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← Do we have the right to burn the Koran?

Do we have the right to burn the Koran? - Comments

Sample's Avatar Comment 1 by Sample

Do we have the right to burn the Koran?

Is this a trick question? Gainesville, Florida: I'd half expect to see Mickey Mouse burning a perforated, chad-filled Koran beneath an orange tree.

Mike

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:10:07 UTC | #610639

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 2 by Cook@Tahiti

You have a right to tell a fat person in the street that she is fat, but not an obligation.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:20:00 UTC | #610643

David Millar's Avatar Comment 3 by David Millar

Yes. But we shouldn't. Not out of fear of beheading but because it's the action of the dull and the ignorant. Let's leave stupidity and ignorance to the religionists.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:20:30 UTC | #610644

Cinaed's Avatar Comment 4 by Cinaed

Comment 2 by Rtambree :

You have a right to tell a fat person in the street that she is fat, but not an obligation.

Telling someone they are fat is unnecessarily being horrible because they obviously know themselves that they are fat. Burning a Koran is symbolic of saying (to Muslims) that freedom of expression is essential and that you have to be more grown up than throwing a hissy fit over someone burning your holy book. Muslims need to be shown how ridiculous their behavior is in these situations.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:39:55 UTC | #610650

Duff's Avatar Comment 5 by Duff

Many of these Muslim nations are living in the 12th Century. When the Catholic church was in the 12th Century, they operated the same way.

The trick now is not to convince the Muslims that it's inappropriate to kill the infidels, but to get them out of the 12th Century mindset. The only hope is that the youth will become fed up with being mocked by the rest of the world and demand change. It will not happen for another generation.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:42:16 UTC | #610652

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 7 by Stevehill

We've had this debate many times. In the US, free speech and the First Amendment trumps all. In the UK we have a (democratically passed) law which says inciting religious (or racial) hatred is a crime.

An act which gets 10 innocent people killed would qualify.

France criminalises Scientology as a fraud. America should probably get over itself a bit and stop allowing any on-the-make, tax-avoiding chancer to drum up a following of gullible dupes on the grounds that he calls his own brand of drivel a "religion". More than a few of these fuckwits (Fred Phelps etc) make a mockery of free speech. Freedom comes with responsibilities.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:47:29 UTC | #610657

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 8 by AtheistEgbert

Telling someone they're fat is not a crime, it's only a matter of bad manners. It's bad manners to burn a book, but not a crime. It is a crime to kill people because your local mullah said so. I say enough is enough, it is time to take laws seriously in a civilisation or otherwise join the barbarians.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:52:58 UTC | #610661

MrTicketyBoo's Avatar Comment 9 by MrTicketyBoo

Stevehill,

Would you care to outline the causal link between a person burning a book in Florida and the beheadings of UN workers in Afghanistan? Because I am struggling to see the connection.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 10:58:39 UTC | #610663

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 10 by Stevehill

Then again, maybe you have to actually be American to understand a constitution that allows burning books to incite hatred and violent crimes, but bans the label on a beer bottle.

@MrTicketyBoo

The causal chain appears to be quite clear here.

You may feel the Muslims over-reacted. So do I. But "Pastor" Jones is clearly playing with fire and knows it: he cannot (except by the most egregious form of denial) absolve himself of all responsibility for these deaths.

So he's a piece of shit, OK?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:19:44 UTC | #610671

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 11 by AtheistEgbert

Anyone who does not support the Pastor's actions, no matter how 'stupid' or offensive they are, needs to revoke their right to freedom of expression/protest/free speech. Indeed, I would go so far as to agree with what Sam Harris is saying (and yes I am aware of his secular Jewish agenda), and suggest they have indeed lost the plot.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:25:38 UTC | #610675

Cinaed's Avatar Comment 12 by Cinaed

Comment 10 by Stevehill :

Then again, maybe you have to actually be American to understand a constitution that allows burning books to incite hatred and violent crimes, but bans the label on a beer bottle.

