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Terry Jones Not Responsible For Afghanistan Rampage

My Twitter stream is raging with a debate over Terry Jones’ culpability for the murder spree going on in Afghanistan.

On March 22, the imbecilic preacher with a handful of congregants finally delivered on his promise to burn a Koran, ostensibly to draw attention to his views that the religious tract promotes violence. Yesterday, the cretin proved prescient, when angry adherents to the Koran in the Afghan town of Mazar-i Sharif stormed the UN headquarters and murdered civilian aid workers. The rioting is now in its second day, with another nine people murdered.

The obvious parallel is the wave of murderous rampage that followed the publication of the Danish Muslim cartoons, depicting Muhammad in accurate but unflattering ways.

In both cases, free speech by Westerners offended the sensibilities of  Muslims, with a handful of the most radicalized carrying out murders. In both cases, there was prior warning that said speech might provoke violence. In both cases, a surprisingly large number of people in the West assigned blame for the atrocities to those exercising their right to free speech.

Should Jones have burned the Koran? No. But not because doing so might incite some evil people halfway around the world to commit atrocities against innocents. Rather, he shouldn’t have done it was needlessly hurtful without adding any value to the debate. Indeed, aside from generating publicity for himself, he’s likely generated sympathy for Islam and disdain for churches of his ilk.

But Jones is not the slightest bit culpable for the actions of others. Yes, he was warned that violence might ensue. But we’re not responsible for the evil, illegal actions others might take in response to our freely expressing our thoughts. Even if they’re ill-informed, half baked, bigoted thoughts. If we allow the possible reaction of the most dogmatic, evil people who might hear the message to govern our expression, we don’t have freedom at all. It’s worse than a heckler’s veto; it’s a murderer’s veto.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    So if I walk up to you in a bar, and spit in your face, am I in any way responsible for what happens next?

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  2. James Joyner says:

    Sure. There’s such a thing as direct incitement and fighting words. But there’s no corresponding concept for mere expression of an idea.

    Further, the reaction to Jones’ expression occurred thousands of miles away and ten days later. That further removes the linkage.

    Had Jones gone up to a Muslim, snatched his Koran, and set it ablaze, I’d not blame the man for punching him in the face. Repeatedly, even. But if he found some random guy with a mustache a week later and killed him? I wouldn’t blame Jones.

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  3. george says:

    So if I walk up to you in a bar, and spit in your face, am I in any way responsible for what happens next?

    The Saudi’s burn Bibles all the time (as they themselves state). So if an American mob goes and kills seven middle easterners in the US, it will be the fault of the Saudi’s, right?

    For that matter, if a man sees a woman dressing what they consider provocatively, its that woman’s fault if the man goes and rapes a different woman, right?

    Its not illegal to burn books, including the Koran, in America. The UN people killed had no link to Jones. And the mob are human beings capable of taking responsibility for their own actions. Jones sounds like a real idiot, but he has no responsibility for what happened.

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  4. Guest says:

    People always ask how we can tell the “moderate Muslims” from the radicals, well I think he may have just f

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  5. john personna says:

    I am not a cultural relativist. I have my own idea of higher morality, and I certainly put non-violence high up on that scale.

    But I’m not willing to suspend cause-and-effect. Jones should certainly feel like shit right now, but he probably doesn’t. You know why?

    He’s got you all down on the Afghans.

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  6. john personna says:

    Another thing to remember is that in a sense Jones and (some) Afghans got what they wanted.

    They together form a bad dynamic, with feedback.

    I think it’s proper to say both Jones and violent Afghans are evil. And yeah, they feed off each other.

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  7. Tano says:

    No. But not because doing so might incite some evil people halfway around the world to commit atrocities against innocents.

    Hmm. So let me see now. If there were some emotionally unstable person living in your neighborhood who had a tendency to fly into murderous rages if anyone called him “dumbo”, and then you saw the guy when he was in a crowd somewhere and you taunted him by calling him “dumbo”, and lots of people ended up getting hurt – you would have no responsibility?

    This pastor is doing evil. He knew perfectly well that his actions would lead to grievous harm being done, most likely to innocents. He did what he did precisely because he wanted those terrible things to happen. How on earth can you be so morally blind as to pretend that he is somehow not culpable?

    He was a very conscious agent intentionally manipulating a situation that he knew would lead other evil people to act violently. He is every bit as culpable as they are.

    But we’re not responsible for the evil, illegal actions others might take in response to our freely expressing our thoughts.

    That is quite obviously an inaccurate statement. One can be held liable for incitement, if the violent acts of others follow imminently and predictably from one’s free speech. Whether this case qualifies under those standards can be debated; it is not as clear cut as you make it out to be.

    If we allow the possible reaction of the most dogmatic, evil people who might hear the message to govern our expression, we don’t have freedom at all

    If by “governing our expression” you are referring to legal sanctions, then yes, I recognize that there are dangers to freedom if the actions of others are too quickly or tightly tied to one’s previous expression. Once again though, I don’t think this case is as clearly within the boundaries as you claim. In any case I think it rather clear that. the “pastor”, if not legally responsible for these acts, sure as hell is morally responsible, and should be treated as such by all of us.

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  8. george says:

    He’s got you all down on the Afghans.

    That presupposes that it was his fault.

    Look, in America doctors who perform abortions have been killed because of the feelings of religious fanatics. Do you believe it was the doctor’s own fault – ie they should have taken the religious feelings of others into account? And this is even worse – the people killed have no link to Jones at all, other than being foreigners.

    For my part, I think the killings have more to do with not wanting foreigners in Afghanistan than the Koran burning; its seen by many as an occupying force. We really have to rethink what we’re doing in there.

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  9. george says:

    Hmm. So let me see now. If there were some emotionally unstable person living in your neighborhood who had a tendency to fly into murderous rages if anyone called him “dumbo”, and then you saw the guy when he was in a crowd somewhere and you taunted him by calling him “dumbo”, and lots of people ended up getting hurt – you would have no responsibility?

    If Jones had been in Afghanistan burning their books the analogy might make sense. But he wasn’t there, and it wasn’t their books he was burning. The analogy is more that if the emotionally unstable person saw a TV show where someone called someone else ‘dumbo’ and went into a murderous rage, would the producers of the TV show be responsible?

    And are you really calling the Afghan population emotionally unstable? So, does that mean they’re unable to govern themselves, or make decisions for themselves? You realize of course that that’s a page right out of “the white man’s burden”

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  10. Charles Martel says:

    “If there were some emotionally unstable person living in your neighborhood who had a tendency to fly into murderous rages if anyone called him “dumbo”…”

    This is how someone apologizing for Islamists characterizes muslims? Wow.

    My take: someone like the person described needs to be locked away in a mental hospital.

    I wonder if the pastor-bashers also blame Rushdie for the violence that resulted from his novel.

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  11. john personna says:

    George, these violent Afghans said Jones was their trigger.

