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01 April 2011


So, remember how Pastor Terry Jones promised not to burn the Koran? And remember how he did it anyway?

Well, here's an update from the New York Times.

Protesters angered by the burning of a Koran by a fringe American pastor in Florida mobbed offices of the United Nations in northern Afghanistan on Friday, killing ten foreign staff members and beheading two of the victims, according to an Afghan police spokesman.

This is horrific.

The attack began immediately after Friday morning prayers, the mob apparently forming as worshippers exited their mosques. Although it's only a guess, that certainly smells like incitement to me.

I think that it bears mentioning that there is a difference between explanation and exculpation. The fact that these events were directly related to Pastor Jones' actions in no way serves to excuse the insane, fanatical murderers who massacred people who were completely unrelated to the event that they were protesting.

I'm not planning to burn any holy books any time soon. I remain committed to freedom of speech, and I hope that I live to see a world in which burning your own property is not considered sufficient justification for murder.


  1. This news greatly saddens me, even though I am not a theist, I would much rather learn about other peoples beliefs by reading their religious texts rather than burning them. I don't think there is ever a good justification to symbolically destroy a particular set of ideas in this manner, no matter how you feel about them.

  2. I understand. I also have no interest in symbolically destroying ideas. If I had a copy of the Koran, I wouldn't burn it. I haven't burned any of my Bibles.

    That said, I'm concerned that people are going to "blame" Jones for these deaths. I think that the blame falls squarely with those who committed the murders, and I don't think that burning a book qualifies as incitement.

    Jones was being a dick, no question, and if he had reason to believe that this sort of thing would happen, he was being a dangerously irresponsible dick.

    But I was honestly surprised by this reaction. I don't know why. I suppose that I shouldn't have been.

  3. I also agree, Jones is not directly responsible for these deaths, however these deaths do correlate with his recent actions. Murder is certainly not the correct way to respond to a book burning, and the fact that they did respond in this fashion... well... it doesn't say too many good things about their morality.

    Lets just hope that people will not react violently to Jones.