@MrTicketyBoo

The causal chain appears to be quite clear here.

You may feel the Muslims over-reacted. So do I. But "Pastor" Jones is clearly playing with fire and knows it: he cannot (except by the most egregious form of denial) absolve himself of all responsibility for these deaths.

So he's a piece of shit, OK?

The problem is not burning a book, it's the lunatics who think it's right to behead innocent people for it!! Do you know why I say that? Because I don't think we should be involved in any shitty backward Muslim country or have anything to do with them. Also no immigration until Muslim countries have evolved into places with a shred of fucking sanity. I swear I'm close to voting for UKIP or the BNP.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:34:06 UTC | #610678

MMAtheist's Avatar Comment 13 by MMAtheist

Comment 7 by Stevehill :

We've had this debate many times. In the US, free speech and the First Amendment trumps all. In the UK we have a (democratically passed) law which says inciting religious (or racial) hatred is a crime.

An act which gets 10 innocent people killed would qualify.

Unbelievable. So people who burn a Koran should be held responsible if some savages can't take it and go on a murderous rampage?

I think the point of these laws on inciting hatred is to condemn people who get their "own people" to attack the "other". Wouldn't your interpretation simply encourage these murderers to act since it would get their "enemy" in trouble? Two birds with one stone.

Also, democratically passed or not, I don't think fundamental rights should be something the majority votes on.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:34:09 UTC | #610679

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 14 by AtheistEgbert

Yeah, it is time to stop the madness and wake up to reality. Islam is not going to co-exist peacefully with secular values. It is time to stop with appeasements and look towards action.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:38:12 UTC | #610681

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 15 by debonnesnouvelles

"Will moderate Muslims defend Pastor Jones’s right to burn the Koran?"

And the answer is... hm, I wonder what it will be? Anyone a clue?

I am at a loss to understand why we would expect them to do so. No one can claim to be surprised about the reactions in Afghanistan. It has happened before with the cartoons. We know that Muslims all over the world get easily offended with this kind of trivia and that they will become violent and harm innocent people. And we know that western societies do not answer such provocations with unjust violence, just remember the poppy burning on Remembrance day in England.

If a member of my family had been killed in this sad incident, I would be quite underwhelmed by people commenting along the lines of "See, those savage Muslims, they did it again! Silly people, how many provocations is it going to take until we have trained them to react the way we would, with dignity and upholding the values of our free democratic societies..."

Of course the people responsible are those who commit the atrocities. But I find it to lenient to describe Terry Jones as a "religious crackpot of the first order". I think he is morally responsible for having started this episode, and he knew of course that violence would erupt in the middle east and that innocent people would die. For his vanity. He has a case to answer, not to the Muslim community, but to the families of the people who were caught up in this.

And the media were just to happy to report his nonsense - is it too much to ask that they calculate the consequences of reporting this story, which should have been worth zero minutes of news space?

As to the ideal of upholding our right of free speech, are there not other examples that are more meaningful? Cartoons, yes, debates on the nonexistence of deities, yes, I could more readily understand. But defending someone's right to burn a book as opposed to recycling it after use, is that worth having people die for?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:41:50 UTC | #610682

MMAtheist's Avatar Comment 16 by MMAtheist

Comment 14 by AtheistEgbert :

Yeah, it is time to stop the madness and wake up to reality. Islam is not going to co-exist peacefully with secular values. It is time to stop with appeasements and look towards action.

Hear hear.

I guess if some radical Muslim decides to rape and kill some white woman because Sam Harris says the Koran is full of destructive nonsense, Stevehill over here will be telling us about the causal link and saying Sam's an asshole. I mean, where do you draw the line with this bullshit?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:42:05 UTC | #610683

mmurray's Avatar Comment 17 by mmurray

Comment 12 by Cinaed :

The problem is not burning a book, it's the lunatics who think it's right to behead innocent people for it!! Do you know why I say that? Because I don't think we should be involved in any shitty backward Muslim country or have anything to do with them. Also no immigration until Muslim countries have evolved into places with a shred of fucking sanity. I swear I'm close to voting for UKIP or the BNP.

