Keeping up with the anti-Joneses

Last night Stogie, author of the Saberpoint blog, wrote to me:

The mass denunciations of Pastor Jones by the right blogosphere were really eye-opening. Many of them, maybe most of them, are as chicken-hearted as the Left. I am disillusioned and disgusted.

I said that if he had links to those statements, collecting them would be useful. He kindly replies:

Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Sarah Palin

Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation—much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.

I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.

Our nation was founded in part by those fleeing religious persecution. Freedom of religion is integral to our charters of liberty. We don’t need to agree with each other on theological matters, but tolerating each other without unnecessarily provoking strife is how we ensure a civil society. In this as in all things, we should remember the Golden Rule. Isn’t that what the Ground Zero mosque debate has been about? [LA replies: I have sometimes wondered how much of Palin’s Facebook essays were written by her, and how much by a ghost writer. In my opinion, this one is clearly the work of a ghost writer.]

Pamela Geller

My position on the Koran burning in Florida by a whacko church aligned with the vile anti-military, anti-semitic Westboro Church that defiles the funerals of our honored fallen soldiers:

This church’s plan to burn the Qur’an does a grave disservice to the cause of spreading awareness about Islamic teachings and the threat that Sharia poses to our way of life. [LA replies: Oh, cool, Pamela uses the uber politically correct spelling “Qur’an,” just like her anti-jihad partner Robert. How very sensitive of them!]

2. The burning of books is wrong in principle: the antidote to bad speech is not censorship or book-burning, but more speech. Open discussion. Give-and-take. And the truth will out. There is no justification for burning books. [LA replies: Excuse me, but “give and take” is the proper relationship among citizens who share the same basic conceptions and loyalties, and speak a common language. By advocating liberal dialog as the mode for relating to Muslims, Geller suggests that she sees them as “just like us.” She thinks that Muslims are capable of engaging in rational dialog with us, when all experience has shown that Muslims’ entire mentality is radically incompatible with ours. Don’t you love these “conservatives” from whose lips Eleanor Roosevelt-like clichés flow in such abundance?]

3. If Americans are free and not under Sharia, then the church can do this if it wants, and their freedom and rights should be protected. Islamic supremacists should not be allowed a victory for their violent intimidation—if these people want to burn a book, they’re free to do so.

4. If they were burning a Bible, no one would be threatening violence against them.

5. Petraeus is wrong to say this will threaten American troops. This is based on the assumption that they are fighting us because we are doing things they don’t like. Actually they are fighting us because of imperatives within the Islamic faith. They will never like us unless we convert to Islam or submit to Islamic rule. [LA replies: but if that’s the case, why does Geller urge a relationship of rational, liberal dialog with Muslims, of “give and take”? Based on her statement that Muslims seek to rule us, they will only take, never give. Geller wants to be at war with Islam, and she wants mutually respectful dialog with Islam. She simply hasn’t through through her positions or attempted to reconcile the contradictory thoughts floating about in her head. ] If we stop doing things they dislike, where will we draw the line? How far will Sharia advance in the U.S., with Americans afraid to stop its advance for fear of offending Muslims and stirring them up to violence? The Muslim Students Association is already pushing for halal cafeterias, segregated dorms, segregated gym facilities on campus. This is incompatible with American freedom. We have to draw the line. [LA replies: Ok, so Geller sees Islam as our enemy, not as our co-participant in a Socratic dialogue. I agree. But if it is our enemy, why is it so terrible for Pastor Jones to burn a Koran to symbolize that fact?]

Michelle Malkin

Provocateur pastor Terry Jones is getting his 15 minutes of fame with a “burn-the-Koran” day. The media and politicians are providing him with plenty of attention oxygen. Our America-bashing State Department has dubbed his First Amendment-protected exercise of fame-seeking “un-American.” And the usual grievance-mongers are doing their thing.

Gen. Petraeus says the provocation endangers the troops. But what’s in the Koran is far more of an inflammatory threat to American soldiers than any match with which to light it. What’s in the Koran has inspired decades of bloody warfare by Muslim operatives targeting our troops, civilians, and Western infidels around the world. [LA replies: Malkins criticizes Jones’s attackers, but she doesn’t support Jones either.]

Dan Riehl

Burning flags, books, bibles, korans and what all is at least one great height of ignorance. However it is not illegal, nor should it be. I could debate the whole flag thing considering its binding to civil law. But I’d rather not right now.

Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, host of the O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, on September 9, 2010, called for the courts to act to shut down the suspended (as of this writing) Koran burning protest by the Gainesville, Florida based Dove World Outreach Center.

