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Monday, 13 December 2010

Burning the Koran

The Catholic Encyclopedia probably contains the most succinct and accurate description of the Koran as a work that:-
"contains dogma, legends, history, fiction, religion and superstition, social and family laws, prayers, threats, liturgy, fanciful descriptions of heaven, hell, the judgement day, resurrection, etc. — a combination of fact and fancy often devoid of force and originality. The most creditable portions are those in which Jewish and Christian influences are clearly discernible"
Of course, one could apply much the same description to the Jewish Old Testament or the Christian New Testament. Such is the nature of religious written works. And if the Koran is a poorer thing than the Bible, with rules more risible than Leviticus, flights of narcotic fantasy weirder than the Apocrypha and a blood-lust more savage than Deuteronomy, that's still no reason to burn it. If we reacted to all bad literature by setting fire to it, Jeffrey Archer would do very poorly from public lending rights fees. 

No, there is only one reason for burning the Koran - that is the intention of raising anger and division amongst the Muslims who regard it as a holy object. And that's not a reason any responsible person or government would sanction. I'd no more burn a Koran than I'd throw down a stone or log worshipped by a tribe of primitive animists; either act reveals the doer as insecure in the truth of their own faith. And as we can understand the anger of a tribe of natives whose fetish has just been pulled down driving them to take up their spears, surely we can understand the burning of the Koran having the same effect on the poor primitive Muslims. A civilised and enlightened people don't burn silly books or cast down heathen idols.   


Don Cox said...

Sensible post.

" fantasy weirder than the Apocrypha"
- I think you mean "Apocalypse".

Anonymous said...

@ Don Cox

You're embarrassing yourself. The Apocrypha is a part of the Bible dealing with the events surrounding the Maccabean revolt and the rise of the Hasmonean dynasty. Jews and certain Christian sects (esp. Catholicism) treat the Apocrypha as a canonical text; most Christians dismiss it. Historians of the Hellenistic period now mostly consider the Apocrypha to be nothing but a piece of pro-Hasmonean propaganda intended to depict what was actually a fairly nasty civil war and power grab between the Jews as a holy war fought by Jews against Greeks.

On the topic of the Koran, I can only say that if I bought a copy of Harry Potter or the Satanic Verses or Tony Blair's memoirs and I burnt it, it would be entirely within my rights because I would be exercising my power over my own property. If, on the other hand, I buy a copy of the Koran and I opt to burn it, it's a crime against humanity - and much, much worse than any suicide bomber in Stockholm.

When did the "right" of Muslims not have their feelings hurt trump my rights over my own property? Oh, that's right - around 1997 when Labour decided that our hideously white culture needed to be improved by the importation of honour-killing tribesmen from Baluchistan.

Don Cox said...

No, I am not embarassing myself. I know very well which books are in the Old Testament Apocrypha (more than just Maccabees).

The Apocalypse is the common term for book known as the "Revelation of St John", which is a fantasy, and so does fit the original sentence. The sory of the Maccabees is not a fantasy.

There are also several apocryphal Apocalypses.

Don Cox said...

"If, on the other hand, I buy a copy of the Koran and I opt to burn it, it's a crime against humanity - and much, much worse than any suicide bomber in Stockholm."

Why? There are millions, possibly billions, of copies in print. It wouldn't make any difference if thousands were burned, so long as they were average printed copies and not valuable hand-made ones.

Worshipping a book is a form of idolatry.

Ed P said...

"A cilivised and enlightened people don't ..cast down heathen idols" Err, where does that place Moses?

Anonymous said...

Ed, I rather think he didn't make it to the Enlightenment

Anonymous said...

John Wesley had this to say of Islam

Ever since the religion of Islam appeared in the world, the espousers of it...have been as wolves and tigers to all other nations, rending and tearing all that fell into their merciless paws, and grinding them with their iron teeth; that numberless cities are raised from the foundation, and only their name remaining; that many countries, which were once as the garden of God, are now a desolate wilderness; and that so many once numerous and powerful nations are vanished from the earth! Such was, and is at this day, the rage, the fury, the revenge, of these destroyers of human kind.

The Doctrine of Original Sin, Works (1841), ix. 205.