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← Petraeus warns of desecrating the Koran

Petraeus warns of desecrating the Koran - Comments

Axeman33's Avatar Comment 1 by Axeman33

Let's see how tolerant the evangelical church will be when there's a holy bible burning session right next to theirs. While I'm not opposed to burning any holy books, I do believe (in our new PC age) that anyone who burns someone elses sacred documents would most likely be charged with a hate crime.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:32:56 UTC | #513031

Ardiem's Avatar Comment 2 by Ardiem

I have to agree with Patreaus, the church is deliberately facing off with Islam. They know it won't be ignored and the response will be somewhat more newsworthy than burning bibles. This is the sort of thing that wars are started over.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:36:20 UTC | #513035

JQisAwesome's Avatar Comment 3 by JQisAwesome

So the argument for canceling the Qur'an burning is basically this:

"They're going to kill us if we do it."

Bring it on, Islam. Bring it on.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:36:37 UTC | #513037

Jay G's Avatar Comment 4 by Jay G

I don't understand. We have invaded the country and waged war on Muslim Terrorists. How much more of a provocation could a Koran burning be?

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:43:59 UTC | #513046

man with stick's Avatar Comment 5 by man with stick

What's the point of burning a book? It will just pollute the air and waste good paper. Couldn't they just recycle it?

To do something deliberately to antagonise that may lead to escalated violence is stupid. Would you walk into the home supporters end of Manchester City and tell everyone how crap their team is, how much their kit sucks and that Manchester United will always be the one 'true' Manchester team.

No. Just because you can does not mean you should. They'd be better off doing fund raising or something and do some good.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:50:36 UTC | #513051

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

Burning the Koran is offensive but it won't have any impact. Burning a lesser known or rare work, would be extremely offensive.

However, let's please put things in perspective: are we to just not going to do anything to offend people simply because they threaten to kill us? I mean, just how reasonable is this kind of thinking?

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:51:49 UTC | #513053

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 7 by Rob Schneider

Your question about our support of the Evangelical church vs. the Danish Cartoonists should be read seriously. It's a great thought experiment.

I'll play: I would liken it to flag burning in the U.S. My repeated response when this issue comes up is, the behavior seems unjustified to me, but I'm not allowed to tell others what a symbol means. If some people see the flag as representative of all that is evil in the world and in need of burning, well... I pity your rhetorical skills and effectiveness, but burn away.

Same for Koran burning. I think the Evangelicals doing it are asses, but it is their right, and any violent reaction to it is unacceptable. It's a BOOK. It's not even YOUR book... ( I mean, if the church buys the Korans, then they own them... same as the flag burner owns the flag they choose to burn).

Do I think the Koran burning is as productive as the cartoon protest? No, and much more dangerous. But in the end, I'll support the right to protest... even in inflammatory ways... over the right to defend "offenses" to one's myths and preferences with violence.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:53:18 UTC | #513055

Balance_Maintained's Avatar Comment 8 by Balance_Maintained

I think the fundamental thing here is an idea. Ideas have power. What the church is doing is wrong on a lot of levels. (personally I cherish books of all varieties and think people who burn them should have criminal charges leveled against them, but that is just me.) But to deliberately burn the 'Holy' text of another culture can be considered nothing less than an act of complete and utter contempt, and an intellectual (or spiritual if you prefer) act of aggression. To do it where it is going to put the lives of others on the line is even worse.

On another note: I don't even think this is in the same league as the cartoon. Not even close.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 14:58:31 UTC | #513058

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 9 by Stevehill

I'm with Petraeus. It's an aggressive, and pointless, act. People who burn books - any books - are usually saying far more about their own ignorance than they are about anyone else's.

They are probably the same people who want legislation to criminalise burning The Flag.

They are just inviting a lot of CNN etc coverage of people burning the flag, bibles etc all over the world in retaliation. Then next time someone flies a plane into a large American building they will wring their hands and say "why do they hate us so much?"

Fuckwits.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 15:31:47 UTC | #513078

SourTomatoSand's Avatar Comment 10 by SourTomatoSand

Note General Petraeus is not in a position where he cares about the rhetorical value of the book burning or rights of this idiotic evangelical church. All he is saying is, "hey, you're probably going to get some of my soldiers killed." And he's right. Obviously no legal action should (or can) be taken against them, but considering how mindlessly supportive most Christian churches in the US are of the Armed Forces, you'd think they'd give it a second thought.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 15:34:11 UTC | #513080

SourTomatoSand's Avatar Comment 11 by SourTomatoSand

Also I just noticed this bit:

Mr Jones said the church was "very concerned" after hearing Gen Petraeus' warning and was taking his words seriously. He said the church was praying on the matter but he said the group had "firmly made up our minds".

