Friday, November 26, 2010

Burning the Koran

A BRITISH teenager has been arrested on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after she allegedly burnt a copy of the Koran and posted footage of the incident on Facebook

Burning a book is stupid. It doesn't achieve anything and it brings up images of stupid people burning for example, the American Flag. It might raise anger and it might inflame passions but it doesn't achieve anything.
The Koran is a book with ideas and once an idea is given birth and it takes hold of the imagination, it's impossible to suppress. Think of a rumor and how it can affect a person's reputation.A rumor isn't fact but merely an idea. If we disagree with the ideas of Islam then burning the Koran is an act of desperation and a failure in our ability to think rationally and argue logically. There is much to discuss when considering Islam so why resort to silly gestures? 

It's important these days to be able to distinguish between disagree/disapprove/dislike and hatred.
Note that in the news report the girl is arrested on "suspicion of inciting religious hatred".
So clearly what the British government wants to suppress is hatred while it remains OK to disagree/disapprove/dislike.

If I was a defense counsel I was emphasize the definition and proof of the concept of "hatred". How do you prove somebody feels hatred?
And if we further pursue this concept, it's interesting to consider that  a government would try to control what it's citizens love and hate. That's an ominous idea.
Let's say I hate politicians. If I spoke out against them in general, would that constitute an incitement to hate politicians because I was critical of them?
And if so, would politicians consider a law to forbid such criticism. It wouldn't be the first time that happened.

I think the issue at hand goes well beyond just how we feel about Islam.
I think the issue is about our rights as individuals to express our thoughts and opinions.
Of course burning the Koran is a silly way to go about it.


Jeannie said...

Teenagers do many silly things - largely to get attention.

I think charging her is a silly thing to - likely to inflame the masses who agree with her.

Damien said...


I don't approve of burning the Koran either, or any other holy text, or even any book for that matter, but would she have been arrested for burning a Bible? If burning a Koran is an act of hatred, wouldn't burning a Bible also be one? Yet I have a feeling that the UK authorities wouldn't treat it the same way, if she burned a Bible instead.

Anonymous said...

Nail on the head with this one. Hate speech can be anything. A preacher who preaches against homosexuality can be accused of hate speech.