    Isn’t it kind of odd for Americans to go through these contortions to ignore that?

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  12. john personna says:

    If you think putting blame on Jones removes any from the killers, you are morally stunted.

    Jones can have some responsibility, without removing any whatsoever from the killers, or the violent society that spawned them.

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  13. Tano says:

    And are you really calling the Afghan population emotionally unstable?

    That is just dumb George. The violent acts there are not being committed by “the Afghan population”.

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  14. John Curran says:

    Freedom of speech does have limits, as Justice Holmes noted in his famous remark about shouting fire in a crowded theater. The Islamic world is a crowded theater and Mr. Jones knew his action would likely result in violence. I challenge him to exercise his right to freedom of speech by burning his next Koran in a public space in Karachi. He doesn’t have the balls to do this, which means he is not as stupid as he looks.

    Is he legally culpable? No. But is he morally culpable? That is a more difficult question to answer. When you say something that you know will inflame others, do you have an obligation to use better judgment? People were murdered because of what he did. We have no way of bringing them to justice and under Sharia law, what they did was OK, since the people killed were infidels. Mr. Jones gets to have it both ways: he exercises his rights and then claims no responsibility for what he said because the people who did the killing are not under his control. A tidy little argument.

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  15. Tano says:

    This is how someone apologizing for Islamists characterizes muslims? Wow.

    Wow indeed. What kind of nutcases are coming out of the woodwork here?
    Apologizing for Islamists? Are you out of your fricken mind?

    A characterization of “muslims”???

    Your rhetoric here is such over the top dishonest bs, it deserves no further response.

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  16. john personna says:

    “And are you really calling the Afghan population emotionally unstable?”

    I’ll answer “sure” to this. They are not part of our system (laws + civil society). To us they are going to look really emotionally unstable.

    That said, some of our Laker’s post-game rallies have gotten kind of crazy. Good thing no one grabbed a gun.

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  17. [...] James Joyner warns today about acknowledging the “murderer’s veto”: Should Jones have burned the Koran? No. But not because doing so might incite some evil people halfway around the world to commit atrocities against innocents. Rather, he shouldn’t have done it was needlessly hurtful without adding any value to the debate. Indeed, aside from generating publicity for himself, he’s likely generated sympathy for Islam and disdain for churches of his ilk. [...]

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  18. john personna says:

    Wow, in that little “Hot Air” blurb it says “he’s likely generated sympathy for Islam and disdain for churches of his ilk.”

    That’s not at all what he got in his comments stream:

    “And the psycho Muhammadans are big-time cult members.

    The Cult of Death.”

    As I say:

    “Another thing to remember is that in a sense Jones and (some) Afghans got what they wanted.

    They together form a bad dynamic, with feedback.”

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  19. John Burgess says:

    While I’ll agree that determining what to do based on what possible reactions might ensue is not an issue of moral culpability, I think doing so when knowing the probable reactions a different matter. It’s not as though Jones were unaware of the likelihood of this response, after all.

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  20. John Burgess says:

    @ George: Citation please for Saudis saying they burn Bibles? Any context for it you might have would be welcomed, too.

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  21. Guest says:

    People are always asking how to tell the “moderate” Muslims from the radical ones. I think he might have just found a way?

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  22. [...] The West should stand for freedom of expression. If we allow the possible reaction of the most dogmatic, evil people who might hear the message to go… [...]

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  23. Guest says:

    A lot of what happens in Muslim countries would offend American values, yet we don’t use that as a reason to attack Muslims in our country.

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  24. Nick says:

    James:

    Assume you know that by my burning a Koran, a Muslim man is going to cut the throat of your mother (or your children), or even that it’s highly probable, and you also know that I know that:

    Are you still going to be so insouciant about the result of my practicing my rights to free speech after the death of your mother/children?

    In your first responsive comment above you acknowledge fighting words and direct incitement as justifications for violence. In this case it’s simply a matter of proximity of cause.

    People died, predictably, because this fool exercised his rights to free speech. His response: Proves my point. He’s not only a fool, he bears some culpability. Perhaps not in a court of law, but certainly in a moral sense.

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  25. wr says:

    “A lot of what happens in Muslim countries would offend American values, yet we don’t use that as a reason to attack Muslims in our country.”

    Nope. We use it as an excuse to attack them in their own countries. Much safer for Americans that way, and we get to keep the oil. Ask President Trump.

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  26. matt says:

    So if I walk up to you in a bar, and spit in your face, am I in any way responsible for what happens next?

    Spitting on someone is considered an assault according to the law in most areas and as such any response could be considered self defense..

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  27. john personna says:

    “Spitting on someone is considered an assault according to the law in most areas and as such any response could be considered self defense..”

    Right. We (western law) made it that way not because the spitting itself is injurious, but because we know that it is the initial act which triggers greater violence and harm.

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  28. [...] James Joyner points out how this is a replay of the Danish Cartoon debacle. In both cases, free speech by Westerners offended the sensibilities of Muslims, with a handful of the most radicalized carrying out murders. In both cases, there was prior warning that said speech might provoke violence. In both cases, a surprisingly large number of people in the West assigned blame for the atrocities to those exercising their right to free speech. [...] [...]

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  29. Todd says:

    John Burgess says:
    Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 10:34
    @ George: Citation please for Saudis saying they burn Bibles? Any context for it you might have would be welcomed, too.

    Can’t cite the Saudis myself, although I have read multiple places this happens. I think it has to with the fact any other religion is banned in Saudi Arabia, hence no other places of worship other the mosques.

    What I can site is this:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/1326063/After-1700-years-Buddhas-fall-to-Taliban-dynamite.html

    Now I can’t find any instance if even a single Muslim being killed for this anywhere. And I can’t find an instance if a single Afghan Mullah saying that this was wrong to do. Seems a bit more wrong then burning a paperback book in the middle of now where Florida, no?

    Yelling fire in a crowded theater is dangerous because people may die trying to escape a fake physical danger. To compare it to this situation shows a complete lack of depth in thinking. There a barbaric practitioners of many religions, but it seems that some are worse then other based on sheer numbers of deaths. I leave it to you to figure out which one I’m talking about.

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  30. john personna says:

    We know the world has different value systems. Even if we think ours is superior, we have choices about how we engage with the others.

    We can push, or we can stand back and hold ours as separate and better.

    Jones is dangerous because he wants not only to push, but to draw others with him. He wants culture war. He is united, whether he admits it or not, with those on the other side who also want culture war. Did bin Laden send him that Koran? Why wouldn’t he?

    Stupid people allow themselves to be manipulated by Jones and bin Laden, and take a side, rather than calling both out as destructive, and evil.

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  31. mattt says:

    What Tano said. There is a well established exception to the right of free speech for incitement. No reply from James on this point?

    Are the Afghan imams who preached rage in response to Jones’ act also guiltless? I haven’t read where any of them directly ordered the murders, so I guess they’re off the hook too.

