National Review Online
April 4, 2011
by Paul Marshall
The latest round of killings in
The first is that the anger and killings are politically hyped. Not much was made of the event at the time — as I noted earlier, Iran followed up its burning of six hundred New Testaments with a ritual condemnation of the Koran burning as part of an American “hegemonic plot,” but otherwise not much happened.
Then killings broke out in
Nina Shea and I noted in NRODT October 4, 2010, that the September 2005 Danish Jyllands-Posten cartoons initially were republished even in Muslim countries. Riots erupted only after the December 2005 Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting in Saudi Arabia committed its members to make an issue of the cartoons.
This outcry over the Koran comes scarcely a week after the OIC had to abandon, at least temporarily, its decade-long campaign in the U.N. to outlaw “defamation of religion.” Stirring up anger now could revive that flagging effort.
Secondly, Western journalists report on this Koran burning but, comparatively, not on the many bible burnings, and killing of Christians, and desecration of hosts, that occur in the Muslim world. There is also the dangerous suggestion, well analyzed by Mollie Hemingway, that Wayne Sapp or Pastor Terry Jones have somehow “caused” the killings — as if the murderers were zombies not responsible for their own actions.
Third, President Obama and General Petraeus have again issued statements condemning the burning (as well, of course, as the killings). But their statements are unlikely to have the intended effect. These statements simply fan the news cycle and reinforce the perception, in the Muslim world and elsewhere, that the
Paul Marshall is a Senior Fellow with Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.
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