It reminds me of rape culture whereby the victim of a sexual assault is blamed for encouraging the attack by dressing proactively or otherwise taunting their attacker.
If we are free to wear as slutty of clothes as we choose to (and feel safe doing so), then we should be free to draw offensive cartoons or burn books (that we acquire legally), if we so choose to.
My only real issue with this event is that I deplore the destruction of books as they contain knowledge. However, this book burning is not about censoring Islam (and the internet has taught us that censorship is dying), and is more of a political statement akin to flag or bra burning. And I support the freedom to perform both of those actions.
Now, so long as Mr. Jones is willing to concede that I have every right to burn a Bible on September 11, then I have to say that while his event is absurdly offensive (which is not to say it ought to be illegal), then I support his freedom.
Meanwhile, I must express complete disillusionment that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation decided to host “Restore a Quar’an Day” in response to the burnings and will donate Quar’ans to the Afghan National Army.
Basically, in a country that is torn to shreds by religious violence and repression, the atheists in the military want to give more religion to the police that they’re trying to leave in charge of the region.
Jones is spot on, if murderers shouldn’t get a pass by saying someone of the same nationality or skin colour pissed them off anymore than rapists can claim the victim asked for it.