In other words "O Lord, if you want us to burn the Qur'an, please give us absolutely no sign."

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 15:37:07 UTC | #513088

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 12 by DocWebster

I shudder at the thought of book burnings for any reason, they too easily become fashionable. It makes me chortle too the point of pain to think of christians of any stripe wanting to rid the world of what they deem to be evil, hate filled, fictional books to prove the superiority of their evil, hate filled, fictional book. My landlord once said with a straight face that my interest in science fiction and mystery books was okay but he preferred "real" books with truth in them. He then proceeded to the youth bible story section of the bookstore to purchase a few books to have around for the grandkids when they visit. It took every ounce of fortitude I possess to not ask why he didn't extend his preferences to his grandkids reading materials. I did myself a small but painful injury biting my tongue. He, of course, suffered nothing from the huge whack of irony in the moment.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 15:41:27 UTC | #513093

Bliszs's Avatar Comment 13 by Bliszs

the Koran is part of their national and cultural identity. When you burn it, you are effectively insulting them. At this point in time when the world is not atheist, do you really think it is worth being rude to them just to prove a petty point. In fact it is proving no point, its just religious agression, something we should be condemning.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 15:42:52 UTC | #513094

Roedy's Avatar Comment 14 by Roedy

What the Dove people are doing is like blaming the Sermon on the Mount for Tim McVeigh's Okalahoma City bombing, without reading the new testament first.

Everyday Muslims are incredibly touchy about the physical Qur'an. It is like Americans and their flag. You have to dispose of Qur'ans with ceremony. You must wash your hands before touching them. There is even a rule for what to do if you fart while reading it.

Part of the reason for the emphasis on the physical book is that the book was written fairly recently. Muslims have the precise original Arabic text. They don't even need to argue about where the commas go. They treat it like the congealed literal voice of god. Its poetry is considered a miracle -- the main proof of its legitimacy, allegedly of supernatural quality. They have a sort of Randi challenge -- to produce better poetry. I don't speak Arabic, but listening to a recitation is haunting. Disrespecting it is the same as disrespecting the creator of the universe.

It ironic that a military man is the voice of reason here. The Americans were forcing Muslim detainees to wipe their behinds with pages of the Qur'an, terrifying them they were now doomed to an eternity of imaginative torture even worse that the Americans could dream up.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 15:51:55 UTC | #513102

green and dying's Avatar Comment 15 by green and dying

It really depends whether they're doing it to show that they don't like what's in the Quran or that they don't like Muslims. It would be better to pick apart the actual verses of the Quran and say why they're factually or morally wrong, and I personally wouldn't ever burn something to make a point, but if the offensive bit is that it's disrespect of the Quran then good, we SHOULD disrespect the Quran.

But since they're evangelical Christians I doubt their point is about disrespecting religious texts, so I don't know what I think of it.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 15:55:48 UTC | #513104

green and dying's Avatar Comment 16 by green and dying

Comment 14 by Roedy :

What the Dove people are doing is like blaming the Sermon on the Mount for Tim McVeigh's Okalahoma City bombing, without reading the new testament first.

What do you mean?

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:01:11 UTC | #513109

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 17 by TheRationalizer

Comment 4 by Jay G :

I don't understand. We have invaded the country and waged war on Muslim Terrorists. How much more of a provocation could a Koran burning be?

Not every Muslim in the country is against what we did, many wanted us to do it. So they'll just be alienating people for no purpose other than to show "I have the right to be an asshole."

Most of the people burning these Qurans will probably be Christians. I'd love to be there with my own stack of bibles; after all, they ARE making a statement of my freedom....aren't they?

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:13:37 UTC | #513113

Roedy's Avatar Comment 18 by Roedy

One of the ironies is burning books increases the profits of publishers of those books. It is not like burning the library of Alexandia where we lost the originals. It is not like the Nazi Wartburg Festival burnings that blocked people who wanted to read the books from access.

The best way to sell a book is to get it banned in Boston. This Dove controversy might inspire others like myself to read the Qur'an from cover to cover just to find out what was in there that people did not want me to read.

What I discovered was it is mostly very vague stuff of the form:

God is wonderful. His creation is top notch. God is merciful, so long as you don't break too many rules. These parts are quite poetic and beautiful.

If you don't follow these rules, you will be very very very sorry. Steve King descriptions of horrible things that will happen to you if you break the rules after you die. It gave me nightmares for months.

