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die Welt, Germany

Burning the Koran:
Hypocritical Playing With Fire

By Claus Christian Malzahn

Translated By Ron Argentati

2 April 2011

Edited by Heidi Kaufmann

Germany - die Welt - Original Article (German)

You don’t have to go to Afghanistan to cause trouble there. The cornerstone for the latest murders in the Hindu Kush was laid in Florida.

In March 2001, it took the Taliban four days to destroy the mighty 1,400-year-old red sandstone statues of Buddha in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. When the last of the statues disappeared in a roar of explosives, the entire world mourned the loss. All that remains today of the ruined World Heritage Site is a gigantic void; extremist Muslims around Mullah Omar found the statues to be an affront to Islam and they were destroyed. But you don’t have to go all the way to the Hindu Kush in order to stir up trouble there. All one needs is a little lighter fluid, a match, a camera and a Koran, all of which a bunch of Christian extremists in Gainesville, Florida had.

Everything Becomes a Target for Revenge

Heinrich Heine’s character Hassan in his tragedy, “Almansor” said, “This was a prelude only; where they burn books, they will eventually burn people.” Those lines, written in 1821, unfortunately still hold true today. More than a dozen people in Afghan cities were murdered by raging Islamist mobs because a Koran was burned in Gainesville. And please don’t make the mistake of comparing this extremist nonsense in Florida with the Danish newspaper Mohammed caricatures. The Koran burning was fed by the sanctimonious pleasure to stir up trouble. The Danish cartoon competition, in contrast, was intended as a harmless and ironic embracing of Muslim immigrants — admittedly, with unintended consequences.

The burning of that Koran in Florida awoke a destructive rage and a thirst for murder that is targeting anything in Afghanistan that looks in the least “international.” It has targeted United Nations employees, its buildings and an Afghan cameraman. One bunch of extremists lights the fuse, another bunch does the killing and it’s all done in the name of a vengeful God. But this satanic mischief was the work of men, and the constitutionally protected right to burn the Koran was nothing less than incitement to murder.



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