I'm sure by now you've all heard about the church in Florida that's going to burn copies of the Quran this Saturday, the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The church has received condemnation from people all over the world; from religious leaders to the President. Sadly, Pastor Terry Jones and his flock still plan on burning the Quran this weekend. And all I can think of is Fahrenheit 451.
Book burning is one of the most offensive and oppressive things in the world. When you burn a book--whether it is a religious text, a political manifesto, or a simple novel--you take away some one's right to think critically. How can you know if a book has either good or bad ideas if you can't analyze the text for yourself? If you burn a book and tell other people, "Trust me, it's for your own good," you're not giving people a chance to use their God-given brains; instead, you're just telling people what to think.
There are plenty of books that, I think, we should be discerning about, like Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto. But would I burn them? No, because they are relics of the past. They might not be pretty relics, but they serve us as reminders of the past. They are warnings not the make the same mistakes again. To burn these books would be to destroy history.
I don't believe in Islam, but I would never burn the Quran. Instead, I think the Quran should be studied with a discerning eye and an analytical mind, just like with any other book. Hopefully Mr. Jones will get the memo soon.
*UPDATE #1: I should point out that I am NOT making a direct comparison between the Quran and Mein Kampf. I'm just talking about books in general, whether they are controversial or not.
*UPDATE #2: The Quran burning has been cancelled!
4 weeks ago