Here are some incredibly picky rules for social conduct, sort of an Emily Post defining correct Islamic conducut for every conceivable situation. For their time, they were very advanced, but today they are backward on treatment of women and gays. It is as much a body of law and etiquette as religion. The rules struck me for the most part as eminently reasonable.

Lists of what is haram (sin) what is not and under what extenuating conditions. Lawyers would love it.

A good Muslim is an obsessive compulsive who constantly computes whether what is doing is sin or not. He tends to treat all rules as if they had equal importance. This leaves very little room for planning strategic action. Obviously that is an overgeneralisation, but I think that stereotype might help you understand Muslims better.

The propaganda Muslim is someone who behaves impulsively without rules or coherent motivations. This is blithering nonsense. He is nothing like a brawling bar drunk. They won't touch alcohol or marijuana.

It is so easy for people to pass off urban myths about Muslims because most people are clueless, naive and gullible because they have been too afraid to hang out with Muslims, go to mosques, talk to imams, debate etc. to find out what they are really like. They are warm supportive people, though leery of outsiders at first. Just blend into the background and observe.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:20:01 UTC | #513120

Randy Ping's Avatar Comment 19 by Randy Ping

Sometimes I think we atheists should put our money and eforts together, go away fromthe rest of society for 20years, and let the religious kill eachother off. Sadly, the idiots aren't content with just killing themselves, they seem to be hell-bent (paardon the expresion) on fucking up the planet for all living things.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:32:11 UTC | #513127

green and dying's Avatar Comment 20 by green and dying

Roedy, the rules might seem reasonable to you but you aren't the one oppressed by them. Maybe it seems like a silly and harmless historical book, until you remember that there are millions of people who believe wholeheartedly in their literal truth and would (and do) carry out violence and oppression specifically due to this book.

The most prevalent urban myth about Islam is that it's a "religion of peace" or that it has the same belief about its scriptures as Christianity does, therefore meaning that Muslims don't take every world of the Quran literally. That is not true.

Updated: Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:33:48 UTC | #513128

Roedy's Avatar Comment 21 by Roedy

Roedy said: What the Dove people are doing is like blaming the Sermon on the Mount for Tim McVeigh's Okalahoma City bombing, without reading the new testament first.

Green and dying asked: what do you mean?

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center blames the Qur'an as the primary cause of 9/11.

I strongly doubt Pastor Terry Jones has read the Qur'an. I have read it cover to cover, and I don't recall anything advocating or condoning terrorism, maybe in a Hadith commentary footnote. He looked at the alleged religion of the perpetrators of 9/11 and concluded, without reading it, there must have been something in the Qur'an that ordered them to commit terrorism. (For argument sake, I will presume the Bush theory of who perpetrated 9/11 even though I personally find it implausible.)

See http://mindprod.com/politics/bush911introduction.html

This would be as silly as someone looking at the religion of Tim McVeigh, Christian, and thus assuming without reading the the new testament, that in there someone, e.g. the sermon on the mount, the commandments that made him commit blow up the Oklahoma Murah federal building.

In a nutshell, it does not necessarily follow there was anything wrong with some book when one of the self-styled adherents of that book behaves badly. You must present evidence from the book itself and in sufficient context to ensure you are not dissembling.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:34:44 UTC | #513130

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 22 by ZenDruid

Invite them to go to Kandahar for their Koran-burning.

No guts, no glory!

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:44:33 UTC | #513137

green and dying's Avatar Comment 23 by green and dying

It doesn't condone "terrorism" but it does condone holy war against non-believers. I'm not saying that is the whole cause of 9/11, but I don't think it's a coincidence either.

I don't really get how you can read the Quran cover to cover and find the rules reasonable.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:46:09 UTC | #513139

Jovan's Avatar Comment 24 by Jovan

Maybe Muslims will burn Bibles in 'retaliation'....?

"Every cloud has a silver lining"..?

Perhaps then, they'll both realise that they're both JUST books....?

Not even particularly 'good' books, much less "the Good Book"

I'm no psychologist, so I don't know the best way to handle 'delusional' people. Is "humouring them" the best course of action..? Or is it better to gently tell them the truth...? Pretending to "respect" a religion, is the "PC" thing to do, but is it the 'kindest'..in the 'long-run'...?

