"Burn a Koran Day" and the Flames of Extremism

By Niose, David | The Humanist, November-December 2010 | Go to article overview

"Burn a Koran Day" and the Flames of Extremism


Niose, David, The Humanist


IT'S FAIR TO say that the fifteen minutes of fame recently afforded to Terry Jones--the once-obscure Florida preacher with the misguided plan to burn copies of the Koran at his Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, on September 11--inadvertently proved the value of humanism. Thanks to Jones's absurd promotion (and subsequent cancellation) of International Burn a Koran Day, rationalism and critical thinking never looked so good; blind devotion to ancient theology never looked so wrong and dangerous.

During the uproar condemning Jones's proposed stunt, humanists joined the chorus of those who found his book-burning antics and other statements to be bigoted, ignorant, and certain to cause emotional pain if not physical harm. Whether it was President Barack Obama or General David Petraeus who ultimately convinced Jones to abandon his plan, or whether it was the interfaith community, a death threat from overseas, or the group of New York City police officers who surrounded him when he checked into a Queens hotel room on September 10, all agreed that it was a good thing Jones backed down and canceled the event.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The fact that Americans of all races and religions (along with leaders from around the world) spoke out against this attention-driven circus is an encouraging sign, one hopes, of a positive shift toward religious tolerance and inclusivity. Still, while Jones's Koran-burning plan was being roundly criticized, isn't it peculiar that the feared outcome of his actions--possible violent retaliation by certain offended Muslims--wasn't?

After all, if everyone agrees that Jones wins a wing-nut award for International Burn a Koran Day, why are we so silent about those who would react violently to it?

It's common knowledge that items of personal property can have very important meaning--a flag, a photograph, a religious symbol. Considering that the Koran is the holy book of Islam, we can expect that some Muslims would take great offense to its burning, just as many Christians would take offense to Bible burning and Jews to Torah burning.

Still, despite the rudeness of those who would torch the sacred scripture of others, we should expect the offended individuals to recognize that virtually all public opinion sympathizes with them and agrees that the act is offensive. In a civilized, pluralistic democracy, regardless of the intolerance and bigotry of those who would burn religious texts, a violent response to book burning is unacceptable. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

"Burn a Koran Day" and the Flames of Extremism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.