It’s an old-fashioned book burning, according to an article on Fox News. It seems The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida is marking the 9/11 terrorist attacks by burning the Koran–Allah not-be-so praised. This of course has upset Indonesian Muslims in Jakarta (which pretty much can happen with a mere rumor of blasphemy) who are already protesting the US Embassy, as if the US Embassy had anything to do with Dove World Outreach Center. DWOC has apparently been denied a permit to burn the piles of Koranic texts (since when do we need permission to do that?) but plans to be stubborn and thumb their noses at the local authorities (sounds very American). They also have a T-shirt, sold last year, that states: “Islam is of the Devil,” which I admittedly am considering buying if I can get a discount.
I’m very torn here. On one hand, this sounds like a lot of fun stupidity to watch–plus I always love a good bonfire. On the other hand, I have a fetish for books and despise book burning, even if it is the Koran or some other holy text. Book burning really does not make a statement except to say that you think a book should be taken out of circulation. There are no books I would ever consider eliminating from our human history–we record the good with the bad.
Based on the criteria for the book burning–which is a protest of violent terrorism–Christians should consider throwing the Bible into the flames as well. Has anyone ever read the Old Testament? It’s friggin’ genocidal and intolerant, not to mention sexist as all hell. As much as I would like to simplify terrorism as Islamic, it is far more complicated. Islam is certainly a factor, but young unemployed Arab men who can’t get laid is the bigger issue. They’re ripe for pickin’ to be suicide bombers. At least in America, young Muslim men can get a hold of porn like the rest of us.
I looked up Dove World Outreach Center and they also have a sign that again ties Islam to the Devil. They state the reason for the sign as: “To expose Islam for what it is. It is a violent and oppressive religion that is trying to mascarade itself as a religion of peace, seeking to deceive our society.”
It is unfortunate that American Christians never seem to realize they are following an Americanized version of Christianity. It is Americanism that has molded a once intolerable belief system into a moderately peaceful religion. Islam is also being Americanized and so really what we have is a culture war between two different countries.
On an interesting sidenote, the DWOC site proudly links to an article about the ACLU standing up for their right to have DWOC kids wear the “Islam is of the Devil” shirts in public schools. It always amazes me that Conservative Christians literally spit on the ACLU until the ACLU steps in on their behalf.
Being an atheist bystander, I have to admit I find all of this amusing as long as no one gets hurt.