I feel Patraeus is correct in his analysis. I also feel that the Evangelical Church is being deliberately provocative, and aggressively trying to anger their "enemies". (So much for religion being a "peaceful, benign influence", this just shows their 'true colours') I think this church is at the extreme end of Right-wing Christians in the USA. Normally "believers" advocate "respect" for other religions (these days) The Church of England is one of the strongest advocates for the building of new mosques in this country

I'm confused about the issue, because I feel that the "conditioned" respect that we're 'obliged' to show religions, (even as Atheists) is part of the problem. I'm also well aware that it won't change overnight.

Overall, I can't help feeling that fewer soldiers (on both sides) would die, if the US forces weren't over there, shooting at people.

Patraeus' time would be better spent ensuring that happens ASAP In my opinion.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:51:09 UTC | #513147

besleybean's Avatar Comment 25 by besleybean

It's going to happen, anyway.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:55:12 UTC | #513150

Czar's Avatar Comment 26 by Czar

I live in Gainesville (the place where this burning is going to take place) a significant part of the year, and I can honestly say that most are opposed to this intolerance. Gainesville is a college town (University of Florida and Santa Fe College) so I am sure there will be a counter demonstration.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 16:58:52 UTC | #513152

Rob Schneider's Avatar Comment 27 by Rob Schneider

Comment 19 by Randy Ping :

Sometimes I think we atheists should put our money and eforts together, go away fromthe rest of society for 20years, and let the religious kill eachother off.

BAH! You have stolen the plot to my never to be published sequel to Ayn Rand's 'classic' "Atlas Shrugged" This would have been titled "Dawkins Shrugged." Or "Einstein Shrugged."

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 17:00:31 UTC | #513153

Reginald's Avatar Comment 28 by Reginald

"Most of the people burning these Qurans will probably be Christians. I'd love to be there with my own stack of bibles; after all, they ARE making a statement of my freedom....aren't they?"

It would be great if it turned into a runaway chain reaction until there were no Qurans and bibles left behind anywhere, rather like the tale of the two lollipops.

But seriously, any bookburning is barbaric and philistine. Do you want to emulate the Nazis?

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 17:02:45 UTC | #513155

Roedy's Avatar Comment 29 by Roedy

green and dying said: Roedy, the rules might seem reasonable to you but you aren't the one oppressed by them.

Apparently, you have not yet read the Qur'an for yourself, so you don't know the rules I refer to, and you imagine ones are in there that are not.

For example, I bet you did not know that nowhere in the Qur'an does it require women to wear a hijab or to cover their faces. It merely says women should dress modestly. The Wahabis are wacko fundamentalists. They are the ones who beat women for having an uncovered face. They have gained power in Saudi Arabia, and via the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Travel the world, and you will see Islamic women dressed all sorts of ways, including indistinguishable from other Canadians. Your complaint is with a host patriarchal culture, not Islam itself.

The irony is, when Islam was first formulated, its ideas on the equality of women were the most advanced in the world. The problem is they froze in stone and now they are backward.

I read a book called Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia by: Carmen Bin Ladin

http://mindprod.com/politics/bushbooksrelated.html#CARMEN

It described segregation of the sexes in upper class modern day Saudi Arabia. It is a nightmare. What bothered me most, is the women themselves co-operated with their own subjugation and in the subjugation of rebellious women. It requires life-long brainwashing.

It is unfair to tar all of Islam with the craziness of one sect. It would like tarring all of Christianity with the behaviour of the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project.

Nearly all religions are patriarchal. e.g. the Catholic church won't allow female priests. Because of their strong attachment to tradition they are are all going to be a force for the unequal treatment of women.

Islam has all the problems all religions do, and I would like it to disappear from the planet. But on the other hand I get annoyed when I see it attacked unfairly by people who are just parroting American/Christian propaganda without any first hand knowledge.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 17:02:51 UTC | #513156

green and dying's Avatar Comment 30 by green and dying

Comment 29 by Roedy :

green and dying said: Roedy, the rules might seem reasonable to you but you aren't the one oppressed by them.

Apparently, you have not yet read the Qur'an for yourself, so you don't know the rules I refer to, and you imagine ones are in there that are not.

For example, I bet you did not know that nowhere in the Qur'an does it require women to wear a hijab or to cover their faces. It merely says women should dress modestly.

Yes I knew that, thank you.

How about the rule that if your wife misbehaves outside of the home, you are to lock her in the house for the rest of her life? What about the rule where if she disobeys you, you are to correct her by hitting her? Are these reasonable rules? Is it a giant coincidence that these verses appear in the Quran and that women are so horribly oppressed in countries with Islamic law? No, no it's not.

Tue, 07 Sep 2010 17:11:13 UTC | #513160