Koran burning update

Dean E. writes:

Western leaders are increasing their efforts to stop the Florida evangelical guy from burning a Koran this Saturday. First it was Gen. Petraeus saying that it would undermine our Islamic engagements all over the world.

Now Secretary of State Clinton has called it “disrespectful and disgraceful.”

The Vatican says it’s “outrageous and grave.”

Even Angelina Jolie, as important in world affairs as the U.S. State Department and the Vatican, has finally weighed in, saying, “I have hardly the words that somebody would do that to somebody’s religious book.” (Jolie said that in Pakistan, where she was touring the flood regions, covered in a long dress and headscarf.)

They are seriously frightened over this. From Popes to Presidents and all the way up to Movie Stars, they’re deathly afraid that some nobody in Florida burning a Koran might upend the entire liberal applecart. Shaky little applecart! What will happen Saturday? Will the Reverend Nobody send the earth crashing down around our ears? Or will the Liberal-Powers-That-Be find a way to stop him? Stay tuned.

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James P. writes:

All these big shots—Petraeus, Clinton, the Vatican, the movie stars—who have denounced the Koran burning are making it into a much bigger deal than if they just shut up and ignored it. You would think they’d be smart enough to say nothing. Do they really have nothing better to do with their time than think about an obscure pastor in Florida?

Ben W. writes:

The amazing Petraeus (like Johnny Carson’s Karnak) sees the danger of a small church in Florida burning the Koran. Yet as part of the military command never saw the danger in a Fort Hood or said anything subsequently about that danger.

Daniel H. writes:

And for whatever murder and mayhem may follow, neither the pastor nor anybody who supports the pastor is responsible. The pastor will be simply be responsible for burning the Koran, a book, nothing more. I’ll grant that the pastor (and I) are guilty of an unkind, rude act, but that is all. Only murderers and terrorists are responsible for murder and terrorism.

Better to bring matters to a head sooner than later.

Richard P. writes:

Most of the discussion concerning the Florida church that intends to burn the Koran is focused on the reaction of Muslims. I think the intended target of this demonstration, much like the Danish Mohammed cartoon and South Park episodes, is not Muslims so much as liberals. By now we well know the reaction of Muslims. Imams will condemn it. Protests and riots will break out in various developing countries with large Muslim populations. There will be death threats against the members of the church. It plays out as if it was scripted.

But it forces liberals into a tough position. Many liberals have a reflexive distaste for things religious. They almost universally pay lip service to a belief in free speech and free expression. However, they also have an instinctive need to defend the behavior and customs of alien cultures. They will want to side against the Florida church and dismiss them as racist rednecks, and likely will. But they have a philosophic problem here of their own making. For the last couple of decades, liberals have made clear their belief that mere criticism of some behaviors and practices, particularly those of minority groups, is a form of oppression. Anything less than full acceptance is a form of bigotry. To maintain this view, they will have to accept actual violence by Muslims in other countries (and possibly here) while condemning the free expression of American Christians.

I’m sure most liberals will do exactly that without giving it any serious thought. But for a few it will be a bridge too far. And you can also bet that more such provocations are coming. The Florida church is getting lots of publicity out of this. Recently there was a Facebook campaign for “Draw a picture of Mohammed Day.” It’s only a matter of time before more people get on board. Wait until some college students decide that desecrating the Koran is fun! I have no doubt that if the Manhattan mosque is built there will be protests that will cause the same type of reaction.

I don’t think most liberals will ever join our side. But I do think that if this cycle continues, the Muslim reactions will be indefensible to most liberals. They will have little choice but to shut up and avoid wandering into the minefield around Islam. Christians have had to tolerate lots of abuse and insults in recent years. It’s quite clear that Muslims will respond with outrage and violence to much smaller slights. Eventually it will reach a sort of critical mass.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 08, 2010 11:11 AM | Send

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