O’Reilly made his remarks in a segment with lawyers Lis Wiehl and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

O’Reiily said, “I believe, Guilfoyle, a case can be made here, it was the Supreme Court rul(ing) you can’t have a public display that intimidates if the intention of it is to harm. And certainly burning the holy book of more than three million Americans, Muslim Americans, is meant to harm them emotionally and intimidate.”

Then to Wiehl, O’Reilly said, “I think on legal grounds Wiehl, correct me if I’m wrong, there is a good case to say, ‘you cannot do this because the sole purpose of this is to intimidate people and inflict emotional damage.’”

Wiehl noted the Supreme Court has ruled burning the American flag is legal as a possible reason for noone going to court yet to stop the Koran burning.

O’Reilly replied, “That’s true, but I think it should be adjudicated, and they can slap an injunction on the guy and say he can’t do it.”

Glenn Beck

I’m on vacation and trying to unplug but the news can make that hard. I just read the story about the Florida church planning to burn copies of the Koran.

What is wrong with us? It’s just like the Ground Zero mosque plan. Does this church have the right? Yes. Should they? No. And not because of the potential backlash or violence. Simply because it is wrong. The more I reflect on what happened on 8/28 the more I realize the amazing power of GOOD.

We must be the better person. We must be bigger than our problems. Bigger than the times in which we live. Burning the Koran is like burning the flag or the Bible. You can do it, but whose heart will you change by doing it? You will only harden the hearts of those who could be moved. None of those who are thinking about killing us will be affected, but our good Muslim friends and neighbors will be saddened. It makes the battle that they face inside their own communities even harder.

Let us rise above the current levels and elevate ourselves and our country. The only thing this act would prove is that you CAN burn a Koran. I didn’t know America was in doubt on that fact. Let’s prove to each other that while there are many things we can do, there are maybe many more things that we choose not to do.

LA writes:

I should add to the catalogue of the anti-Joneses Brigitte Gabrielle’s statement (already posted and discussed here), sent to the members of her organization:

ACT! for America Denounces Koran Burning
A message from Brigitte Gabriel, President and CEO of ACT! for America

Dear ____,

We at ACT! for America denounce and condemn, in the strongest terms, the upcoming Koran burning event organized by Pastor Terry Jones and members of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. Their proposed event is ill-conceived, counter-productive and unwelcome in a world where ideas and philosophies are best debated in the context of the issues and the facts. We find this an archaic act that serves no useful purpose, and as such is a regrettable instance of an inability or unwillingness to discuss the issues facing us in a reasonable and constructive manner.

ACT! for America is, and has always been, committed to exposing the threat of the political ideology of radical Islam and its sharia law through constructive debate, illumination of the facts, and a reasoned analysis of the implications of the threat.

Pastor Jones and his congregation are stooping to the tactics of and joining the inarticulate who express their anger and opposition through destructive and spiteful acts of denigration. What is the difference between his actions and the actions of Islamists destroying synagogues in Gaza or churches and Bibles in Lebanon, Bosnia and Egypt? We are better than that as Americans.

Always devoted,

Brigitte Gabriel

B. Oseen writes:

I looked at the thread on the things said by figures on the lamestream right about Jones and did not find Ann Coulter mentioned there. I read her latest column and while she says all the right things early on, she sneaks her opposition to Koran burning into the very last paragraph. Her first sentence of that paragraph hints that she might believe in the moderate Muslim canard. She is less of a fake conservative than some of the others, but not a traditionalist by any stretch. Which group do you place her in? I vote for the Pamela Geller “It’s all about me” camp. Both narcissists who think they’re sexy despite being aging, childless feminists. More libertarian than traditionalist.

LA replies:

I just read the Coulter. Basically it’s not worth discussing, an incoherent mish mash of one liners. She really has nothing to say, and I put her in the category of intellectually exhausted columnists who ought to retire, along with Buchanan and Noonan. And that final line about the burning being “nasty” is so uncharacteristic of her—her, who revels in being nasty—that it strikes a very false note. However, it does make her a Jones opponent.

As for what camp does she belong to, the “It’s all about me” camp says it well. Or, alternatively, the “Girls just want to have fun” camp.

I believe Pamela Geller has children.

Dale F. writes:

Ann Coulter almost supports Jones—most of her most recent column criticizes his critics. In the end, she wimps out, criticizing Jones for being “unkind”—though for her, that’s a word uncharacteristically mild, one I’ve never seen before in her lexicon of vituperation.

Many of her Townhall commenters, on the other hand, seem to be whole-hearted Jones supporters.

PS: I’ve just noticed for the first time that she refers to the book in question as the “Quran,” and no, it’s not a recent affectation. A google search of her site showed similar usages back to 2006.

