This was in direct response to a small congregation of Pentecostals, led by Pastor Terry Jones, burning a copy of the Koran after putting it on trial and finding it guilty of crimes against humanity.
I expected this to be a hot topic on this forum, but I couldn't find any posts about it, so here's the UK's Telegraph's story about Pastor Jones presiding over the Koran burning and the mayhem and murder it inspired in Afghanistan.
I'm interested to know what people think about this. To me, it's a free speech issue and much as I despise Pastor Jones and his ilk, I support their right to express their views in this way. If you start making sacred objects off-limits, free speech is no longer free - it's compromised.
The Head of the UN mission in Afghanistan seems to hold Terry Jones' congregation as partially responsible. This is a quote from the UN's UNAMA page:
"Freedom of speech does not include the freedom to deliberately offend other people's culture, religion and traditions," said de Mistura. "The person that did this must know that there can be terrible consequences, especially when there are 150,000 foreign soldiers and about 10,000 international civilians working here in Afghanistan. What he did provided a trigger, a major trigger here."
Sadly, I think he's only stating the UN's position on freedom of speech.
Yes, Obama's got a lot of lines to toe, not just domestically. What a job.
Not giving offense often takes precedence over efforts to point out senselessness, destructiveness and cruelty in most Western societies. This is cowardice, not so much Obama's but the West's.
Ultimately, the business of burning books, whether the quran, the bible, or The Bobsey Twins at the Seashore, is an act of self-expression, covered at least in the US under freedom of speech. From where I sit, it is equivalent to the activities which were entertained during Everyone Draw Mohammed Day. Drawing Mohammed or burning the quran are acts which have no victims, yet incite a reaction because the followers of the prophet and the book wish to elevate both the prophet and the book above scrutiny or criticism of any sort. There was a saying that I came to associate with Everyone Draw Mohammed Day that I think is completely on point on these activities and the reaction of the faithful to them:
No one has the right not to be offended.
"There will be no peace till most of these cavemen have died of old age. Eventually the society will get sick of killing everyone... or maybe not. I really don't care anymore."
That's kind of how I feel, too (except I think old cavemen are replaced by more young cavemen every day). Before we became globalised, countries could go through their social evolution without impinging too much on other countries, but now it's not possible. I just wish we could build a mile-high wall around countries like Afghanistan and leave them be for about a hundred years.
I'm finding this news event particularly depressing. The hypocrisy of people who feel outraged at the burning a single copy of a billion-print book but can accept without a murmur the total destruction of irreplaceable Buddhist statues in their own country and ignore as irrelevant yesterday's bombing of a Sufi shrine in Pakistan. And far from feeling shame for the initial killing spree, they've gone on and murdered more innocents.
And I've looked and looked on Google News, but nowhere can I find a report of a Muslim leader condemning the murderers in the same terms as they condemn the Q'ran burning. Where is their sense of perspective?
What makes me really angry, though, is the number of people who are letting the murderers off the hook by pointing the finger of blame at the door of Jones and his congregation. It's completely bonkers. Essentially, they're saying Muslims are so irrational that they can't be held responsible for their actions.
Let the Zionists fight with the Muslims for a thousand years. Who cares.
The people with relatives in the Middle East for starters
And I've looked and looked on Google News, but nowhere can I find a report of a Muslim leader condemning the murderers in the same terms as they condemn the Q'ran burning. Where is their sense of perspective? Sandy
If Obama just once took a stand, used the bully pulput, to call them on this obnoxious and violent behavior, I think he'd win respect and an outpouring of support - and perhaps the PC blockage would blow loose.