So what are you going to do about the shitty backward Muslim country with nuclear weapons and the other shitty backward Muslim countries with yummy oil ? The world's too small these days to just disengage, tempting though it is.

Michael

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:42:59 UTC | #610684

mmurray's Avatar Comment 18 by mmurray

Comment 14 by AtheistEgbert :

Yeah, it is time to stop the madness and wake up to reality. Islam is not going to co-exist peacefully with secular values. It is time to stop with appeasements and look towards action.

And this action would be ...

Michael

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:44:18 UTC | #610685

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 19 by strangebrew

@3

Let's leave stupidity and ignorance to the religionists.

We did...11 people were murdered because one religious dipstick was to arrogant and to stupid to realize that freedom of speech is a responsibility...just because it is a right does not automatically mean it is a must.

He was made aware the last time his righteous brain farts started stinking the place out that his actions would place other folks on the other-side of the world in jeopardy...he ignored the warning went ahead and played jeebus hero for a day.

11 folks were murdered.

@9

Would you care to outline the causal link between a person burning a book in Florida and the beheadings of UN workers in Afghanistan? Because I am struggling to see the connection.

What are you struggling with, logic, rationality, or both?, This is not about the American pride in their constitution this is about reality elsewhere in the world. Pastor Pompous killed those folks...maybe he might consider his actions might be grounds to apologize to the families of those murdered...but probably not...they were not Americans no one cares about foreigners when the Americans want to show how civilized and free and god fearing they are!

A religion, that in certain areas of the world is as unbalanced and batshit insane as it is possible to get, has there balderdash burnt and the video placed on U-tube...they react by killing the nearest foreigners they can find ,because in the fundamentalist cave of ignorance, foreigners are the infidels and when they want to punish the non-believere they kill them...where is your difficulty in seeing a causal link?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:52:45 UTC | #610687

MMAtheist's Avatar Comment 20 by MMAtheist

Comment 19 by strangebrew :

Pastor Pompous killed those folks...

I give up.

[Removed by moderator. Please remember we are aiming for rational discussion here!]

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:57:29 UTC | #610688

Cinaed's Avatar Comment 21 by Cinaed

Comment 18 by mmurray :

Comment 14 by AtheistEgbert :

Yeah, it is time to stop the madness and wake up to reality. Islam is not going to co-exist peacefully with secular values. It is time to stop with appeasements and look towards action.

And this action would be ...

Michael

End immigration completely? Pull all of our soldiers out of these medieval countries? Become energy independent? End faith schools? Vote for politicians who aren't indoctrinated into thinking that all cultures are equal. There are lots of things that could be done if we politicians with a pair of balls. At the moment we are behaving like a super soft teacher in a classroom getting run over by misbehaving toddlers. It's time for zero tolerance.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 11:57:55 UTC | #610689

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 22 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 18 by mmurray :

Comment 14 by AtheistEgbert :

Yeah, it is time to stop the madness and wake up to reality. Islam is not going to co-exist peacefully with secular values. It is time to stop with appeasements and look towards action.

And this action would be ...

Michael

Use of force of course. Whatever it take to establish the rule of secular freedoms and civilised laws. If it means war, then so be it.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:01:08 UTC | #610690

MMAtheist's Avatar Comment 23 by MMAtheist

And this action would be ...

Michael

I was thinking more on the lines of everyone burn a Koran -day.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:03:05 UTC | #610691

jel's Avatar Comment 24 by jel

While I don't agree with burning books or with deliberately stirring up passions I think that if we do not defend the right of this idiot to burn a book we send out a clear message to muslim fanatics that

1/rioting and murder are always the correct response to any perceived insult to islam because it works. 2/the rest of the world must abide by muslim rules and dictats even if they are not muslims.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:07:28 UTC | #610693

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 25 by Peter Grant

Do we have the right to burn the Koran?