LA writes:

Here is the opening of one comment following the Coulter article. It’s strongly pro-Jones. It does my heart good to see this. It makes me feel that we at VFR are not in an isolated bubble:

The pastor in FL intends to make a symbolic gesture on the anniversary of 9/11. He intends to exercise his right of free speech by SETTING FIRE to the so-called “holy” book of the people who SET FIRE to the bodies of almost 3000 of our fellow citizens.

Regardless of whether this pastor’s symbolism makes any sense or has any valid meaning (which I would contend it does), he is NOT proposing to burn every Koran in the country or to ban it from libraries or bookshelves, to kill Muslims, or to commit arson against Mosques. He intends to make a statement by means of a speech-act by burning one book.

ON THE OTHER HAND, the most obvious and visible and widespread response of those who practice the so-called “peaceful” religion of Islam, is to threaten—with actual intent—to BURN BUILDINGS AND KILL PEOPLE (AGAIN!!!) because of a speech-act by this little ol’ pastor in Florida.

To all of the atheists/liberals/progressives in the audience:

Why do you want to deny the pastor his liberty?

Why do you suggest that this pastor’s speech-act is so extremely insensitive and offensive as to be lunatic or criminal, while Christians are expected to abide millions of infanticides as inviolable private acts or cow-dung on images of Mother Mary and a Crucifix submerged in urine as inviolable acts of artistic expression?

Why are the sensitivities of Christians deemed to be vestiges of a worn-out provincial superstition that Christians need to get-over, but the sensitivities of Muslims deserve to be appreciated, protected, and conserved….

[end of excerpt of comment]

By the way, there are 2416 comments in the thread. Isn’t that insane? No one can read such a “discussion.” It just comes down to lots of people sounding off but no one reading them. As Bob Dylan put it:

“I heard ten thousand whispering and nobody listening.”

That’s the Web. Except that they’re not whispering. Everyone talks at great length—to himself.

September 11

LA writes:

For our next anti-Jones entry, here is an e-mail from Keith Davies, Executive Director of the Walid Shoebat Foundation, which has been forwarded to me. However, it goes on for 840 poorly written words, so I’m only posting the first half of it:

In the age of new media and high-powered communications, the small story of a tiny Church protesting with the symbolic burning of Korans sparked off an international crisis. The president, the secretary of State, the top general in our military, secretary of defense, every left and right wing media outlet world wide weighed in with their views concerning this great insult to Islam.

The Pastor who decided to do this is for no better a word to use is a smuck, however the world or to be more accurate the “free” world are bigger smucks! [LA replies: Of course, the correct spelling is “schmuck.”] Why do you ask? This Pastor does not deserve any attention, as he is irrelevant. He represents only 50 people in a country of 300 million plus people. He does not represent the views of the 99.99% of this country, so why bother giving him the attention that he does not deserve. Maybe the left wish to slam Christianity, maybe the right wish to improve their ratings, whatever the reason we are where we are at on this issue today. What is important is now is that this story has got massive coverage, the result of the controversy shows that we are in a no win situation with the Muslim world.

The Pastor was a fool for proposing to burn the Koran, because as most normal people of faith this is not how one directs your anger but now that he has made this story what it is, the consequences for not following through with his threat are actually potentially greater than his backing down. Many, both conservative and liberals breathed a sigh of relief that the Koran will not be burnt. It must be noted that not burning the Koran could have even larger consequences even though I disagree with the original proposal. The reason is that you must understand the mindset of the Muslim world. They maybe offended by the burning, however if the pastor backs off they view this as a victory for Allah as their threat of violence and intimidation worked and Allah’s will was done. They do not think like people of the Judea Christian culture where compromise is looked upon as a positive strength not a weakness. The backing off by the Pastor in effect will cause more violence and more protests not less, the threat of violent Jihad terror will intensify because of this political victory which as achieved because of the threat of violence, so in effect violence i.e. terror works….

In the rest of his poorly written e-mail, Davies argues that this is an opportunity for Islam to demonstrate that it really is a religion of peace, by withholding from violence.

Daniel S. writes:

One of your commentators quoted several of the writers at National Review taking cheap shots at Terry Jones over his now canceled plan to burn copies of the Koran. It should be noted that this is the same National Review that stopped selling copies of Serge Trifkovic’s critical book on Islam after a campaign by the thuggish CAIR. Of course the boys at National Review feel emasculated by a man who (temporarily) stood up to the combined forces of Islam and liberalism (which includes most establishment “conservatives”), while they could not even stand up to Ibrahim Hooper.

Madeline Brooks writes:

Here’s another blog that supports Jones.

The Kansas Citian: Church Agrees to Halt Koran Burning After Mortgage Company Calls Loan Due

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 10, 2010 06:38 PM | Send

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