On the Koran burning riots

More details on the Koran burnings in Afghanistan from Andrew C. McCarthy, in the context of President Obama’s apology:

The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.

Of course, these facts may not become widely known, because no one is supposed to mention the main significance of what has happened here. First, as usual, Muslims — not al-Qaeda terrorists, but ordinary, mainstream Muslims — are rioting and murdering over the burning (indeed, the inadvertent burning) of a book. Yes, it’s the Koran, but it’s a book all the same — and one that, moderate Muslims never tire of telling us, doesn’t really mean everything it says anyhow.

Muslim leaders and their leftist apologists are also forever lecturing the United States about “proportionality” in our war-fighting. Yet when it comes to Muslim proportionality, Americans are supposed to shrug meekly and accept the “you burn books, we kill people” law of the jungle. Disgustingly, the Times would inure us to this moral equivalence by rationalizing that “Afghans are fiercely protective of their Islamic faith.” Well then, I guess that makes it all right, huh?

Then there’s the second not-to-be-uttered truth: Defiling the Koran becomes an issue for Muslims only when it has been done by non-Muslims. Observe that the unintentional burning would not have occurred if these “fiercely protective of their Islamic faith” Afghans had not defiled the Korans in the first place. They were Muslim prisoners who annotated the “holy” pages with what a U.S. military official described as “extremist inscriptions” in covert messages sent back and forth, just as the jihadists held at Gitmo have been known to do (notwithstanding that Muslim prisoners get their Korans courtesy of the American taxpayers they construe the book to justify killing).

via Why Apologize to Afghanistan? – Andrew C. McCarthy – National Review Online.

But why don’t they love us?

Afghanistan has exploded after a number of Korans were burned by U.S. officials at a military detention center.  It seems anti-American messages were scrawled on the covers, so they were “disposed of.”  Ever since word of this came out, Afghans have been rioting, killing NATO personnel, and demanding that  the Americans who did this to be tried in an Islamic court.  Meanwhile, the generals and the President himself are falling all over themselves apologizing, as our progress in pacifying the country melts away.

How could anyone in Afghanistan not know what the reaction is going to be from burning a Koran?  When that Florida preacher was considering doing it, Afghan mobs killed 12 people.

I’m not justifying the reaction, but the point is, the cultures just don’t understand each other.  We had better just leave.

Afghan protests over Koran burning spread on second day – The Washington Post.

Koran burning leads to murders

Terry Jones, that Florida preacher, went ahead and burned a copy of the Koran, even though he had said that he wouldn’t.   So a mob in Afghanistan killed seven UN workers. Many more foreigners were injured and there are reports of other deaths in other incidents. See this vivid account.

These killings are not by the Taliban but by the ordinary Afghanis we have been trying to liberate. I am enraged by them and also by the preacher whose stunt provoked these killings, just as General Petraeus told him it would. Yes, Rev. Jones has his freedom of speech, and exercising it led to the murder of at least seven innocent people. (None were American. Killing any non-Muslim would do.) Yes, the murderers are the ones culpable for the murders. But isn’t it possible to have the right and the freedom to do something, while exercising that right and freedom irresponsibly?

Koran burning update

Well, the Florida preacher who threatened to burn the Koran decided not to.  But some other people took his idea and ran with it.  Iranian television has been broadcasting this information throughout the Muslim world.  Rioting has erupted.  Christian schools and churches are being attacked.  The death toll so far:  15.

Notice how burning the Koran, far from striking back at the jihadists, is actually playing right into their hands.

Iranian-backed TV broadcasts US Koran desecrations, inflames deadly Kashmir riots; 15 dead.

The Koran burning is off

The minister has cancelled plans to burn the Koran on Saturday, claiming a rather questionable quid pro quo:

The leader of a small Christian church in the U.S. state of Florida says he has canceled plans to burn Qurans on Saturday.  The minister’s intention to burn the holy book of Islam caused international outrage, including condemnation from President Barack Obama.

The Reverend Terry Jones said Thursday he has called off his planned protest because he has reached an agreement with Muslim leaders in New York to move a planned Islamic cultural center and mosque away from the area of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

“The Imam has agreed to move the mosque,” said Terry Jones. “We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday, and on Saturday I will be flying up there to meet with him.”

However, a statement from the cleric in charge of the New York mosque project said there was no agreement to move the location.

via US Minister Cancels Burning of Qurans | USA | English.

Book burning

More reckless fanaticism, this time from a tiny congregation that plans on publicly burning a Koran:

Gen. David Petraeus, head of Multinational Forces in Afghanistan, repeated his warning Tuesday that any plans to burn the Muslim holy book — considered a major offense in the Islamic community — would jeopardize U.S. military efforts.

But Terry Jones, pastor of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., says not even protests and death threats will deter him. He told MyFoxOrlando.com that he and the church’s members feel strongly about their decision to hold the book burning despite being denied a permit from the fire department.

“We understand the general’s concerns, we are taking those into consideration,” Jones was quoted saying. “We feel it’s maybe the right time for America to stand up. How long are we going to bow down? How long are we going to be controlled by the terrorists, by radical Islam?”

On Tuesday, Petraeus said that even rumors of the possibility the church would hold a Koran-burning touched off protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia.

“Images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,” Petraeus said. “Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”

via FOXNews.com – State Department Calls Plan to Burn Korans ‘Un-American’.

So why do that?  I’m not denying their First Amendment right to do it, just saying that it shows horribly bad judgment. As General Petraeus says, it will only thwart American policies and probably get more of our troops killed. Can anyone doubt that?

Yes, divination books were burned as recorded in Acts, but that is in no way parallel.  That was done by Christian converts as an act of turning away from their earlier involvement with the occult.  Yes, Luther burned the papal bull that was issued against him, but that’s not parallel either.  (Meanwhile, all of Luther’s books were ordered to be burned in the nations loyal to the pope.)

Book burnings in general are totalitarian actions.  Milton said in his great plea for the freedom of the press, Areopagitica, something to the effect that one might just as well burn a man as burn a book.  To do that in this case just to be symbolic and for the very purpose of stirring up people who need to be calmed down is a violation of the love of neighbor.  Not to mention the love of one’s enemy.