So it's been announced in the last few hours that the planned event on Saturday, September 11th, to hold a mass burning of copies of the sacred Islamic text, the Qur'an, has been cancelled. Which is probably a very good step for the safety of American people in the immediate future, because they were getting some pretty angry responses in the Middle East, and pretty much everyone everywhere, regardless of faith, could agree it was a pretty stupid idea in current times.
The thing is, I see what they were getting at. If people can support the Islamic community centre near Ground Zero on the grounds that America is a free country and people should be allowed to do what they like within reason, even if masses of people object to it, then by the exact same reasoning burning the Qur'an, an act which is gravely offensive to Muslim people, is a perfectly valid thing to do as well. I get that, and I agree that Americans have the right to burn it if they want to. That said, I still reckon it's a fucking stupid thing to do.
The Ground Zero Islamic centre has hardly been met with pacifistic protests and responses from the American people. When you've got things like the attempted murder of a NYC taxi driver for being Muslim, then it's fairly clear things are verging on boiling over. Now this is just for building a community centre. I can understand how people could see that as being disrespectful and would be offended, but ultimately it's not an act that's blatantly intending to offend people. The discussion leading to the planned construction of the community centre did not start off along the lines of "Hey, how can we really piss off bigoted American Christians?" while I find it hard to believe that the Qur'an burning is anything other than a direct attempt to anger Islamic people.
If plans for an Islamic community centre can lead to attempted murders and other attacks on Muslim people in New York, is it not fairly logical to suggest that a direct attack on Islam through burning their sacred texts would not cause far, far more trouble? Just as some people in America seem to hold the belief that those who caused 9/11 represent all Islamic people, there will be those in the Middle East who hold the belief that those people burning the Qur'an represent the entire American people. Even if they don't, they'll still have Al-Qaeda telling them so.
The claimed context of the burning was that it was sending a message to Islam extremist leaders, but even if that's the real intention of the people who have organised it, it doesn't seem to be the intention of plenty of people who have jumped on the bandwagon. I mean, when you're seeing things like this...
...it's hard to really try and claim that most people are using this as anything other than an opportunity to indulge in some good ol' fashioned racial hatred and throw two fingers up in the face of Islam.
A community centre at least has some sort of future benefits for the Islamic people who will presumably use it. A book burning really isn't going to do much good to make up for the absolutely huge amounts of trouble it'd cause. Sure, American people have the right to burn them, but just because you can do something doesn't mean it's a good idea and that you should do it.
The real problem is that there's been media hype now, and the ball has been set rolling, and even if the originators have decided to cancel the event, there's still almost certainly going to be completely fucktarded people out there who will go through with it anyway, will record it, and the videos will be all over the news both in the West and the Middle East by Sunday morning. Personally I wouldn't actually mind if every single person who participates in a Qur'an burning is killed, but I doubt the anger and retaliation is going to be that well-aimed, and it'll most likely be innocent civilians who have nothing to do with it, and troops currently stationed in the Middle East that are going to have to face any consequences.
I also wonder if all of these retarded radical Christians claiming that all Islam strives for is the downfall of Christianity and Western civilisation aren't just of that opinion because that's exactly what they want for Islam and the Middle East. At best it's just pot calling the kettle black.