Yes.

Will moderate Muslims defend Pastor Jones’s right to burn the Koran?

No.

Comment 7 by Stevehill

We've had this debate many times. In the US, free speech and the First Amendment trumps all. In the UK we have a (democratically passed) law which says inciting religious (or racial) hatred is a crime.

How can it be a crime when you are supposedly "inciting" it at yourself? Surely inciting religious hatred would need to involve saying something like, "Kill all Koran burners!".

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:09:36 UTC | #610694

Mr Blue Sky's Avatar Comment 26 by Mr Blue Sky

Can we burn the Koran?

It is a meaningless question.

We don't need rights to burn paper with writing on it. When we collect pieces of paper together to form what we call a book it may contain art, knowledge, nonsense or anything at all, so what even if it was produced by hand?

If you are cold and need a fire anything combustible will help but it would be a shame if whatever is burned has something other than intrinsic value to society.

The wisdom of keeping and sharing books should preclude burning because if we destroy the evidence we cannot challenge the content and spread the understanding of why and how it is wrong in the case of the Quran or Koran or whatever we like to call it and write about it.

Hypersensitive muslims, poor people lacking in education of that ilk can be whipped into a frenzy by the leaders of the mosques and similar and we know this. What has the pastor achieved? We shall see if he lives long or not!

We should be printing translations of the offending passages and hadiths to educate our own. Religion as has already been said is the problem i.e. lack of the so called enlightenment thinking or critical reasoning. America holds a large responsibility with its lack of separating church and state properly by allowing the teaching of nonsense in science classes such as creationism.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:10:18 UTC | #610695

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 27 by AtheistEgbert

Comment 21 by Cinaed :

End immigration completely? Pull all of our soldiers out of these medieval countries? Become energy independent? End faith schools? Vote for politicians who aren't indoctrinated into thinking that all cultures are equal. There are lots of things that could be done if we politicians with a pair of balls. At the moment we are behaving like a super soft teacher in a classroom getting run over by misbehaving toddlers. It's time for zero tolerance.

Yes I agree. However, joining the BNP is certainly not the way to establish a secular civilised society. We've grown fat, weak and stupid here in England, and dependent on oil and an unsustainable lifestyle. It's going to take a combination of reason and defiance, and to stop appeasing barbarians and the irrational to turn our growing decline.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:11:03 UTC | #610696

alan baylis's Avatar Comment 28 by alan baylis

I wonder who among those UN personnel were the ones who burned the Koran?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:13:45 UTC | #610697

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 29 by debonnesnouvelles

Comment 16 by MMAtheist :

I guess if some radical Muslim decides to rape and kill some white woman because Sam Harris says the Koran is full of destructive nonsense, Stevehill over here will be telling us about the causal link and saying Sam's an asshole. I mean, where do you draw the line with this bullshit?

I don't know Steve Hill, but I would be so surprised if you were right. Interesting how for a lot of us, this story seems to make the emotions boil over. Luckily "the computer is patient".

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:14:27 UTC | #610698

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 30 by Stevehill

The deaths were not the first to be blamed on the actions of Mr Jones and his church. Four men guarding the Christian community in Baghdad were killed last year following warnings by authorities that they were at greater risk because of the book-burning threats.

"Pastor Terry Jones is directly responsible for the murder of some of our people," the Baghdad-based Canon Andrew White told The Independent last month. "He [Jones] can try and say from the safety of Florida he was trying to make an important point. But it was an important point that killed our people."

Fuckwit "Pastor" Jones does not get a free pass on this, whatever divine right he confers upon himself to grant himself absolution.

I'm against fuckwittery in all its many manifestations.

Anyone defending Jones' "right" to behave like an ignorant, uneducated spoiled brat with total disregard for the consequences is not.

The world would be a better place if he was not allowed to act like this - if only on public order grounds.

He's as big an embarrassment to the USA as the Taliban is to Afghanistan. There's absolutely nothing to choose between them.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 12:14:46 UTC | #610699