2010 September 11 Saturday
Kansas Church Takes Up Koran Burning Task

After a Florida church wussed out a Kansas church has risen to the task.

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., may have “suspended” plans to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11. But the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., says it will burn the Quran. In fact, it already has.

Insult Muslims and get your website taken down. Free speech only exists on the internet if you can keep your web site up.

Web-hosting company Rackspace has pulled down a pair of websites belonging to the Dove World Outreach Center church and the Rev. Terry Jones, who promised – and then canceled plans – to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. As of 9 p.m. on Thursday, the official Dove World site remained offline, although the cached version was still available.

What's needed: A list of hosting companies that will not pull down sites for containing "offensive" content. That way people who want to express non-elite and non-foreign viewpoints could do so with only the potential loss of employment or life.

What is meant by offensive? Those ideas and beliefs that other people feel strongly motivated to prevent you from expressing. If, say, you wanted to totally denigrate the ancient sun god Ra you wouldn't get booted from your web server. Muslims only want to shut you up about Islam. Since Islam is the more problematic religion for the rest of us we really need to be able to not shut up about it.

Because the United States is militarily involved in propping up a very corrupt and unpopular government in backwards Afghanistan (one of my measures of backwards: high rates of consanguineous marriage) the US government does not want private American citizens insulting Islam. This is one of the costs of neo-colonialism in pursuit of a single united world: pressures from our own government to restrict speech at home.

But so far, most of the action has taken place on television or in print, with one major exception: Afghanistan. In Kabul, parliamentary candidates have put up signs vowing retaliation against the US if Korans are burned and in at least two provinces, anti-American protesters have been shot outside NATO compounds. In one northeastern province, an Afghan National Army outpost was almost overrun and a protest in Kabul earlier this week included stone-throwing at US humvees.

All this contributed to the reason Gen. David Petraeus, who is running the Afghan war, said the Koran burning "could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan." Petraeus, often described as a scholar-soldier (a former professor, he has a PhD in international relations from Princeton University), is well aware of the powerful role that Islam can play in uniting disparate local groups against what are seen as foreign invaders, nowhere more so than in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is one of the most tribal areas of the world. That tribalism makes it extremely incompatible with democracy based on rule of law and individual rights. Military involvement is in Afghanistan as a means of reducing our risk from terrorism is a weak way to protect ourselves from terrorists trained in Afghanistan. It is far more effective to use immigration controls, visa controls, and cooperation of US and allied intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 September 11 07:56 AM  Civilizations Clash Of

WJ Alden said at September 11, 2010 10:49 AM:

This is a wee bit off topic, but did anyone else get the willies from Barack Obama's speech last night?

He's been praised for it elsewhere, I guess, even on conservative blogs, yet I find it disturbing that, on the anniversary of the day that 19 Muslims slaughtered 2,977 people in the name of Islam, the man who sat in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's pews for 20 years is lecturing *us* on tolerance.

For this president every moment is a "teaching moment" for tolerance; every moment is a chance to point out the supposed widespread bigotry of Americans. He is not my president, will never be my president, and January 20, 2013 cannot come quickly enough. I only pray to God that Republicans don't nominate someone so stupid and inept - and I wouldn't put it past 'em - that Americans are forced to re-elect this anti-American scumbag.

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