In black below is the post by Fran Ingram about why the Dove World Outreach Center will burn Q'rans on 9/11/2010. The Dove web site has (at 9/9/2010) been removed, and this copy was found on "The Rogan Board." This point of view should be seen and heard. If wrong, a reasoned rebuttal should be provided. Since nobody else has written one as far as I know, after each Ingram paragraph I offer such a rebuttal - in blue.
Ten Reasons to Burn?On 9/11/10 we are burning Korans to raise awareness and warn. In a sense it is neither an act of love nor of hate. We see, as we state in the Ten Reasons below, that Islam is a danger. We are using this act to warn about the teaching and ideology of Islam, which we do hate as it is hateful. We do not hate any people, however. We love, as God loves, all the people in the world and we want them to come to a knowledge of the truth. To warn of danger and harm is a loving act. God is love and truth. If you know the truth it can set you free. The world is in bondage to the massive grip of the lies of Islam. These are:
A very fair introduction. Contrary to the hysterical opinion of nearly everyone else, this group perceived evil and is acting against it; not against the people, but the ideology. Would that all would follow such an example. Whether their perception of the source of evil is accurate or not is a separate question, and as I see it, they are wrong. Islam would have little power to harm anyone but for the power of government with which it loves to be allied; the greater source by far is therefore government itself.
OneThe Koran teaches that Jesus Christ, the Crucified, Risen Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords was NOT the Son of God, nor was he crucified (a well documented historical fact that ONLY Islam denies). This teaching removes the possibility of salvation and eternal life in heaven for all Islam's believers. They face eternal damnation in hell if they do not repent.
I knew Muslims hold that Jesus did not rise from the dead but not that the Q'ran denies that he was crucified. We live and learn. Now, on the premise that Jesus alone is the "the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by [him]" (John 14:6) this first Reason is accurate; for in the Christian schema salvation comes only by faith in Christ, crucified and risen; and any doctrine that denies that must be evil. However, we may reasonably question whether the premise is at all correct.
It seems to me to have no foundation. It rests on the bald, unsupported assertion that a "God" exists in reality (and not just in anthropomorphic imagination) and that he has a "Son", who is or are King of Kings, etc. There is no proof of such a sweeping assertion in the Bible (it merely assumes it as a given, or asserts it as dogma, like Ms Ingram) nor, as far as I've heard, in the Q'ran. It is upon this unsupported premise, therefore, that Ingram bases her blood-curdling assertion that 1.5 billion Muslims face an eternity of anguish and torment. Any contemplating agreement with her might read George Carlin's remarks (and excuse his often vulgar language.)
TwoThe Koran does not have an eternal origin. It is not recorded in heaven. The Almighty God, Creator of the World, is NOT it's source. It is not holy. It's writings are human in origin, a concoction of old and new teachings. This has been stated and restated for centuries by scholars since Islam's beginnings, both Moslem and non-Moslem.*
This is another unsupported assertion. Obviously, all books have a human origin; human fingers wrote them. A claim that any such fingers were inspired or directed by a supernatural being has to be grounded on proof that such a being exists, and then that he/she/it directed that particular book. What Ingram says about the Q'ran applies also to the Bible. If this is a valid reason for burning the former, it is also a reason for burning the latter.
ThreeThe Koran's teaching includes Arabian idolatry, paganism, rites and rituals. These are demonic, an ongoing satanic stronghold under which Moslems and the world suffer.*
Most religions have "rites and rituals" so that's hardly a criticism, and from the viewpoint of Religion A, Religion B is always pagan and idolatrous. This is just a nasty way of saying "I disagree" and is not a civilized basis for burning books.
This Reason #3 also introduces "Satan." This alleged source of all evil is another unsupported assertion, and is a major copout; evil happens by human choice, when power is exercised over other people. "The Devil made me do it" will just not do.
FourThe earliest writings that are known to exist about the Prophet Mohammad were recorded 120 years after his death. All of the Islamic writings (the Koran and the Hadith, the biographies, the traditions and histories) are confused, contradictory and inconsistent. Maybe Mohammad never existed. We have no conclusive account about what he said or did. Yet Moslems follow the destructive teachings of Islam without question.*
Almost exactly the same words could be used about the New Testament; contemporary texts are fragementary and very rare, and the Biblical "canon" was not fixed for two and a half centuries - and then by the simple technique of discarding all of them which didn't reasonably well conform to what the majority of bishops then agreed was orthodox doctrine. This is another poor reason for burning; it's a clear case of the pot calling the kettle "black."
FiveMohammad's life and message cannot be respected. The first Meccan period of his leadership seems to have been religiously motivated and a search for the truth. But in the second Medina period he was "corrupted by power and worldly ambitions." (Ibn Warraq) These are characteristics that God hates. They also led to political assassinations and massacres which continue to be carried out on a regular basis by his followers today.
This is correct, and it might be added that Mohammad was a warrior, used to imposing his will by force. It is a good reason to reject Islam. But hardly to burn its book.
SixIslamic Law is totalitarian in nature. There is no separation of church and state. It is irrational. It is supposedly immutable and cannot be changed. It must be accepted without criticism. It has many similarities to Nazism, Communism and Fascism. It is not compatible with Western Civilization.*
Quite correct, again; but those living in glass houses need to take care when throwing stones. Christian denominations have frequently been very closely associated with states, and for a while the Pope actually operated one (the Italian Papal State.) Christian leaders take every opportunity today to influence and to be accepted by political leaders. Whenever they have had power, they have used it to enforce their particular flavor of belief; this is why the Pilgrims left England to settle in Massachussets.