    And of course responsibility is not a zero sum game. Calling Jones to account does not absolve the Afghan murderers of anything.

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  32. anjin-san says:

    This guy wanted a reaction, and he got it. I am not ready to give him a pass.

    Well, now he is famous, which seems like the be all, end all in right wing politics. So I guess he got what he wanted. The cost was pretty damn high.

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  33. mantis says:

    If one of the family members of those murdered UN workers finds a way to murder Jones in turn, is that the fault of the Afghan murderers?

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  34. John Burgess says:

    @Todd: Yes, I’ve seen it asserted elsewhere, too. The trouble is, I can’t find anything approaching a citation I consider valid. I’ve certainly seen Bibles in the KSA–along with Torahs and Vedas–and know that official Saudi policy is not to proscribe them for private use.

    I do know, too, that bulk shipments of Bibles–interpreted as being brought in for the purpose of proselytizing–do get banned and perhaps this is where they might be burnt. Similarly, proselytizers get deported after, usually, being jailed.

    I’m still looking for an authoritative source that confirms Bible-burning, though.

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  35. Not John says:

    For the moment I will just add this. The Koran is this monstrous book written by the mouthpiece of a sadistic god who calls for our destruction. What is the proper response on our part to this book? To reject it completely. To burn a copy of the Koran is a perfect symbolic expression of our total rejection of this monstrous book. This is what Jones understands and what so few others understand. And why don’t they understand it? Because they don’t totally reject Islam. Consider Robert Spencer. Does Spencer totally reject Islam? Not at all. For all his withering critiques of “supremacist Islam” (rarely or never of Islam itself), his writings assume a future in which Islam is allowed to remain in our society and keeps getting stronger and more numerous among us while we keep reading about it and debating about it and complaining about it and asking rhetorical questions about when it will reform itself.

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  36. Not John says:

    From the website of Terry Jones’s Dove World Outreach Center, an article dated September 2 on “Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran.” And here is a follow-up: “Five More Reasons to Burn the Koran.”
    At the very least, one must say that Jones’s planned act is not mindless. He is performing a certain act, and he has laid out his reasons for performing it. His reasons are that Islam is anti-Christ, anti the West, anti liberty, and anti human decency. His view is that Islam is a danger to everything we cherish and everything we are. By burning a Koran, he is expressing his complete rejection of Islam, and causing other people to think about why he is rejecting Islam. Since I myself believe and have frequently stated that Islam does not belong in the West, how can I condemn a man who is expressing the same idea through a strong symbolic act? An act that is not illegal and is not harming anyone. An act that will force people to think—is Islam the enemy of ourselves and of everything we cherish, or not? Does Islam belong among us, or not?

    People are saying that the Koran burning will cause Muslims to kill innocent people. Perhaps it will. But the Danish cartoons caused Muslims to kill innocent people. Islam demands aggressive war against non-Muslims, including the killing of innocents, because from the Muslim point of view there is no such thing as an innocent non-Muslim. The clearest and most frequently repeated message of the Koran, appearing on almost every page, is that all non-Muslims are guilty of the monstrous crime of rejecting Allah and his prophet, and thereby deserve death and eternal torture. Why should we respect such a book? Why should we respect such a religion? Sooner or later, people in the West (and people in the non-Muslim world generally) must come to recognize the nature of Islam. They can have that recogition sooner, and prevent much violence, or they can have that recognition much later, only after Muslims have gained substantial power over our societies and get in a position to harm anyone who opposes them. My view is: the sooner the truth comes out, the better; the sooner things come to a head, the safer we will be.

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  37. matt says:

    Apparently Not John has never actually read the old testament or even some aspects of the new testament.

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  38. Not John says:

    Apparently matt has never read the Koran.

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  39. Not John says:
  40. G.A.Phillips says:

    Citation please for Saudis saying they burn Bibles? Any context for it you might have would be welcomed, too.

    http://plancksconstant.org/blog1/2010/09/muslims_burn_bibles_routinely_and_often.html

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  41. Terrye says:

    This is America and Jones has the right to burn a Koran..or a bible or a flag, but this was a stupid and careless thing to do. Selfish little man.

    And if he is not responsible for the violence because he did not actually kill anyone himself…then the people who live in Afghanistan and did not take part in this violence are not responsible either. But I see all kinds of people blaming the whole religion. Jones himself said smugly, that this just proves his point. So in other words, he is not responsible because he did not wield a knife or shoot a gun, but the same can not be said for the Muslims who did not take part in the violence.

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  42. Terrye says:

    Not John:

    What about the Muslims who did not kill anyone? Do we hate them too?

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  43. PD Shaw says:

    The Holmes analogy is misplaced. Since when did someone shout fire in a crowded theatre and a group of attendees start beheading the ushers ten days later?

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  44. PD Shaw says:

    John Personna: “So if I walk up to you in a bar, and spit in your face, am I in any way responsible for what happens next?”

    If James Joyner murders you (or someone else), Joyner is a murderer and you are in no way responsible for that.

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  45. Not John says:

    No Terrye I don’t hate muslims I hate Islam.

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  46. bernie says:

    @ohn personna:

    The correct analogy is: “So if I walk up to you in a bar, and spit on a photo of your face, am I in any way responsible if you kill 9 unrelated people in another bar?”

    Now what do you say?

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  47. John Burgess says:

    @ G.A. Philips: I asked for authoritative sources. I’d settle for ones not already having an anti-Islam one. The ones you pointed to are neither.

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  48. Silver Thread says:

    I am compelled to agree with Not John.

    Not John wrote “By burning a Koran, he is expressing his complete rejection of Islam, and causing other people to think about why he is rejecting Islam. Since I myself believe and have frequently stated that Islam does not belong in the West, how can I condemn a man who is expressing the same idea through a strong symbolic act?”

    It is exactly that Not John… “a strong symbolic act.”

    As a undergrad in a Speech Communications class, I used a similar approach to have my colleagues question how far they were willing to protect the first amendment. My speech contained elements that provoked anger but was created to ask ourselves, to what extent are we willing to protect freedom of speech and more importantly, “what speech are we willing to protect?” The responses to my appeal were unanimous, we all want to keep the First Amendment completely intact.

    Isn’t that what the core of this argument is about? The freedoms we exercise by being a United States Citizen? Throughout history, there has always been a knucklehead like Terry Jones who will throw a wrench in the mix to challenge the status quo. These instances are often appear negative but they do offer an opportunity to reevaluate among many things, our privileges and rights.

    Is Terry Jones responsible for the deaths in Afghanistan? No. He merely exercised his right.

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  49. steve says:

    Jones had the right to do what he did. It does mean that we should probably get all non-military out of Afghanistan ASAP. I agree with Foust that this tells us there is probably a lot of anger in the general population over our occupation. We should accept that COIN is over.

    Steve

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  50. Pete Hill says:

    Terry Jones is an idiot. He knew the reaction that would evoke in fanatics and choose to sacrifice lives to prove his point. Anyone that listens to this fool is as delusional as he.

