Test of Tolerance


Jahanshah Javid
by Jahanshah Javid

How should we react to an idiot like Pastor Terry Jones? He finally carried out his threat to burn a copy of the Quran. The reaction we can expect is Muslim mobs kicking and screaming and burning American, Christian and Jewish symbols and killing a few "infidels" whenever and wherever they can in retaliation. This kind of reaction is far worse than actually insulting followers of other religions.

Insults hurt feelings and sensibilities. Violence, under any guise or excuse, inflicts physical harm, even death. Committing the former does in no way justify the latter. They are not equal or of the same kind.

Muslims, including Iranians (even non-religious Iranians), lag way behind in internalizing the concept of tolerance. No society can be truly free, dynamic and healthy without tolerating free expression. The U.S. constitution and culture that protect an olaagh like Pastor Jones also protects every citizen from the harshest criticism of anyone in power, from the president down to the local policeman. And Jesus too.

Instead of being outraged and bent out of shape over the burning of a book, Muslims should be far more angry at their rulers. What's worse? Throwing you in jail for criticizing the head of state, or insulting Islam? Being stoned for adultery, or insulting Islam? Not having basic human rights, or insulting Islam? Raping protesters, or insulting Islam? Having an absolute tyrant in power, or insulting Islam? Treating women like cattle, or insulting Islam? Persecuting hundreds of thousands of Bahais for their beliefs, or insulting Islam?

If the Islamic world was dominated by democratic governments where free speech was tolerated, Muslims would change their focus to more important issues that have a real impact on their life and livelihood. Just look at Muslims in democratic societies. Their reaction towards Pastor Jones is somewhere between annoyance and indifference. The protection of free speech, including firm laws against violent retaliation, has taught them that you can't just beat someone on the head for how they think or express themselves.

Burning Quran BAD. Violent retaliation many many many times WORSE.


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First burning books, later killing people

by radius-of-the-persian-cat on

Hi JJ,  is it only me who sees a link between two events that happend tens of thousands km and several month apart from each other ? One is this burning of a Quoran by a christian fundamentalist, and the other is the cowardish murder of civilians in Afghanistan by US troops as recently discussed on an IC blog. Both during the medivial inquisition in europe and in nazi Germany, burning books was always just a prelude to killing innocent people.


There is no Tolerance in Islam

by afshinazad on

So what one book was burned, there are hundreds of Bible is burned in Islamic countries every day they call other religions KAFAR, so why Christians don't jump up and down and why they are not issuing Fatwa against Muslims. This is only book printed words of hate and no tolerance. everything in Islam is ok if the Muslims do it but if comes other side is unacceptable, if Muslim is converted to other religion he or she must die and if anyone converts to ISLAM they will advertise it like they have reached the moon and they will celebrate it. Hypocrisy of Islam is beyond imagination. In Islamic world other religions get prosecuted and murdered and they are not allow to have any rights and they are not allow to built church or any other worship places, but when it comes to Muslims they want to built Mosque every corner of street like coffee shops in Christian countries, in every mosque has been preached how to hate others, when it comes to tolerance it is not one way street, Muslims been told since they have been kids others are dirty and they are Kafar and if they shake hand with others they should wash their hands after ward, they shouldn't eat in non Muslim homes or restaurant, I don't believe in modern Islam or fanatic Islam, ISLAM is one thing no matter how you want to sugar code it. our so called doctors and educated people in Islamic countries think same way is uneducated person from mountains or desert, so foundation and fundamental of ISLAM is same and no matter how much educated they are still they are stupid.I hope some of my Islamic Iranian country man and women remember what were told to them when they were kids, I am not saying every one but mass majority of them.FYI I don't give a crap about any religion and I don't want to live with some one what have told 2000 or 1400 year ago. I have a brain and I could be far more tolarnat than any one with beliefs of dark era of the past. 

Maryam Hojjat

Thanks, JJ

by Maryam Hojjat on

Great Point, Tolerance.


Two things are unlimmited: The universe and human stupidity

by radius-of-the-persian-cat on

When I first read about this incidence, I almost was tempted to grab a Bible
from our local book-store and burn it in revenge (to ensure a global
equiballance of violence). But should I make myself equal to the
stupidity of christian fundamentalists like this pastor Sapp, who is a
brother in mind with Mahmoud Ahmadenijad or Joseph Goebbels ?

