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Harold's avatar

Does the response of the Afghans to the US Koran burning prove that the Koran burner was correct?

Asked by Harold (4117points) April 4th, 2011

The extreme reaction to the burning of the Koran by the Muslims in Afghanistan would seem to show that the extremist who burned it may have a point about Islam. What does everyone think?

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25 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I’ll burn your “private parts” and see how you react. Our drag you, in effigy through the cow pasture.

It is considered and insult or worse.

Harold's avatar

@Tropical_Willie – I fail to see how you have answered the question. I am not disputing that it was an insult. However, the way people react to insults is a reflection of their belief system, which I believe is the point the fanatic minister was trying to make, however crudely and clumsily.

syz's avatar

I think it shows that humans, no matter what their belief, devolve into the lowest common denominator when in mobs. As with any group, you shouldn’t judge the whole by the actions of a fringe element.

cazzie's avatar

If you hold all of Islam responsible for what the extremists did in Afghanistan, can I hold all Christians responsible for what the red-neck bigots do and did in Pastor Terry’s ‘church’ or the Westborogh Baptists from Kansas too?

Harold's avatar

@syz – Agreed, but what made the mob form in the first place?
@cazzie – No body is saying that all of Islam is responsible for what happened. However, I don’t believe that even Pr Terry’s bigots, as you correctly call them, would murder people totally unrelated to the supposed offence if they felt insulted. Maybe I’m wrong!!!

thorninmud's avatar

For Jones to say that this proves his point just makes his actions all the more irresponsible. It’s in effect saying “See, I knew that doing this would result in bloodshed and this proves it!”

Cruiser's avatar

It really wasn’t that long ago that the Catholic Church would react quite decisively and brutally against any forms of Blasphemy including defiling the Bible. Muslims still have the utmost of respect and reverence of their religion. Beheading is IMO a bit much for what happened the the burning of the Qu’ran.

Harold's avatar

@thorninmud – I have no dispute with your point. It WAS irresponsible.
@Cruiser – True, but the middle ages RCs were no better than the Muslims anyway.

marinelife's avatar

Wouldn’t there be a similar virulent reaction by Christians if someone burned the Bible? All that the reaction shows is that people are alive to the insult to their faith.

mattbrowne's avatar

No, there wouldn’t, @marinelife. Christian fundamentalists would not storm the United Nations Building in New York and murder several innocent people. We would have to listen to angry people being interviewed by Fox. That’s all. Today, Islamist extremism is far more dangerous than Christian fundamentalism. Which still means that Christian fundamentalism is an intolerant and unacceptable movement.

The Koran burner is not correct, because the Koran contains both violent and peaceful messages. Like the Bible. Today’s Christians don’t commit genocide, because Deuteronomy Chapter 7 says so.

tedd's avatar

1) Obviously their response is stupid. Someone on the other end of the planet burned a book… which holy or not is still just a book and is not worth killing and rioting over.

2) We knew they were the type of people who would do that. They’ve proven they’re not on a level where they can react normally to something like that, not to mention they’re easily incited by the incredibly shitty conditions they are unfortunate enough to live in. So what the hell did the book burners expect? Would they also be shocked if their hungry dog ate their food off the counter?

If I infect a bunch of people with ebola, I don’t blame ebola for it when they die…. it just did what I already knew it would.

Harold's avatar

@marinelife – I would be very surprised if even the most rabid fundamentalist Christian would do that. I think the response in Afghanistan is deeper than that.
@mattbrowne – yes, no disagreement.
@tedd – you are correct- it was predictable that this would happen. Hence my question- was the book burning done to insite the riot and thus in a warped way prove a point?

tedd's avatar

@Harold In my opinion all it proves is that Afghanistan is in a state of incredible civil unrest. There are more muslims living in the United States than Afghanistan…. how many riots occurred here? How about Germany, which has one of the largest muslim populations in the world, any riots there? How about even the major muslim countries, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia??.... Any of them?

Harold's avatar

@tedd – Maybe, but don’t you think that is because of the Taliban, who are an extremist Muslim organisation?

tedd's avatar

@Harold Don’t I think the instability is because of the Taliban?