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  51. george says:

    John: No, I don’t have any authoritative sources, any more than I have authoritative sources that say the US has done torture (officially its ‘just’ waterboarding, not torture). So I overstated it in that regard; I’ll recant what I said, and restate it as :”There is evidence that the Saudi’s burn Bibles”. There is also evidence that various middle eastern states have burn American flags (again nothing authoritative) , which is a symbolic act similar to the burning of the Koran or the Bible. In either case, the actions didn’t result in a mob in the US going out and killing uninvolved people; however I’d argue that if a mob had done so, it wouldn’t have been the fault of the flag or Bible burners.

    Tanos: You’re right, the acts aren’t being undertaken by the Afghan people (note I wasn’t the one who called them emotionally unstable, I was just questioning calling them that). The acts were undertaken by a small group of emotionally unstable people. So, unless its Jones fault that there are some emotionally unstable people, I don’t see how its his fault, any more than its a woman’s fault if some man sees her, finds what she wears provocative, and goes out and rapes some totally unrelated woman. Basically, if the people involved had tried to kill Jones (sort of like the price put on Rushdie’s head) then you might argue that that he was at fault for them targeting him. But they went off after completely unrelated, innocent people – that’s an act of insanity, and I don’t see how its his fault.

    In any case, I think the mob killings have much more to do with protesting the armed occupation of Afghanistan than burning the Koran. So if I was going to put blame on people other than the mob itself (which I think is actually patronizing the mob, as it suggests they have no free will or reason), I’d put the blame on us being there, which means both our elected officials, and those of us who voted them in (both Bush and Obama).

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  52. john personna says:

    Strange responses to me … strange because they deny what we know was actual cause and effect. Jones burned the Koran to get a rise out of Muslims, and Muslims citing Jones went nuts and killed people.

    Build all the all the alternate hypothetical you want, but I see them as stunted morality.

    You treat shades of gray as black and white “fault” – like six year-olds.

    “It’s not his fault” you say.

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  53. matt says:

    Not John :

    Apparently matt has never read the Koran.

    Oh I’ve read the Koran and it’s full of the same stupid as the Bible or the Torah or any number of “holy” books written by men claiming to speak for god..

    I don’t care to click your links because I really don’t care to read your bigoted bullshit or give your bigoted friends any hits. When you pull the beam out of your own eye you might have room to talk..

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  54. matt says:

    Oopsie was referring to your Christian religion with the last line. Which I’m assuming you are considering your very stereotypical hatred..

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  55. Brad says:

    Terry Jones, the bigot from FL., is a total bigot. I hold him fully responsible for the riots and deaths.

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  56. Not John says:

    Poor matt. little anger management may help I can give you some links if you want. Personally from what I have read I really don’t believe you have read the Koran , and you don’t know the difference between the Torah and the bible.

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  57. john personna says:

    The fact that this has brought “Not John” out of the woodwork kind of confirms the wider tragedy of this for me.

    Let’s look back at something he said:

    My view is: the sooner the truth comes out, the better; the sooner things come to a head, the safer we will be.

    What do you mean “come to a head?” And how exactly do we get from there to “safer?”

    Do you have a formula to end this strife?

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  58. matt says:

    Poor matt. little anger management may help I can give you some links if you want. Personally from what I have read I really don’t believe you have read the Koran , and you don’t know the difference between the Torah and the bible.

    From what I’ve read you wouldn’t know your head from a hole in the ground.

    Only a special kind of person would find it a great idea to slander 28% of the world while trying desperately to incite a religious war.

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  59. Not John says:

    matt are you in your 20′s yet?

    “Oh I’ve read the Koran and it’s full of the same stupid as the Bible or the Torah or any number of “holy” books written by men claiming to speak for god..”

    matt

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  60. Not John says:

    Islam is a mortal threat to our civilization.
    But we cannot destroy Islam.
    Nor can we democratize Islam.
    Nor can we assimilate Islam.
    Therefore the only way to make ourselves safe from Islam is to separate ourselves from Islam.

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  61. matt says:

    Your mindset is a mortal threat to our civilization. When ignorance reigns supreme there is little hope for advancement as a species..

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  62. george says:

    Strange responses to me … strange because they deny what we know was actual cause and effect. Jones burned the Koran to get a rise out of Muslims, and Muslims citing Jones went nuts and killed people.

    Build all the all the alternate hypothetical you want, but I see them as stunted morality.

    You treat shades of gray as black and white “fault” – like six year-olds.

    “It’s not his fault” you say.

    Odd you’d mention six year olds, because that’s how you’re treating the mob that did the killing. I told my young kids that just because they’re teased, they don’t have to respond. And by the age of ten they knew enough to disregard such obvious enticements. And yet, your argument is that the mob, composed of adults, knew they were being egged on but still went and killed seven individuals who they knew had nothing to do with the burning. If your assessment is correct, they displayed less control and intelligence than your average child, who would not only not go after an innocent person, but would stop long before murder.

    Like I said, if the mob went out and tried to find a way to kill Jones (putting a price on his head) then you might have a case that he was self-responsible, in the same way you could argue that Rushdie went looking for trouble and found it. But they went after innocent people a week later – and that’s simply insane, as any sane person would know that the people killed weren’t the ones burning the books. To me that suggests what drove them wasn’t Jones, but something much deeper: what they see as a military occupation. And in that case, the murders, while vile, don’t seem completely insane, as the UN is the ‘occupiers’.

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  63. matt says:

    I wonder how much of the anger has to do with us bombing their country for the last 10 years in comparison to the actual burning..

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  64. Silver Thread says:

    More humor – less anger needed here.

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  65. Tano says:

    Isn’t that what the core of this argument is about? The freedoms we exercise by being a United States Citizen?

    No. I haven’t seen anyone arguing that the government should prosecule Jones and take away his liberty. This has nothing to do with our freedoms.

    Is Terry Jones responsible for the deaths in Afghanistan? No. He merely exercised his right.

    yes, absolutely. Perhaps not in the legal domain,. but certainly in the moral domain. I do not see any reason why any of us should be defending him. He has willfully, knowingly provoked much evil. That is what this issue is about.

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  66. matt says:

    More humor – less anger needed here.

    So God walked into an inn….
    Exodus 4:24

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  67. TG Chicago says:

    @bernie:

    The correct analogy is: “So if I walk up to you in a bar, and spit on a photo of your face, am I in any way responsible if you kill 9 unrelated people in another bar?”

    If you knew full well that spitting on the photo of his face was likely to result in him killing the people in the other bar — and, in fact, that was the result you desired — then yes, you are morally responsible.

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  68. john personna says:

    George, remember what I said above:

    If you think putting blame on Jones removes any from the killers, you are morally stunted.

    Jones can have some responsibility, without removing any whatsoever from the killers, or the violent society that spawned them.

