This Isn't About Islam, Or The Quran. It's About Us.
Let’s stipulate that this “Pastor” Terry Jones, who leads a 50 member congregation in Florida, has every right to burn every Quran he can find. He says that Islam is “of the devil” and, from what I have seen I cannot provide an opposing argument. I give no quarter to Islam, or the execrable tome that seems to be the source of so much bloodshed and misery.
That said, this is a needlessly provocative and abjectly ignorant act that benefits no one. We are supposedly an enlightened society, and to an enlightened society, the specter of “book burning” should be abhorrent. My objection stems not from a fear of what Muslims will think of us; far too many of them have a hair trigger already, eagerly awaiting any slight, insult, or rumor thereof that gives them a reason for their congenital “righteous outrage”.
Rather, my objection stems from the fact that this act is a retreat from the moral superiority that’s at the core of an enlightened people. “Pastor” Jones and his ilk are reaching out to the same darkness that enveloped Islam centuries ago.
If we cede the moral high ground, what will we have left?
This country is founded on free thought and the free exchange of ideas, regardless of how repulsive those ideas might be. On bookshelves and in stores, one can find copies of Mein Kamp, The Communist Manifesto, Mao’s “Little Red Book” and any manner political literature reflecting ideas that are directly antithetical to the American ideals found in our Constitution. We have the liberty to accept or reject these aberrant ideas, and for 234 years, “We the People” have freely chosen to reject them, without coercion and without suppression.
Islam, on the other hand, is afraid of ideas and all manner of “un-Islamic” thought. In countries controlled by Sharia law, Imams tell the people what to do, how to act, how to dress and how to think. Any deviation from the standard is dealt with in the harshest of fashions. As I have said before, Islam is at least as much a political ideology as it is a religious one, and it operates the countries it controls as gulags.
Yes, Muslims, in the name of the Quran, have perpetrated all manners of indignity and atrocity against the “infidels”; destruction of our churches and synagogues, destruction of our Bibles and Torahs, and the vicious slaughter of our innocents. This benighted blood cult embraces their Dark Ages mentality and intolerance as a canon of their faith.
In the end, this is not about books; it’s about liberty, ideas and free thought. Burning a Quran will no more strike a blow against the darkness of Islam than burning Mein Kamp would have stopped the Holocaust. What Quran burning will do is diminish us as a free people and reduce us to an American version of the flag burning barbarians that are paraded across our TV screens on a daily basis.
On the eve of the ninth anniversary of 9/11, we should recommit ourselves to upholding the American ideal rather than becoming the thing that we hate the most.