To say that Islam is "irrational" is accurate but breathtaking; all religion is irrational! Has not Ms Ingram read "the just shall live by faith" in Romans 1:17? If religion were rational, it would not be religious.
It Islam similar to Nazism, Communism etc? - I'd say, certainly. But only when it attains political power, and when Christianity or any other religion attains political power, it too is similar to Nazism. The Spanish Inquisition was carried out by Christians with political power, and treated Jews (and incidentally, Muslims) almost as brutally as Hitler did.
SevenIslam is not compatible with democracy and human rights. The notion of a moral individual capable of making decisions and taking responsibility for them does not exist in Islam. The attitude towards women in Islam as inferior possessions of men has led to countless cases of mistreatment and abuse for which Moslem men receive little or no punishment, and in many cases are encouraged to commit such acts, and are even praised for them. This is a direct fruit of the teachings of the Koran.*
Accurate, indeed. Democracy isn't compatible with human rights either, but this is a valid and damning crtiticism of Islam. The Dove World Outreach Center is to be commended for reaching out to Muslims in Florida, women especially, on just this kind of basis. Whether burning the Q'ran helps or hinders that outreach is for its members to judge.
EightA Muslim does not have the right to change his religion. Apostasy is punishable by death.*
Appalling, and again, an excellent reason to critique that religion. That is an outrageous denial of human reason and freedom to choose. But again: why burn its book?
NineDeep in the Islamic teaching and culture is the irrational fear and loathing of the West.*
This could be true, because all religion will eventually be swept away by reason, and happily the "West" has for three hundred years or more been pursuing progress based on reason. It's also been said that since Islamic belief throttles rational enquiry (why research, when everything necessary has been revealed?) it has become the religion of losers, who become envious of the more successful West and, like Luddites and Socialists, try to pull the successful down instead of trying to pull themselves up. A form of envy, perhaps.
TenIslam is a weapon of Arab imperialism and Islamic colonialism. Wherever Islam has or gains political power, Christians, Jews and all non-Moslems receive persecution, discrimination, are forced to convert. There are massacres and churches, synagogues, temples and other places of worship are destroyed.*
Yes, another good reason to oppose Islam. Note however that the power to kill and destroy with impunity comes not from the religion itself but from the political power - with which, certainly, its leaders try to identify. The more power they have, the more evil they do; and that principle applies to everyone, not just to Muslims. But again, it that reasoned opposition helped or hindered by a burning of the adversary's book?
From Acts 19 (Amplified)**** 18Many also of those who were now believers came making*full confession and thoroughly exposing their [former deceptive and evil] practices.
*** 19And many of those who had practiced curious, magical arts collected their books and [throwing them, book after book, on the pile] burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver (about $9,300).
*** 20Thus the Word of the Lord [concerning the*attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God] grew and spread and intensified, prevailing mightily.
Like the Christians in Acts 19, we are publicly burning a book that is demonic. Many of our greatest supporters are ex-Moslems. They know these evils first hand. We are not, like the Nazis, stealing books, destroying properties or harming any people. We are not Nazis nor are we like Nazis. The Christians in Acts 19 did not go on from their scroll burning to harm anyone. They used the public burning as an opportunity, a demonstration to preach the truth. Only to preach and leave the decision of whether to follow the truth or not.*
Ms Ingram is mis-reading her own Scripture. The Christians of Acts 19 were burning their own, previously trusted books as a demonstration that they had now broken with the voodoo-like cults the books supported. This was not a case of the local church buying a supply of a rival's holy literature so as to set it on fire.
A parallel action would be for one of the Center's lady converts to take her own, previously trusted Q'ran and throw it publicly on to a fire, saying "I've had it with that religion, and have joined this new one." Now, that might form an effective, ten-second evening-news TV segment! Possibly, the gesture might accompany the ceremony of baptism of the new convert. Possibly, a full half-minute might be televised, and the clip broadcast on Al-Jazeera. The effect could be riveting. But hey, I'm just a plain old atheist, evangelism is not my business.
Do not forget POINT SIX. Islam (not us) is totalitarian in nature, like Nazism, Communism, and Fascism. This evil nature of Islam needs to be seen. Moslems around the world burn and kill on a regular basis, every week, properties and people. All you have to do is follow the news. The many death threats we are receiving, the warnings about terror attacks also prove our point.* Do Christians make these threats when Bibles or churches are burned? No.
A well-made point. If I had to choose between Christianity and Islam, I'd pick the former in a heartbeat. Fortunately, I do not. The third alternative is, none of the above. Man can live without fairy (and horror) tales, and it's high time he did.
We have fallen asleep since 9/11/01 and have been hoodwinked by the growth of a (for now) non violent Islam. Shall we give in to threats, then, and allow Islam to grow in America unopposed? We at Dove World Outreach Center will not, even if it costs us our lives. For those who support us, we say thank you for standing with us in courage. For those who oppose us, we say wake up and do not give in to the fear and lies!
Dove is one of the few churches reaching out to local Muslims, and that deserves emulation. As such a strategy succeeds, it will remove any threats that loom. I doubt whether that strategy is helped by book-burning, except perhaps by new converts as in Acts 19.
There are related blog posts here, here, and here