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  69. PD Shaw says:

    It appears that some of you need to come out and say something that politeness precludes you from doing. You need to say that Muslims are the equivalent of the “eggshell” plaintiff, they are like children, who can be reasonably expected to kill innocent strangers upon hearing that a Koran was burned somewhere. They are under a particular disability in which they cannot control their passions even at such a remote place and time from the events.

    I don’t believe this to be true, but I believe John Personna and TG Chicago implicitly must believe it to be true.

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  70. john personna says:

    Amazing how PD can ignore what I said in the post just in front of his:

    Jones can have some responsibility, without removing any whatsoever from the killers, or the violent society that spawned them.

    I guess when you don’t want to hear something, you don’t want to hear it.

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  71. Dissenter says:

    @Tano,

    “[Jones] has willfully, knowingly provoked much evil. That is what this issue is about.”

    Isn’t it interesting that much attention is given Muslim terror when someone like Jones happens along. Ladies and Gentlemen, Muslims need no inducement such as Jones’ stupid action in order to burn Christian churches and Bibles and oppress and kill Christians (or just about anybody); they do these things on an almost daily basis: in Iran, Indonesia, Iraq, Somalia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. In Saudi Arabia one cannot even be visibly Christian. Such killing, pillaging, and burning are the things Islam does, has been doing since the 7th century. Were was such a conversation as this when 21 Coptic Christians were blown to pieces in Egypt a few months ago? And I could ask this kind of question two or three times about every Muslim country listed above. Yet we Americans save our rant for the likes of Jones. God help us!

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  72. [...] agree with James Joyner and Ed Morrissey that the responsibility for the murders that occurred during the rioting in [...]

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  73. PD Shaw says:

    Don’t be so brief, JP, he’s partly reponsible because he should have known Muslims would react this way because the following statements can be said about Muslims:

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  74. george says:

    If Jones is partly responsible, isn’t the news media which reported it just as responsible? After all, if it hadn’t been reported, no one would have known? It seems this kind of moral responsibility spreads pretty far.

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  75. John Curran says:

    There have been some posts here complaining about some who imply or state that people in the Islamic world behave like children. As I read these, I began to think about A Distant Mirror, the great book about the 14th century by Barbara Tuchman. She follows one French noble throughout his life in that dark era and noted that the behavioral actions or most adults, and especially the nobility, was rather like that of an immature adolescent today. They flew off the handle easily, sulked when they could not have their way, and were extremely sensitive to perceived insults. Sound familiar?

    The murder rate in medieval Europe was very high compared to today and has steadily declined since the 14th century. See Pieter Spierenburg. A History of Murder: Personal Violence in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present.

    Many critics of Islam note that much of that community seem stuck in the 14th century or would like to return to the life found there. If this is true, and it may well be, the behavior of those who will eagerly murder unbelievers fits very neatly with Tuchman’s analysis of the behavior in western Europe 700 years ago.

    One well-known example of this problem in the Muslim world is the matter of honor killings of girls and women. Men kill them for reasons that seem childish to modern thinking but are all too brutal and real to those females who cross some boundary that men define. Adult, mature men don’t have boundaries like this, but immature, honor-bound men
    cannot allow women to make their own decisions.

    Whipping a crowd into a murderous frenzy seems pretty easy in some part of the dimmi. This has to be more than simple mob behavior, since the mob has to be formed and told of the transgression and someone has to point to violence as the proper retribution. This is more akin to Lord of the Flies than I like to think.

    Islam clearly needs a Reformation and as a culture needs to grow up. Someone here burns an American flag or a Bible and we accept that as political expression. There is no such acceptance in the majority of the Islamic world, once the agitators start the water boiling.

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  76. TG Chicago says:

    @PD Shaw:

    It appears that some of you need to come out and say something that politeness precludes you from doing. You need to say that Muslims are the equivalent of the “eggshell” plaintiff, they are like children, who can be reasonably expected to kill innocent strangers upon hearing that a Koran was burned somewhere. They are under a particular disability in which they cannot control their passions even at such a remote place and time from the events.

    No, I’m not so bigoted as to paint “Muslims” with a broad brush like you did here. Most Muslims are perfectly capable of putting this in the proper perspective, just like most (but not all) Christians can deal with artwork that involves crucifixes amidst ants, urine, etc.

    However, I do believe that a small but dangerous minority of Islamists are likely to react violently to hearing that a Koran was burned somewhere. Why do I believe such a crazy thing? Because it just happened.

    Call it a “particular disability” if you like. Call it childlike, eggshelled, whatever. But it’s real. Do you deny that it’s real? Do you deny that it was widely predicted by everybody from Obama to Petraeus to Palin that burning the Koran would incite violence?

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  77. matt says:

    John Curran : About 33% of the world is self identified as Christian and about 21-28% of the world self identified as Muslim. So what we’re really discussing here is a tiny percentage of a very large religion. Only about 20% of Muslims actually live in the Middle east with a bit more of that actually living in south Asia (about 25%). So not even half of the worlds Muslims live in the region which is currently seeing severe tribal fighting.

    What you’re complaining about is actually the result of local cultures with Christians Muslims and even Hindus engaging in honor killings in various parts of the worlds. Genital mutilation is another product of local culture that transcends religious beliefs. Clearly to blame the religion ignores the realities on the ground in developing areas. You’re just as likely to be killed in Uganda for burning a Bible as you are for burning a Koran in Afghanistan. As centuries of human history has shown us it’s possible for people to use almost any religion to justify any action on their part.

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  78. Not John says:

    It is anything but Jones’ fault — just as it is anything but the Danish Motoons’ fault, Theo van Gogh’s fault, the Pope’s fault, Dante’s fault, the Fogel family’s fault, Fitna’s fault, the Miss World Pageant’s fault, Israel’s fault, Geert Wilders’ fault, Hirsi Ali’s fault, the Copts’ fault, the Paris police’s fault, Jylland Posten’s fault, Salman Rushdie’s fault, Rushdie’s Japanese translator’s fault, Abdul Rahman’s fault, Lara Logan’s fault, Aaslya Hassan’s fault, yodeling’s fault, Kurt Westergaard’s fault, Voltaire’s fault, homosexuals’ fault, the London Underground’s fault, Tommy Robinson’s fault, the World Trade Center’s fault, Hena Akhter’s fault, the Buddhas of Bamiyan’s fault, the Davis Cup’s fault, Jylland Posten’s fault, Roberto Calderoni’s fault, the Beslan schoolchildren’s fault, Molly Norris’s fault, the 82nd Airborne’s fault … or the fault of any other defender, staunch or incidental, or expression, heartfelt or passing, of or in the faith in God, aetheism, the West, Hinduism, the Reconquista, pork stew, freedom of conscience, dogs, and/or Frank Loesser.

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  79. matt says:

    I should of tossed Buddhists in there as there are some active Buddhist terrorist groups out there. The concept of a Buddhist terrorist blows my mind considering the basis of their religion but like I said earlier people will always find justifications for their actions..