Personally I"d like to kick him in the ass, same as I"d like to do
with pope Benedikt and all other religious cheaters as well. But my
refusal of all dogmatic religions will never go as far to burn books.
For me the bible like the Quoran or the Epic of Gilgamesh or the Talmud
are pieces of literature, like fairy-tales. They all contain some
important messages, but also a lot of hypocracy and dogmatism.

But nothing justifies burning books, I think. It only shows the
intollerance of one religion against another intollerant religion.
There should be laws forbidding religious as well as political
stupidity in any country.

As A.Einstein ones paraphrased it "Two things I believe are unlimitted: The universe and human stupidity. About the universe I"m not 100% sure, however."



Pastor Jones do it for ........

by darius on

I doubt , if pastor Jones effort is enough to replace Islam and Muslim  for  what  used to be Iron curtain and communism threat.      I recommend  the  Western World to stop granting visa to muslims , stop trade and  diplomatic relationship  with Islamic countries. Ask their Muslim citizens  to convert to christianity or give them a catalog of acceptable   religion to choose from. ( they cannot be Jew , they  are not chosen by the god of Pastor Jones).     Instead of giving billions dollar to Pakistan and Yemen and others offer the muslim citizen some compensation  and  ask them to leave and find freedom and happiness somewhere else .   To be honest with you, you didn't have to spend trillion dollar to get rid of Saddam and  Alqaeda( still to be found) you could have offered citizenship to all Iraqis and Aghanis and they would have got rid of Saddam and thousands of  others at no cost  to you for a citizenship title . By now, You could have owned Iraq and Afghanistan for  a non cost  citizenship and keep price of  oil at the pumps for 90 cents /gallon. Did you need to build them school, road, army  etc?not rally they were happy to be just American.   By doing so , you didn't have to spend a penny to build fake coalition such as Christian for Jews  Or  America for Israel or all those elaborate name dropping institution for Middle eastern study such as peae for Middle  East.LOL    Besides you  could have saved a  bunch by  not  throwing  fancy parties for king of Saud , Jordan,Bahrain and Hosni Mobarak and tolerate them to kill their citizens and America get blamed for it.   Why would  you want to wait 50 years ( like the collapse communism) and spend aimlessly, now is the best time. This is the best time , you say it , UN approves it and all rally behind you.    Now it is time (before China and Russia rise to power ) and again you end up using muslims to  slow down or  oppose your future adversaries.          

Immortal Guard

Will he be the new Salman Rushdie?

by Immortal Guard on

At least Salman Rushdie is still famous and sells lots of books.

This guy was almost forgotten and now he resurfaces.



by Demo on

"hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from the ignorant (Quran, 7:199).

For all the global ignorants: "Muslim" is only a title originated by the prophet Ibrahim (22:78) to identify his followers with such. The "Momen" on the other hand is the one whose genuine faith in GOD is encrypted in his heart & is guided by GOD through such "pure" entity (58:22). Only GOD & only GOD has access to his creatures' hearts & only he knows who the real believers are. The message is what matters & not the messanger. No matter how many copies of Torahs, Bibes, & Qurans are burnt there are millions of people around the world who have memorized every single letter of those books & they could easily put them back in writting again.   


What if Micheangelo painted Mohammed?

by bahmani on

I often wonder what would happen if Michelangelo painted a beautiful painting of Mohammad opening the gates of Mecca after his triumphant return?

Would Islam require a fatwa on Michelangelo and have the greatest talent God has ever created, be killed as he opened his door after a short game of;

"Knock Knock?"
"Who's there?"
"Islam who?"
"[Fill in the blank yourselves...]

Islam needs to grow a pair, and deal with criticism and objection. While no one can prove God's inexistence, at the same time, Islam HAS to accept that for some (who don't actually need religion) feigned apathy, ignorance and indifference, isn't an insult.

Islam is far funnier than it is unfunny.

Regardless of whether you believe in Islam or a small purple elf oddly enough named Roger Moore, as long as you think you're right, it should not matter what an ignorant preacher in Florida thinks or does. Actually I've been to Florida, and anyone who lives there should be pitied regardless.

Here's another one, what if someone thinks about burning the Ghoran? Isn't that a sin? And should he be put to death too?

What if someone thinks about burning the Ghoran, then thinks twice, and decides to put out the fire, in his mind? Is he a hero?

What if while thinking about burning the Ghoran, in the middle of drawing a picture of Mohammad, you suddenly drift off and start to think nasty thought about the 72 virgins your local Mollah has promised you when you get to heaven? Do you still get the 72 virgins?

All these unknowns.

And God still infuriatingly silent.