This is the United States, where flag burning is protected by the First Amendment. Of course an individual can raise their voice by burning the Quran, an act of utmost offense toward Muslims. (Remember when Orthodox Jews in Israel torched a pile of New Testaments?) But it’s insane—remember the reaction when an inaccurate report spread of a Quran being flushed down the toilet—and intellectually weak.
There are a lot more persuasive ways to criticize strains of Islam on 9/11.
And call Frank James at NPR cynical, but he raises a good point about what really might be at issue here for Terry Jones and his Dove World Outreach Center, the 100-member Florida church that has said it will mark the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks with a Quran burnathon.
Last year, Marc Grizzard, the pastor of a 14-member church in Canton, N.C. announced that on Halloween 2009 his flock would burn a pile of books they considered evil.
That included every version of the Bible that wasn’t the King James Version since only the KJV was “God’s preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God… for English-speaking people” Grizzard said.
Just as has happened with the Florida church that promises to burn the Quran, Grizzard was warned by local officials that his church could be slapped with a huge fine, in his case as high as $25,000, because book burning would violate local ordinances.
So Grizzard and his people reconsidered; they had a non-book burning party, instead shredding the Bibles and other books that drew their ire if not their fire.
The few media who showed up had to take their word for it since it all happened inside the little church. Grizzard proclaimed the event a great success. And it was. A church with a membership of 14 got world-wide publicity.