The recent conundrum over the crazy islamophobic fundie Pastor threatening to burn copies of the Quran in the US has seen a flurry of discussions in the media and blogosphere about whether he has the right to burn a religion’s holy book(he does), whether it is a legitimate expression of personal opinion(debatable), and whether it is a wise move given how little it takes for radical muslims to stir up violence and recruit more suicide bombers.
I disagreed with PZ Myers and others on the issue, who were arguing that this was only an expression of opinion and public criticism.I argued that it was the attempt of an islamophobic fringe loon with a hatred for one particular, already marginalised minority group in the US, namely Muslims, to sow further hatred and intolerance against that group.
Anyway, here’s how it is done properly, and this in my opinion is much more like PZ’s own cracker desecration back in 2008, showing the ridiculousness of religious symbols, and emphasising that noone has the right to not be offended, or to not have their superstitions challenged.
The 12-minute YouTube video, one of more than 90 posted by Mr Stewart, shows the Queensland University of Technology-employed lawyer tearing pages from both books and using the paper to roll what looks to be marijuana cigarettes.
After smoking both he gives marks out of 10 – rating the Bible as a better burner than the Koran.
In his commentary, he said people should just “get over” the burning of books like the Bible or the Koran.
“I guess that’s the point with all this crap,” he said.
“It’s just a f—ing book. Who cares? It’s your beliefs that matter. Quite frankly, if you are going to get upset about a book, you’re taking life way too seriously.”
I approve.See Americans, this is how it’s done !
The Australian media coverage about this has been predictably stupid.
The Brisbane Times has a poll :
Was burning the Quran and Bible disrespectful? It’s currently :
I agree with what someone said on facebook, I would have liked it better if he had also burned a few pages of “The God Delusion”, to make the point clearer that it’s not about religion-hating.Sad to see that he might possibly lose his job over this.
Further update :
Bishop Michael Putney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church, said Stewart had caused pain.
“I think some will get a bit cross with him and others will say what a silly fellow he is,” Bishop Putney, who chairs the Australian Catholic Church’s committee for ecumenism and inter-religious relations, was quoted as saying.
“(Stewart) has caused pain in people and may incite anger in people and I don’t think that’s ever acceptable. I would think his behaviour gives atheism a bad name and I suspect the university will be a little bit embarrassed by what he’s done.”
Err, Mr Putney, causing pain and anger, isn’t that a Catholic specialty ?If that is indeed never acceptable, shouldn’t the Catholic Church dissolve, like, stat ?