Gads! The point of book burning, in a day of mass produced books and internet publishing, is completely lost on me. All you are doing is making a statement that you don’t like what is written in the book, and there are more effective ways of doing that. The simplest of all being to start your own blog. (There are so many blogs in existence at the moment that one person’s words get lost in the many that are published, but, hey, my neighbor has a blog, why not me?)
If you will notice, though, most of the books from the first to now that get burned are of a religious nature. (Hitler had a bent that was more wide spread, but we can always hope he was a true anomaly.) When it wasn’t religious writings that were being burned, it was often scientific journals and papers that challenged the seat of power of a religion, so, direct or not, there is a connection.
Recently, a proponent of Christianity, (not a mainline preacher, let me be clear) is said to have burnt 10 copies of the Quran. His message, apparently, that this book did more harm than good. Now, I do not practice the Muslim faith, nor intend to in this lifetime, but, even though there are practices among the Muslims that I don’t care for; the veiling of women being primary; there are many teachings in the Quran that do well to be read by any peace loving servant of the Most High. A direct quote from a translation of the Quran, “And what will explain to you what the steep path is? It is the freeing of a (slave) from bondage; or the giving of food in a day of famine to an orphan relative, or to a needy in distress. Then will he be of those who believe, enjoin fortitude and encourage kindness and compassion.” Chapter 90, Verses 12-17 teaches the very thing that is the cornerstone of everything I stand for. How can I revile such a book?
All I would ask of any faith would be that compassion be one of the true cornerstones in the practice of that faith. It would seem that that particular requirement is met in the text of the Quran. So why burn it? What was the point in burning 10 copies of a book that has many thousand copies dispensed throughout the world? It cannot be in the hope that folks will not read it. In fact, the reverse is true of many of my contemporaries, put a book on the banned list, and we will read it just to find what you would burn in it. One must presume, since the man calls himself a Christian, that part of the point was to draw folks away from this particular path. Why? The mainline Islamic teachers do not espouse the flaming rhetoric of the jihadists, and furthermore, the more I explore this faith, the more I see that much of the fiery spewings are in all likelihood, misdirection from the “Great Jihad” an intensely personal battle that has nothing to do with taking up arms against one’s fellow man.
I guess the question is, since the preacher wants a reaction, how do we react? I wasn’t going to spend anything on books this month, but it seems that I will just have to go out and buy a paper copy of the Quran, my computer version won’t make quite the same statement about my thoughts on burning books.