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To defend actions of this sort on the basis of free speech is to miss the point.
1. "This is an overt, conscious action, motivated by malign intent." - Overt and conscious yes, but the intent may not be malign. I don't take the view myself, but you might think burning a Quran (or any book) is a positive, liberal act. I don't think people should go to jail for having a point of view I disagree with.
2. "Not opening a dialogue or building an argument" - Going on a march isn't really about having a calm dialogue either, it's about making a point and getting attention for it. If that involves burning a book that you paid for yourself then that's a legitimate form of protest.
3. "Not just the action, it's the consequences." - 100% of the violence done as a response to the burning of the Quran is the fault of whoever did it. If someone truly believes that burning the Quran (or, again, any book) is a positive action, then they shouldn't be bullied into not making that action by the threat of violence by others. You might argue that they should be sensible and not do it, but they should definitely not be jailed for doing it.
4. "Do it in privacy" - Defeats the point really, doesn't it?
The main point for me is that, as has been said above, the religious nature of the book should not prevent it being attacked, either will stunningly perceptive intellectual or theological arguments, or with a flamethrower.
Just as anyone should be free to write any book they want (excepting in cases of fraud etc.), they should also be able to burn any book they want. Burning a Quran doesn't advance discourse in any meaningful way and may lead to violent retribution, but the same could be said of many small actions taken throughout history and across the world today that you would want to applaud. Just because you think it's a stupid thing to do, doesn't mean people should go to jail for it.
'Free' speech = money not spent!?
There's so much wrong with this article, but that idea alone sums up the level of understanding and analysis.
I'm going to print this article and burn it. Along with The God Delusion, The Satanic Verses and a copy of the Qur'an, the Bible, and the Torah!
I'll burn whatever bloody book I like!
@mitchy: let me speak for Dan on this one. No, it is not alright to use the Koran as joint paper. For starters the paper is far too thick. But it is also made with chemical bleaches that are toxic. If you have smoked this way you are in serious danger of lung disease.
It is better if you stopped smoking joints altogether. Glass bongs are much better. Invest in one of these and save a tree. Pure unfertilised dope without tobacco is the go.
mitchy, you might be interested in joining 'The Riverina Cannabis Smoking Club'. It is in full swing at the moment with the harvest season upon us. Members bring their home grown wares and swop. Do you fancy joining?
Does this also apply to burning American flags?
I was so enraged by you sick article that I took it out on my wife - I punched her in the head and kidneys so there's no bruising, she's too afraid to shop me. I read the New Statesman site every day and I don't expect to see the crap you've written there. This proves you've harassed me, if you don't take it down I might continue to beat her - and my kids.
What's the difference between this and condemning someone from burning a book that causes complete fucking psychos to go round killing people. I don't know who the fear more; you or the frothing mad lunatics who kill people to order at the drop of a had (or burning of a book). No, I think you are worse than they are - you disgust me.
14 April 2011 at 12:03
There's a plaque in the square in Berlin where they burnt the books, written in the 1820s.
'Those who burn books will one day burn people'.
I think it's quite an important statement.
THE PEOPLE THAT OBJECT TO BURNING OF THE KORAN ALREADY DO BURN PEOPLE - HERE IS A VIDEO OF SOME OF THEM BURNING 3 GAY MEN ALIVE: http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2011/04/muslims-burn-homosexuals-alive.html You have to be really ignorant to compare Nazi book burning with all the Koran burning around the world today. One was carried out by the state - the other by individuals, The reason for book burning in Germany was purification of the German nation, today individuals are doing out of disgust for the sexist, homophobic, paedophilic filth contained in the Koran (Florida Pastor) or as a response to vile abusive insults thrown at the British war dead (Andrew Ryan v Poppy burners). The response you liberal left come out with is an automatic Pavlov Dog like response - devoid of content and reason.
You collect *£200* for passing GO, FFS.
Although arguably moronic, this was an act committed on private property and in private.
Why then do you not equally condemn the desecration of a Bible currently displayed to the entire public and in a public space in Glasgow?
Either both are deserving of condemnation, or neither is
Violent Islam is the polar opposite of what we on the political-left typify. Or have we bring so poisoned by political-correctness and the failed social experiment called multiculturalism, we can longer see the wood for the trees.
Depends on the context.
I've got to disagree with you here Hans. I don't think that Dan has been shithouse in his arguments. Dan did say that that the burning of the Koran was wrong in some contexts. I got to agree with Dan on this. Certain actions are offensive to other human groups. Burning the Koran in public is one of them. Putting on a show .. what f@@k are you doing? No no sod off Hans. I've sealed this one.
And stop taking the piss out of the Fly Fishing Community. Some of my best friends are Fly Fishermen.
Come on, these people are only out to cause a bit of trouble, have a bit of a scrap. By making a big deal out of it you are playing into thier hands. Jailing even one of them would just be fueling (no pun intended) their desire to be cause a fuss. You would be creating a martyr.
The only way to deal with these contempible people is to show them that no amount of attention-seeking chair-kicking is going to get them treated as anything other than the tragic nobodies they really are. I think they just need a hug.
Jail them indeed. What on earth is that going to solve? Take a step back, Dan
mitchy; don't get a tiny bong. Go for ones at least 2 foot high.
ET: I'm sure it would make people think twice about stealing other people's property.
In my view this fellow Jones isn't good enough in terms of public expression and/or interest to call himself or claim to be a preacher or teacher or pastor, or even perhaps father, brother, sister or mother. In my view he is not doing the will of God and therefore should be effectively sacked.
This is because such terrible timing and inappropriate , even misappropriate behaviour is wonten, even craven for sure - but whether it wonts prosecution in this world rather than perhaps sticking in some miscellaneous box until our real Lord Jesus comes again to judge the living and the dead - is for the time being something I suppose only this man Jones himself can tell.
Hence the far lower robbery/theft/house break-ins figures in many Islamic countries. Do you really need to steal?