Another copy of the Koran gets damaged (OK, destroyed), and rioting Muslim mobs on the other side of the world kill random non-Muslims in response. Yet, the focus seems to remain more on condemning the person who destroyed the copy of the book, instead of those who are killing human beings, and those religious leaders who are encouraging them to do so. As Robert Spencer says:
Everyone seems to take it for granted that if Muslims are offended, they will murder innocent people, and that instead of calling that irrational violence what it is, we should take pains not to offend Muslims, and blame those causing the alleged offense to the Muslims for the irrational violence.
Do we just go through the same cycle again this time? Do we simply wait for it to happen again without trying to change the way this issue is framed? People who don’t like Islam will sometimes damage or destroy Korans to express their point of view. It’s a crass and, I think, a counterproductive way of contending with an ideology and theology which one opposes, but — in the United States at least — it certainly cannot be outlawed.
At some point, we (and by that I especially mean our spokespeople in government) need to react to events like this not by seeming to validate the primitive, irrational and murderous behavior of these mobs and their mullahs, but by taking the opportunity to strongly emphasize the non-negotiable nature of the right of free expression in this country, and by condemning instead the concept of murdering people because they simply don’t share your religion. At some point, in other words, we have to stick up for what’s true, and attempt to convince others of that truth, instead of distorting what we claim to believe in the name of appeasing savage and bloodthirsty morons.
When will that point arrive?