Today both Tony Blair and Barak Obama were in the news condemning small town Florida pastor Terry Jones for threatening to burn copies of the Quaran. I don’t understand why Channel 4 thought that Mr. Blair was an appropriate person to interview and I don’t understand why Mr. Blair thought he should comment. I suspect that, like a junky who has been in rehab for a while, Mr. Blair’s first taste of fame in the form of his autobiography was so good that he is going straight back on the hard stuff.
On the topic of the book burning: I am against the destruction of all books and specifically religious books as the act is designed to cause offensive and will offend not only the religions nutters planting IEDs in Afghanistan but peaceful Muslims. The pastor should be condemned but America is mot a oppressive dictatorship and so I see no reason for him to be prosecuted. In the UK I imagine that if he were to do this publicly and in a manor designed to cause a “breach of the peace” then he could be stopped or arrested and this sounds about right to me.
Having said that, the news this evening carried pictures of more shouting mobs in Muslim countries burning American flags and this is also offensive and should be condemned.
This leads me to wonder how it is that a unknown American pastor who only threatens to do something can cause two important statesman to wade in to dissuade him while offending American citizens while flag burning goes uncriticised by Muslim statesman.
It seems to me that there is a form of racism going on here. When mobs of idiots burn American flags we are encouraged to think that these are merely ill educated people who have been unfairly provoked. When a daft pastor behaves in a similar fashion we are encouraged to condemn the man as an awful intolerant racist who should know better.
The fundamental racism here is that all white people are well informed, intelligent masters of their own destiny whereas all non-white people are ill educated and at the mercy of events.
This is, of course, BOLLOCKS!
It is instructive to go to google images and type “burning Quaran” and then type “burning American flag”. The obvious conclusion is that it is deemed acceptable to insult Americans but not Muslims.
The American pastor should be condemned of course but in the same breath we should condemn everyone shouting their mouths off in a street protest while burning an American flag. I was told by a Pakistani friend that the shouting mobs who burn American flags are often hired by richer more intelligent people so it would be useful to expose these people to give the lie to idea that the flag burning can be blamed on lack of education.
It would also help if prominent statesman in Muslim countries were as strenuous in condemning insults to Americans as Obama has been in defending Muslims.
I recall the words of an Australian comednien on television recently. He was talking about offense in comedy and he said that it was unreasonable to expect not to be offended. He said something like: “So what if your are offended. Be offended. It’s OK. Nothing’s going to happen. Just be offended.”