Thursday, September 16, 2010

Qur'an Burning Hits Home

Well, the Florida pastor decided not to burn a Qur'an last Saturday, but somebody in East Lansing did.  While the local Muslim group was out participating in peaceful interfaith work in the community, somebody left a burned copy of the holy text on their property.  Some are calling it free speech, others a hate crime.  Yes, it is symbolic action.  But this Qur'an wasn't just burned on a church's property and left there, it was dumped on the doorstep of the mosque.

I would protect your right to burn a Qur'an or the flag or the Bible or any other heavily symbolic item on your own property, as long as the burning is done within proper guidelines for fires.  Of course, I wouldn't defend your choice as a good one. 

However, that doesn't give someone the right to bring that hateful symbol they've created and shove it in the face of a community that it means a lot to.  As the article linked to above rightly points out, you can't paint a swastika on the walls of the synogogue, you can't burn a cross in the yard of a black church, and, no, you can't leave a burned Qur'an on the steps of the mosque.   Even in a free society your free speech ends where it meets up with other people's property and safety rights.

Beyond all this, however, I'm saddened and disgusted that something like this happened so close to home. 

1 comment:

Robin Edgar said...

"I'm saddened and disgusted that something like this happened so close to home."

Similarly intolerant and bigotted things happenn *within* the Unitarian*Universalist religious community Rev. Cyn. It doesn't get any closer to home than within your own church. . .