Burning the Koran

The Dove “World Outreach” Center in Gainesville, Florida, is going to “reach out” to the world by burning Korans. How lovely.

What annoys me about the upcoming Burn-A-Koran-Day hosted by Terry Jones’s church is not simply that it is bigoted and ignorant, but that it is driven by the same sort of obsessive, delusional thinking that it is designed to protest against.

A reporter on the Today Show this morning asked Jones what particular passages in the Koran offended him. Jones could not, of course, answer, having not read the book himself. Instead, all he could say was that the Koran was offensive because it did not proclaim Jesus as our eternal Lord and Savior. Jones’s hateful act is therefore a result of his bizarre delusions conflicting with the equally bizarre delusions of the Muslim world, which have also led to hateful acts. The extremists on each side are in a race to the bottom.

And of course it’s no surprise that the Muslim world is already in hysterics about the book burning. People will get hurt, and tempers will flare. No good is going to come of this affair, and the sooner people let go of their dangerous delusions, the sooner we can avoid the violence that results.

My gut reaction is to encourage residents of Gainesville to make a bonfire of Bibles right next to the burning Korans. But this will simply make everyone angrier, and make existing divides deeper.  What I’d really like to see, then, is a media boycott of the event: these people do not deserve to have their horrible act broadcast to the world. Fat chance of that happening.


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