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  80. matt says:

    Not John : I can actually completely agree with your last post :P

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  81. [...] Ed Morrissey notes it’s not his fault, and James Joyner says so too. [...]

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  82. [...] Terry Jones Not Responsible For Afghanistan Rampage (outsidethebeltway.com) Rod of AlexandriaPreacher of Hope | Black Scholar of Patristics | Writer for Nonviolent Politics, Oh, and the Archbishop of Contrarianapolis!Website – More Posts [...]

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  83. john madey says:

    This is the real world, not some idealists version of the way they think the world should work. We have tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians who now face a significantly more dangerous environment as they seek to complete their missions in Afghanistan. The reverend Jones should have been doing what he could to help them complete their mission and come home safely, not insight the flames of religious passion that have now put them at risk. Whether or not he is prepared to accept responsibility for the deaths or injuries they will suffer, the reverend’s foolish actions have needlessly threatened both our mission and the lives of those who now serve in Afghanistan.

    Violent reactions to alleged religious slights have along history in that part of the world – remember the native troops who rebelled against the British because they thought cartridges they had been issued were sealed with pork fat ??? No country can hope to succeed in whatever mission they are set upon if they do not respect those sensibilities.

    You should ask the families of those who have been killed in the riots his actions have incited whether or not he should have simply had the sense – and the consideration – to simply hold his tongue.

    John Madey

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  84. JMB says:

    Sec. Gates, and I believe Gen. Petraeus, personally warned Rev. Jones, last year, that if he burned Korans, the Muslim world would likely take action against our troops and those working for the DOD, UN, NATO, and ISAF. They warned that he would be putting American lives in harms way. They didn’t tell him that he couldn’t do this, they simply told him that this worried them.
    When this was going on, I can tell you, as someone who is and was, at that previous time,”over there”, we were briefed of the possibility of retribution. It didnt happen so much then, but we did take indirect fire, this time, and I can assure you that bad things did happen.
    You can argue until the end of time about his rights and the perfect worlds of the First Amendment and Christianity and Islam, and the rights and responsibilities of each of their adherents, but Jones had been warned that A plus B could equal C, and when it did, no one should be surprised.
    He’s not legally responsible for the killing, by ruthless murderers, and he may not be morally responsible, depending on your morality, I suppose, (I tend to think he is) but I look at it this way: If I go into an African American neighborhood, as a Caucasian, and scream the “N” word at the top of my lungs, for the purposes of showing other Caucasians that people in that African American neighborhood are thugs, and they kick my ass, I have not successfully shown that all African Americans are thugs, I have simply shown that I have too much time on my hands and have no understanding of causation. And if I receive a wide array of television coverage, I have simply shown that our media is ridiculous and, for the most part more provocotive than instructive. And I don’t believe thats as much the media’s as the consumer’s fault. I tend to think that the people get what they deserve. I think the American people like to get worked up over this sort of thing and I think the media knows this.
    As a final comment, I would like to say that even though I would think my hypothetical Caucasian who went to the African American neighborhood was a moron, I would respect that guy for taking his own beating, and when I’m on the ground during an incoming alarm, hoping that I or my friends dont blow up, I have absolutely no respect for a guy doing this stupid and pointless thing a thousand miles away, and I’m wishing that Rev. Jones MF’er his own special place in hell.

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  85. Not John says:

    When a man teases a dog on the other side of a chain link fence– we blame the man for provoking the dog, not the dog for being provoked. Animals have less of everything that makes for accountability. And so don’t hold them accountable. Instead we divide them into categories of dangerous and harmless, and treat them accordingly.

    Our response to Muslim violence in Afghanistan, supposedly touched off by a Koran burning in Florida, uses that same canine logic. The Muslims are dangerous and violent, so whoever provokes them is held accountable for what they do. Don’t tease a doberman on the other side of a chain link fence and don’t tease Muslims on the other side of the border or the world. That’s the takeaway from our elected and unelected officials.

    But the Muslim rioters are not dogs, they are human beings whose moral responsibility is being denied by treating their violence as a reflexive act. Their violence is not unconscious or instinctual– it emerges out of a decision making process. There is nothing inevitable about what happened in Afghanistan. If Muslims had some sort of hair trigger, then why was the violent rioting confined to a very specific part of the world. For the same reason that the reaction to the Mohammed cartoons took so long. And why was it directed at the UN and not the US. The Koran burning was not the cause of Muslim violence– but a rationalization for existing violence that would have occurred anyway for reasons having nothing to do with Terry Jones. And by treating Muslims like the ‘Morally Handicapped’ who have no choice but to kill when something offends them, we are not doing any favors for them or us.

    It is far more insulting to treat Muslims as if they have no ability to control themselves and have no responsibility for their actions– than it is to burn their Koran. That is an assessment that even many Muslims would agree with.

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  86. JMB says:

    This has nothing to do with all Muslims. It’s the story of a wingnut who’s provoking murderous cretins on the other side of the world, knowing the response he’s going to get, and in some way, revelling in the bloodshed, as though its an, “I told you so”.
    In the same way, not all of Christianity here is being blamed for the possibly tens of thousands of abused children that have been molested and passed around and destroyed over recent years, by priests and teachers who work or worked for dioceses like the one in Philadelphia currently being prosecuted. And I don’t blame Christianity for the coverups and billions of dollars in hush money payouts by the Catholic Church that have taken place in the past couple of decades while the church soldiers on. I don’t blame all of Christianity, either, for the bomb recently placed by Catholics that killed the Catholic cop who joined the Protestant force in Ireland.
    This whole deal isn’t a Muslim versus Christian thing. It’s a sadistic/ attention seeking/ potentially money-grubbing guy who likes to mess with the Rotts on the inside of the fence, because he’s outside the fence, in safety, all the while getting egged on by the attention of the broken media and whoever thinks like him. And this metaphorical “Dog” of which you speak often does not have electricity, clean water, money, or food, but does have people on both sides pointing swords and/or guns at him. Of course he’s going to strike out, first, at the people who instigated his current existence. Of course he’s going to look for a reason. It’s common sense. You act as though this “Dog” should be rationally making all his decisions, as though his first couple of sections of Maslow’s pyramid are A-OK.
    I’m not a Muslim or a Christian, or any kind of theist for that matter. I don’t think there’s any black and white solution here. I’m just a guy who’s inside the fence with the Rott, watching all of you play word games about legality and morality and religion from the safety of your own homes, all the while pretending you give a damn about or really understand anyone over here.

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  87. Frank says:

    The MSM and liberal judgement of Rev. Jones is a manifestationof the liberal establishments’ denial mechanism.
    That Muslims routinely riot,rage and rape on a daily basis is a fact of life. That they have
    historical desecrated both Jewish and Christain symbols for centuries is also a fact of history.
    That the media and American Left which embraces and often supports flag burning as a rightful demonstration of freedom of speech,should view the burning of the Koran as a “provocation” is complete:HYPOCRISY!

