By M. Alexander
Pastor Terry Jones is in the news again. You remember that guy who whored for attention six months ago, the guy with the small church in Florida? The guy that reminded America that extremist right-wing Christianity didn’t die after The Oklahoma City Bombing? Well, he’s back and he finally had the chutzpah to follow through and burn the Quran. He has now officially joined the company of Nazi Germany, the Taliban, and ideological dictatorships across the globe.
Congratulations, Mr. Jones— if only Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini were alive to see this— they would be so proud.
There is nothing more despicable in a free society than the burning of ideas—utilizing free speech to eliminate others’ speech is so 20th century. Mr. Jones, have you tried reading the Quran— or at least the Sparknotes? If you do, you will realize that you just burned the stories of Adam and Eve, Abraham, and Noah. Oops… you made a mistake. The only fire you are fueling is Radical Islam. Riots related to his book burning have already killed more than 20 in The Middle East. You are continuing to separate humanity, instead of bringing us closer together.
And let us not fool ourselves. Attempted fumigation of ideas survives across all religions, creeds, and nations. You would think that The Jewish People would be the last people to burn books, with The Holocaust in recent memory. But in 2008 in the city of Or Yehuda, Jews burned a fairly large number of New Testaments. What about that seems like a good idea? Seriously, I can’t figure it out.
Burning books is like a giant advertising campaign at a low cost; all you need is a penny’s worth of lighter fluid, a trash barrel, and a few passionately ignorant onlookers—if I ever write a book, I hope that the flap reads “good enough to be burned”.
In 1821, German writer Heinrich Heine wrote a play called Almansor. Citing Quran burnings during the Spanish Inquisition he wrote, “Where they burn books, so too will they end in burning human beings”.
- Book-Burning and Blame-Games (guardian.co.uk)
- Florida Quran burning: Hamid Karzai encourages a mob mentality in Afghanistan. (slate.com)