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Don't Submit

Reader comment on item: Florida Pastor Sparks Outrage

Submitted by Fred Baehr (United States), Apr 11, 2011 at 23:10

Islam as we know translates as "submission". This is supposed to be a high ideal, submission to God, that is, to the will of God. That is, to God's will as expressed in the Quran, a book supposedly unwritten in the normal sense, but rather, transmitted directly from God in an ontologically perfect form, at least in Arabic. It is therefore more holy than any other book, indeed, more holy than any other thing on Earth. Every copy is a holy object that deserves the greatest respect from everyone, believer and non-believer alike.

I would like to point out that to make any physical object "holy" in and of itself is to make a thing an idol. It is very strange that Muslims, who are supposed to be pure monotheists, engage in this form of idol worship. It is the most extreme idolatry to kill over insult to the idol. Some Muslims at least believe the Quran was never composed by God but existed from before the beginning with God, and this is undeniably polytheistic. Or so it seems at least to me.

But Dr. Pipes' reasoning is the correct way to look at this dilemma. We must not bow down and submit to threats or acts of violence in retaliation for the exercise of our constitutional rights. OK, so we can assume a violent reaction. But even the near certainty of that reaction does not transfer responsibility for the (voluntary) reaction. That responsibility lies only with the actors themselves. Nobody is making them riot and murder. The simple fact is they want to riot and murder in response. And, if we decline to defend our rights to speech in deference to their threats to riot and murder, we consent to them. We would say by our deference, "we admit to your claim to a right to riot and murder for this offence". Do we really want to say that? If we do then what will be the next offence that obtains the same right? Possibly the denial of the one holy truth? The unwillingness to submit and convert? It would not be a long leap.

So, as I wrote here not long ago, my advise is to buy a copy of the holy Quran in Arabic and a copy of the holy Bible, and a copy of the mundane constitution of the United States, and publicly burn them all together for the sake of the rights of everyone to say and think and worship or not however they please. We should make a bold statement for freedom. Silence gives consent. To react with "tolerant" silence in the face of maniacal murder and rampage is to consent to it, and if we are to remain free to speak our minds we must not so consent. Fear is no excuse. We are a free people. We are in fact the freest people who have ever lived due to the toil and sacrifice of millions of other free people who have gone before us. Our freedoms are by no means assured. They require vigilance and courage to maintain. You have no cause for fear. The entire edifice of American law will stand behind you. Get copies of the books that some would kill you for burning and tell them you will not stand for their barbaric threats, and burn them with pride in the freedoms you are so lucky to have and will not give up to anyone. Be free!

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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