Seven UN staff members were killed in Mazar-i-Sharif after a mob enraged by a Koran burning in the US stormed a UN compound, in the worst attack on the world body in the country since the 2001 invasion.

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.


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I should add that I think Terry Jones is a hypocrite. He should put the Bible on trial, too. And, if he were a truly impartial judge, he'd have to find it equally guilty of crimes against humanity and order its torching.
Indeed...but since when are crazed conservative Christians anything but hypocrites?

Agreed. Very similar to the draw mohammed issues with Theo van Gogh and Geert Wilders.

Terry Jones is a childish buffoon, but mobs rioting and killing totally unrelated innocent people is just barbaric. As Rich Orman always says "Dogma makes you crazy."

I agree that free speech is important.  So if someone wanted to publish the names and addresses of the participants, on the internet, it would be infringement of free speech not to allow that....  ?

In order of guilt:

  1. UN people - totally innocent. Had as much to do with this bullshit as I did.
  2. Fellow xians for not standing up to him.  Their inaction they enabled him. To do nothing is an action. They should have protested outside the church.  They say that they only way one can be good is through their magic friend, Jesus. How is this action good?
  3. Moderate Muslims who aren't prepared to denounce their wingnuts.  They are slightly more responsible than the inactive xians.  They all stood around and did nothing instead of trying to talk their wingnuts down.  They are more guilty because they will say that the UN worker's blood is on the hands of Jones instead of blaming the murdering wingnuts.
  4. Jones and co. for being bigoted xians for whom any action or stupid idea that pops into their heads must be right because they are xians.  Their thoughts go a little like this:
    1. You need Jesus to be good
    2. I have Jesus
    3. I must be good
    4. I just thought of something
    5. That must be good 
  5. But well above any other party in this matter Muslims are fucking insane for thinking that they can kill people because a book was burned.


It's just sad to watch people killing eachother over fairy tales.
Well, my fairy tale is more holy than yours!!!
Both Gates and Petraeus have condemned Jones' action but they need to make it more of an issue – repeating it again and again so the public realizes that stupid has consequences, particularly when it's one stupid against another stupid.
The UN workers were collateral damage in a war between two sets of fucking lunatics.

The sad fact is that people could burn bibles and qurans until St. Swithin's Day, 2017, and it would make no difference ... because you can't burn an idea, and it is the idea of the quran and the idea of its supposed status as holy and exempt from untoward action which is the root of this whole business.  The muslims who got all bent out of shape about quran-burning don't realize this and mostly, they don't care.  All they know is that any action against their faith is an insult and their knee-jerk reaction is to go bananas over ANY slight, real or perceived.  Petraeus and Gates get bent because they have to deal with the fallout, but also because their obliged as public servants to give lip-service to something which is not worthy of respect - religion.

Burning books of any kind is abhorrent to me - just how I was raised - but if we had an  Everyone Burn Holy Books Day similar to the Everyone Draw Mohammed Day, especially with no governmental interference (yeah, I know, FAT CHANCE),  what would happen?  Would the islamic world be able to sustain their rage and continue to act out while the rest of the world went, "Ho-hum?"

I agree Jones and co. have the right to burn the Koran or any book they own.  And the killings are in no way Jones' fault, they are the fault of the other insane religious group involved in the story.

Interesting is President Obama's statement on the killings in Afganistan,

Obama responded, "the desecration of any holy text was 'an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry'"

So where does that leave us? If we call stupidity stupidity, we're, roughly speaking, in the same category and so extremely intolerant and bigoted. Implied is that religion should be unchallenged and given deference and respect. Or am I missing something?

Unfortunately, Phil, I think your interpretation's spot on. I notice Obama describes the murderous response to the Q'ran burning as deplorable, unjustified, etc. But I would have liked him to say that it was also an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. Otherwise, it just comes across as an over-reaction to provocation.


Forget Terry Jones. He's a joke but he has the right to his freedom of speech. It's the people who think their religion trumps that right that are the culprits here... Especially our "ally" Afghan President Mohammad Karzai, who made a point of broadcasting the news to the Afghan people. They hadn't even heard of the book-burning before that.


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