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In this supposedly enlightened, modern world of ours, many people take a perverse pride in mocking those symbols and beliefs that other people hold dear. Judaism and Christianity are among the most popular targets of today’s iconoclasts, embodied in the stupidity of Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” through the deadly serious Zionist conspiracy theories that permeate the highest levels of the United Nations. Yet, somehow Jews and Christians endure these slings and arrows, remaining confident and secure in their faith in spite of the insults. At the other end of the spectrum, we have one major religion in the world so terribly insecure about itself that it cannot bear the slightest provocation, no matter how obscure or tenuous the source is. Rather than holding that religion – Islam – accountable for maintaining a skin so thin that it encroaches upon the freedoms it supposedly hold so dear, the Left continues to enable a hyper-sensitive Muslim worldview. According to the Left, Muslims are a particularly aggrieved part of the victim class and thus the regular rules of public discourse do not apply when they express their grievances. History tells us that leftists aren’t doing anyone any good, not Muslims and certainly not the civilized world, by according Islam this special status.
The firestorm of controversy that surrounded the ultimately unrealized plans of an obscure Florida pastor to burn a few copies of the Qur’an was truly remarkable, without any analog in the modern world. If Terry Jones had announced an intention to put any other book in the world to the torch, no one would have taken any notice, much less threatened to set off a firestorm of righteous indignation. The fact that this one book, and only this book, could provoke such a ludicrously disproportionate reaction ought to tell us much more about the people who believe in that book than it does about the people who question its authenticity and authority. Bible burnings, for example, are not uncommon. Last year an equally obscure preacher in North Carolina announced his intention to burn copies of the Christian Holy Book on Halloween. The United States has officially confiscated and burned Bibles in Afghanistan. Such incidents didn’t result in Christians storming the streets, howling in outrage or threatening violence. Such plans were instead met with a shrug, because the faithful were confident enough to say that such misguided actions ultimately don’t matter.
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