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  88. Not John says:

    In a stunning act of bipartisan moral cowardice, Harry Reid told the world that he’s considering a “probe” into the Florida pastor who burned a copy of the Koran, while Lindsey Graham announced his belief that Americans should give up their First Amendment rights to avoid offending Muslims. The irony that this shameful display happened on a show called “Face the Nation” was lost on the spineless appeasers who lack the dignity to feel ashamed when surrendering to barbarians thousands of miles away. In the wake of savages rioting in Afghanistan, two of our senior lawmakers are advocating the implementation of Shariah-like laws to protect one religious document above all others.

    And what would we get in return? The “good will” of the Muslim street? The same “good will” displayed when Palestinians–who live off U.S. aid–danced in the streets after 9/11?

    The European countries that have kowtowed to these barbarians for decades have experienced the “good will” of the Muslim street through the brutal gang rape epidemic in Northern Europe and the out of control Muslim dominated child sex trafficking rings in England. Is this the “good will” we will receive when we abandon our Western values of liberty and free thought at the behest of a corrupt Afghan politician who is stoking anti-American violence?

    The pusillanimity of the Left in the face of Islamic imperialism is almost understandable. The feckless, morally bankrupt European Left has long traded their children’s future for their own comfort, safety and petty Marxist hatreds. For the American Left, their pathological hatred of the West trumps their own hollow rhetoric about freedom. To see people on the Right, even “moderates” like Lindsey Graham, promoting the punishment of those who offend the uncivilized sensibilities of the Muslim street is is more than disgusting. Our leaders, the media, and a significant number of Americans do not understand the threat of Jihad, Islamic Imperialism and the internal drive unreformed Islam has toward world domination.

    Pastor Terry Jones did not, as Time‘s Joe Klein suggests, cause the Koran riots. Islam did. During Friday sermons, Imams told their sheep-like congregations to murder people. These Islamic scholars rallied Muslims to violence. There are reports that Islamic leaders toured cities in cars with loud speakers telling fellow Muslims to riot. How can any rational person see this evil, this madness and conclude that it is we who must conform to their standards?

    Klein finishes his piece with this disgusting bit of hyperbole:

    Jones’s act was murderous as any suicide bomber’s. If there is a hell, he’s just guaranteed himself an afterlifetime membership.
    Burning a book he owned is as murderous as blowing up innocent people? Is this what the West has become?

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  89. JMB says:

    “Islamic Imperialism”? In Europe? That’s beautiful. With that sort of logic, I guess we’ve got Mexican Imperialism going on in the US? And Joe Klein is the West? That’s the first I’ve heard. Sure, Lindsey Graham and Harry Reid’s response to this is moronic. This isn’t a first amendment issue. It’s not about the guy’s freedom to do what he did. It’s about blame, and blame doesn’t have to be completely black and white, one hundred per cent either way, just as no institution, be they government or religion is one hundred per cent perfect or wrong. An institution or religion is only as good or moral, or whatever you want to say, as it’s adherents and people aren’t one hundred per cent perfect. They’re fallible. This Pastor isn’t as responsible as the people who did this, of course not, but he does share the blame. He knew, and was told what would happen if he went through with this action. And with your logic, the “West”, built largely over the past thousand years by adherents of the Christian/Catholic Church is one hundred per cent corrupt, due to the systematic child rape often supported by Church leadership, even currently, not to mention the wars, the raping and pillaging (Serbia, anyone) and other crazy things that have been done in God’s name. And if you want to say, well, this is modern times, then my answer would be that in Afghanistan it’s not. There’s a twelve per cent literacy rate, no infrastructure, and bullets flying all the time. And I’m not defending Islam. I’m not defending Christianity. I’m an American, and I’m neither of those things. America does not equal Christendom. That’s whats driving me crazy, because it seems to be lost in all of this. But, I am really happy that no matter what, the Perfect Right is protecting me from the comfort of their lazy chairs in the US.

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  90. matt says:

    That Christians routinely riot,rage and rape on a daily basis is a fact of life. That they have
    historical desecrated the symbols of other religions for centuries is also a fact of history.

    There fixed it for you. Idiots exist on all divides and I believe the bible says something about a spec or beam in your eye :P

    Shariah-like laws to protect one religious document above all others.

    You’re a complete moron this isn’t a Shariah-like law and you know it (nice job hitting your buzzwords though). This is a terrible proposal for a complete trampling of the first amendment. Jones surely had the right to act like a bigoted moron.

    And what would we get in return? The “good will” of the Muslim street? The same “good will” displayed when Palestinians–who live off U.S. aid–danced in the streets after 9/11?

    I cannot believe how ill informed you choose to be. Yes there were some Muslims dancing in the street but they were by far a minority. There were Christians and Jews dancing in the streets over the attack but you don’t care about those. GASP there’s a lot of people that don’t like the USA for various reasons and they encompass a WIDE variety of religions..

    The European countries that have kowtowed to these barbarians for decades have experienced the “good will” of the Muslim street through the brutal gang rape epidemic in Northern Europe and the out of control Muslim dominated child sex trafficking rings in England. Is this the “good will” we will receive when we abandon our Western values of liberty and free thought at the behest of a corrupt Afghan politician who is stoking anti-American violence?

    You have utterly no idea what you’re talking about. Europe hasn’t kowtowed to Muslims they as a whole have done a variety of things to isolate Muslims from their mainstream societies which is why they have issues with extremism that we don’t have. The reason America has no issues with our Muslim populations are because we integrate them into our society. Which is why the American Muslim population keeps ratting out the few extremists that do pop up here. The rest of your comment is just completely stupid as we have the same issues propagated by a variety of ethnic groups. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t even have citations and are just making shit up by this point.

    The pusillanimity of the Left in the face of Islamic imperialism is almost understandable. The feckless, morally bankrupt European Left has long traded their children’s future for their own comfort, safety and petty Marxist hatreds. For the American Left, their pathological hatred of the West trumps their own hollow rhetoric about freedom. To see people on the Right, even “moderates” like Lindsey Graham, promoting the punishment of those who offend the uncivilized sensibilities of the Muslim street is is more than disgusting. Our leaders, the media, and a significant number of Americans do not understand the threat of Jihad, Islamic Imperialism and the internal drive unreformed Islam has toward world domination.

    Oh great braindead right winger alert WOOT WOOT. Your ability to cram buzzwords and talking points into every sentence is almost admirable but unfortunately it makes your comments nearly incoherent. I mean seriously Islam imperialism? You need a dictionary son or are dictionaries a left wing conspiracy too?

    Pastor Terry Jones did not, as Time‘s Joe Klein suggests, cause the Koran riots. Islam did. During Friday sermons, Imams told their sheep-like congregations to murder people. These Islamic scholars rallied Muslims to violence. There are reports that Islamic leaders toured cities in cars with loud speakers telling fellow Muslims to riot. How can any rational person see this evil, this madness and conclude that it is we who must conform to their standards?

