This whole nonsense about that knucklehead in Florida who wants to burn the Koran on 9/11 has really been bothering me. No, I do not think it is a good idea, and yes I think he deserves a kick in the keister.
That having been said I want to make a few other points.
First: none of us was burning the Koran nor doing anything else incendiary on 9/10/01 that would have supplied the justification for Arab murderers to kill 3,000 innocent people in New York who were just going about their business on that sunny September day. So let's be honest: people in America can burn the Koran or not burn the Koran, but radical Islamists are going to hate us. Cowering before them is not a posture I support.
They have chosen to hate us just as anti-Semites have chosen to hate Jews. Loving your neighbor may have an impact in the long run--and will certainly help get you a seat at the right hand of God--but in the short term, no matter how nice we all are and no matter how deep our kowtow, a lot of Americans will continue to be targets of these bad guys.
You don't even have to be an American to be a target. Filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was assassinated by a radical Islamist in Holland because he made a film that was critical of the way Islam treats women.
In a free society it is impossible to keep people from doing legal things that will offend. I didn't like that Neo Nazi march in Skokie a while back, but an ACLU lawyer--himself a Jew--made sure a judge didn't keep it from taking place. And by the way, Jews didn't send in a suicide bomber to kill a bunch of people at the march.
Where are all the American media giants yelling "Stop! Stop! Stop!" when people at foreign rallies burn our president in effigy? Burn our flag? Lynch our soldiers? Kill Western aid workers in Afghanistan who hike miles to bring eye glasses and medicine to the poor? Where is the world outrage to match the kind of outrage and scorn this stupid Koran burning pastor has received? I'm sorry but I haven't heard it.
Radical Islamists shoot hundreds of rockets into Israel from Gaza and Lebanon and Syria and I don't hear a peep out of the world. Why is that, I wonder?
Yes, we in American and the West should be better than those who blow up innocent people in response to some sort of political/religious insult, real or imagined. We should be better than those who assassinate filmmakers whose points of view they don't like. We should be better than those who threaten murder and mayhem against cartoonists out to produce satire. In fact: we are better than that.
Moslems aren't the only people who get their symbols trampled on and their feelings hurt. They are just the only people in the world today who are using violence to protest it and for whom the popular media has crafted a form of justification for it! And like destructive children who hold families hostage with their tantrums, the crazies of Islam now have the rest of the world afraid to do anything that might piss them off.
I would like to see a protest about that. Personally, I'm not going to start wearing a burka, and sitting on a separate side of McDonalds reserved for the lesser sex, and quit driving and voting, just to prove I'm liberal-minded about Moslems.
If we don't watch out, we're going to start looking like Neville Chamberlain. He believed the words of a zealot keen on temper tantrums and came home with "peace in our time" only to discover he had made a very unpleasant deal with the devil.