Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Burning the Quran to mark 9/11


Above is link to a news article about a church in Florida that is planning to burn the Quran to mark the 9/11 attacks.

I was listening to NPR tonight as I drove home and the reporter was describing the measures the city of Gainesville would have to take to ensure the protection of the citizens who live in the neighborhoods near the church, including checkpoints. Not only does it seem that this act may cause significant issues for the U.S. troops serving in Muslim countries, but it also hurts people in the U.S., on so many levels.

I need to read more about this action this church plans to take, but it just seems completely self-serving.


  1. The "Burn a Quran" day is offensive, tasteless, stupid, bigoted, asinine, and as General Petreaus testified, may very well put our troops in danger. Still, it is not illegal, and I firmly stand by the idiot pastor's right to freedom of expression. As Voltaire once said, "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it."

  2. Although it's a protected constitutional right, burning the Quran only reinforces Islamophobia in the US. There are zealots in every religion, and, sadly, this small church is now the picture of Christianity painted for the Muslim world to see. I wish news outlets would feature the good that Christian organizations do -- but I guess doing an expose of relief workers isn't "sexy" enough for them to sell. What a shame.

    I wonder what the Christian response would be if an extremist Imam chose to blatanly burn the Bible in front of news cameras in the name of Allah. I fear any Christian objection would be silenced in the name of tolerance and freedom of religion/expression (a paradox similar to the cartoons of Mohammed were disallowed but cartoons of Jesus are somehow appropriate).

  3. This is getting more into the "religion" part of the class than the "law," but Michael brought up some points that I wanted to address. Comparing reactions to depictions of Muhammad and Jesus is probably a comparison of apples and oranges. Muhammad specifically instructed his followers to refrain from making any depictions of him; this was to maintain that he was merely a messenger of God, not God himself, and to ensure that his image would not be used as means to worship him. Second, I don't think you would see Muslims burning Bibles; Muslims believe in the Gospel, Torah, Psalms, and several other books, parts of which are found in the Bible.

  4. JS, I was referring to the type of extremists who, whether or not they burn Bibles, have no problem flying planes into towers to make a point. When comparing the radical hatred of a sect (al Qaeda) against the nut in FL burning Korans it certainly does seem that we are comparing apples to oranges.

    I’m not attacking religion; I’m attacking the social insecurities that stem from fear of retaliation by extremists who distort religion. Also, your comment regarding the issue of depictions only reinforces my point above. It's socially accepted as an expressive statement when people have no reverence for Jesus or the cross. However, when Mohammed is depicted, those same people end up on the most wanted list because somehow there's no extension for them to freely express their personal viewpoints. It is a double standard. I was trying to provoke comments by making the point that often Christians and Muslims are treated differently and that freedom of expression isn’t always fair or equal – but it is allowed in America and it’s a protected right whether or not it’s a graven image according to any religion. None of us applaud burning the Koran or flying planes into buildings, but I do think there is an uneven social expectation placed on dissenters of different religions.

  5. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/quran_burning

    This recent article, reporting that now the burning is off, speaks about many of the issues we have discussed in class, especially people using religion to gain power. If the mosque near Ground Zero is moved because of a pastor of church of 50 was going to burn the Quran, that will send a dangerous message to other groups hoping to gain media exposure for their churches by threatening violence towards another religion or set of beliefs. I certainly hope that if the mosque is built elsewhere it's for reasons that make sense for the mosque and its members.

  6. Commenting on Morena's posted link....

    All of my life, I have been taught to give higher respect to a man of God. I guess that I am not questioning that belief as much as I am questioning whether or not Pastor Jones is such a man. I cannot help but view him as a radical extremist hell-bent on gaining popularity as the "man who stopped the mosque." My reasoning...I really just find it difficult to believe that Mr. Jones thought for one minute that the President of the Islamic Society of Central Florida would have the power to quarantee that the 'mosque' at 'Ground Zero' would be moved. Further, one would expect a man in Pastor Jones' position to understand the consequences that other people, Muslims and Americans alike, would suffer by his conduct and would refrain from burning the Koran for that reason alone, whether or not the 'mosque' is moved. I'm not suggesting that he be silenced but that he exercise responsibility in asserting his free exercise.