The instability in Afghanistan is for a whole host of reasons, one of which is definitely the Taliban. But even the US backed government is full of corruption. There hasn’t been an effective, non-cruel/corrupt government in Afghanistan for probably 100 years. The infrastructure is non-existent, education to only a small portion, natural resources, etc. The country is one of the most unstable on the planet and looks to be that way for some years, even if the US backed government cleans up all its corruption and the Taliban disappear.

If you mean was the rioting and stuff their fault, I’m sure they helped yes. But not even many of the other muslim extremist groups protested. What about Hezbolla?

thorninmud's avatar

Muslims living in the US have the benefit of knowing first hand that Jones is an outlier, that he doesn’t represent “Christianity” as a whole, that he’s disavowed by most other Christians. They have a perspective that Muslims in Afghanistan can’t have, because their perception of the Christian West is based on what percolates down through the layers of media and hearsay and fanatical spin.

But we suffer from the same lack of perspective, if not to quite the same degree. A westerner living among a predominantly Muslim population is unlikely to think of Muslims as a bunch of militant fanatics, because they’ll personally know too many counter-examples. But someone in Topeka who’s only knowledge of Muslims comes through Fox news will have quite a different view.

Brian1946's avatar


“Christian fundamentalists would not storm the United Nations Building in New York and murder several innocent people.”

Christian extremists such as some members of the Branch Davidians have murdered US ATF agents, and others such as Eric Rudolph and Scott Roeder, have murdered innocent people in attacks at the 1996 Summer Olympics and other places.

tedd's avatar

@thorninmud That is one thing an Afghan veteran buddy told me once. People in places like Afghanistan have been living under oppression and without freedom of speech for so long that they literally cannot grasp the concept of freedom we have here in the United States or in Europe. They see people burning their holy book, which in many cases is the only source of inspiration they have in their lives, and in their understanding it must be our government having or even just allowing them to do it, or we must all feel that way in this country. They don’t grasp that people have the right to do it here, even if the vast majority of us think its deplorable.

Mikewlf337's avatar

I do not agree with the Koran burning. I do however find it interesting how Islamic Extremist react when the get a taste of their own medicine. They burn Bibles.They destroy thousand year old religious artifacts that are not Islamic. It proves something. It proves that they think it is ok to burn sacred text and destroy sacred artifacts of other religions but it isn’t ok for anyone to do the same for them.

tedd's avatar

@Mikewlf337 Agreed, but I think extremists of any religion would probably react the same way. I care far more about how the muslim masses react, and I’ve yet to see even a protest here in the US.

ETpro's avatar

I don’;t think Terry Jones was right to do it. But I also don’t think it was right for the Taliban to dynamite the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan either. And the thought that they would kill 22 innocent people in reprisal for one idiot half way around the world burning a cheap book that can easily be replaced tomorrow; while they think the whole world should just let them desecrate ancient and irreplaceable religious symbols as long as they aren’t Islamic symbols. that tells me something about the depth of their religious intolerance and hatred.

Further, the fact that Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a speech claiming that The Quran was burnt for Obama. speaks volumes about the whole Afghan effort. That speech, and the reaction it triggered, tells me that all our efforts in the past 10 years have gotten us nowhere in Afghanistan.

Bush let Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden slip through his fingers so he could gin up the war he really wanted in Iraq. Ten years, 2400 coalition lives and closing in on a trillion dollars, and what have we accomplished? How close is Afghanistan to being a stable democracy? How many more decades would it take? How many lives. How many trillions more?

Harold's avatar

@ETpro – excellent response. Totally agree.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Brian1946 – Very few exceptions here, maybe two incidents every decade (killing abortion doctors or launching molotov cocktails inside the Parisian Saint Michel movie theater because it was showing ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ though nobody was killed, would be other examples). This was different centuries ago, for example when Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake as a heretic. Insulting Islam today will get people killed. Insulting Christianity today won’t get people killed. Anti-religious people should refrain from distorting this fact. The evidence is out there.

In some countries like Pakistan, a US ally, it’s even the law

“In October 1990, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) ruled that § 295-C was repugnant to Islam by permitting life imprisonment as an alternative to a death sentence. The Court said “the penalty for contempt of the Holy Prophet . . . is death.” The FSC ruled that, if the President did not take action to amend the law before 30 April 1991, then § 295-C would stand amended by its ruling.”

It’s even worse in Saudi-Arabia or Yemen or Sudan.

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