    Islam didn’t cause the riots anymore then Christianity caused the raping of children by priests. The clerics and “our man” Hamid Karzai are the ones that helped cause the riots by exaggerating and laying about the burning of the Koran. IF anything the fact that the leaders went to all this trouble and only Afghanistan responded should be reassuring. Since we’ve been bombing and shooting Afghans for the last 10 years there’s already a lot of built of resentment so I find it no surprise that they could use this to stir the pot to action.

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  91. matt says:

    *but they were by far a minority of the Muslim community.

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  92. Not John says:

    Terry Jones’s action has been the single most bracing and courageous act of rebellion against the suffocating mindless liberalism that infects nearly every American mind. In one dramatic gesture Jones proves that Islam is not a “religion of peace.” In one clarifying act he has demonstrated the utter futility of our Islamic nation-building folly. He has shown how shaky is the house of cards built by liberals–so shaky that one obscure man can make the whole pile of lies tremble. One man can make the entire U.S. command structure get down on their knees to Muslims to beg forgiveness. One obscure man can so alarm the President of the USA that he feels the need to denounce him publicly. It’s an enlightening sight to see. And all because one man has the courage of his conviction that Islam is of the devil, and that we are in great danger, and that it would be a good thing to try and warn us of that danger. And for that generous, decent, and courageous act, what thanks does he get? He has nearly the entire country, an entire country seemingly composed of ingrates, idiots, and mindless lemmings, all denouncing him, questioning his sanity, smearing him, pouring out a sewer of hate and malevolence on his head. The wretches. There is something Christlike in making such a sacrifice for such heartless and brainless ingrates.

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  93. Not John says:

    matt if you really want to educate yourself regarding Sharia Law read this book.

    “Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat Al-Salik”

    http://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Traveller-Classic-Islamic-Al-Salik/dp/0915957728/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1302016210&sr=1-1

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  94. Not John says:
  95. matt says:

    In one dramatic gesture Jones proves that Islam is not a “religion of peace.

    Yes he proved that you can inflame idiots. I imagine you can get a similiar response by running through a black neighborhood while yelling n*gger. You could easily get a similiar response where I live by burning the bible (Texas hehe). The problem is is that Afghanistan is located in lower Asia which contains about 20% of the world’s Muslims. On top of that it’s only in Afghanistan that this occurring so a reasonably intelligent person would look to see what makes this occur in Afghanistan and not in the other Muslims nations in the area. Most reasonable people would probably connect the 10 year war we’ve been waging there as having something to do with this violence.

    You do realize there are 1.7 billions Muslims in the world right? If you were even half right we would be so f*cked as a world it wouldn’t even be remotely amusing…

    I would also like to point out that one man lighting himself on fire started the wave of revolutions currently occurring in the Arab world. Sometimes all it takes is one man with matches….

    I don’t care to read your ignorant links. I will on the other hand provide you with verse 6:108 of the Koran to ponder. Unfortunately the idiots rioting and murdering right now could also use a refresher course starting with that verse..

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  96. Not John says:

    Apparently matt you don’t know who Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib and Noah Ha Mim Keller are. Ignorant hmmm

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  97. George Kirkman says:

    “Rather, he shouldn’t have done it was needlessly hurtful without adding any value to the debate.”

    Rev Jones action has added great value to the debate by getting people talking and making them aware of threat that Muslims and our elected officials are both a threat to our basic freedoms. Despite “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” our senators are going to debate an act that is only illegal under Sharia law.

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  98. George Kirkman says:

    You do realize there are 1.7 billions Muslims in the world right? If you were even half right we would be so f*cked as a world it wouldn’t even be remotely amusing

    There are 1.7 billion Muslims that hold to a belife system that all non-Muslims are inferior and need to be enslaved, converted or killed. Muslims believe that half the worlds population, females, are little more than beast of burdens. Those peaceful Muslims that you speak of will cut the the nose and ears off or throw acid in the face of a disobedient wife, They will kill a 14 year old rape victim for committing adultery. Peaceful Muslims will lock schoolgirls in a burning building, because they don’t have the proper headscarf on.

    There are no radical Muslims just those that practice their religion and those that don’t

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  99. Southern Hoosier says:

    Perhaps we should require all women in America to wear burqas do as not to offend Muslims throughout the world.

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  100. matt says:

    There are 1.7 billion Muslims that hold to a belife system that all non-Muslims are inferior and need to be enslaved, converted or killed.

    Well according to your reasoning there are also 2.2 billion Christians who hold to a belief system that all non-Christians are inferior and need to be enslaved, converted or killed. Does it hurt to be so simple minded or do you have to put effort into reducing your reasoning abilities?

    Muslims believe that half the worlds population, females, are little more than beast of burdens. Those peaceful Muslims that you speak of will cut the the nose and ears off or throw acid in the face of a disobedient wife, They will kill a 14 year old rape victim for committing adultery. Peaceful Muslims will lock schoolgirls in a burning building, because they don’t have the proper headscarf on.

    Are you Muslim? I am friends with several Muslims who don’t agree with your statement. Meanwhile in Africa your god fearing Christians are executing gays, forcing children to kill and mutilating young women.

    There are no radical Muslims just those that practice their religion and those that don’t

    I’m in complete awe of your ignorance.

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  101. Jackson says:

    This web site has loads of good info re: Islam

    http://www.citizenwarrior.com/

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  102. [...] James Joyner at Outside the Beltway also let Jones off the hook: Should Jones have burned the Koran? No. But not because doing so might incite some evil people [...]

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  103. Steve Myers says:

    I agree that we can’t simply blame Jones, or the media, for causing this violence. However we should consider the potential impact of our actions, and how others can use what we do to further their own aims (which is what happened in Afghanistan).

    When I looked into this for Poynter.org, the journalism news site, I was surprised to learn just how close the media came to blacking out this story. Many media outlets in the U.S. came independently to the same conclusion: that the burning of a Quran was not newsworthy, and reporting on it had the potential to do harm. So they ignored Jones. One news outlet, Agence France-Presse, decided to cover it, and that single story was carried around the world and appears to have been the impetus for the reactions in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    I think this raises some tough questions for the media — that when they exercise restraint, more people died than last fall when they didn’t exercise restraint and covered Jones’ every move. How much can they control the news?

    Full story here: http://journ.us/gNmepy

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  104. Southern Hoosier says:

    matt says: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 17:34
    I’m in complete awe of your ignorance.

    Well according to your reasoning there are also 2.2 billion Christians who hold to a belief system that all non-Christians are inferior and need to be enslaved, converted or killed.

    I missed the part where Jesus said to kill nonbelievers the way Mohammad did.

    I’m glad to hear that, but you have said nothing to refute what I wrote. Show this video to you Muslim friends then get back with me, OK?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LCLDjPNpf4

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