09. September 2010 · Comments Off on Standards, Double, Society, for the Use Of · Categories: Ain't That America?, Fun With Islam, General, GWOT, Politics, Rant, sarcasm

So, now in the multitudinous fall-out from the Ground Zero Mosque, or Cordoba House or Park51, or whatever the heck it’s being termed – is a threat by a Florida whack-job minister to burn Korans as a public demonstration of something or other on Saturday. Cheesncrackers, people, just when I thought this whole issue couldn’t get any more demented. Is there someone I have to sleep with, in order to live on a planet with sane people, preferably ones with a sense of proportion and humor, not to mention toleration for those who don’t agree with them in every aspect of existence?

Frankly, I’d like to set the good Iman Rauf and the good Reverend Jones down on the other side of my official Sgt. Mom desk for a nice discussion of principles. And those would be principles which would apply to both of them, and yes, I expect to be the one doing the talking.

Yes, there is nothing in this supposedly free country which would prevent the Reverend Jones from incinerating copies of the Koran, as a demonstration of his lack of appreciation for Islam and his ingratitude for the many blessings that the strict practice of Salafist Islam brings to the modern cultural table. And yes, there is also nothing which would legally prevent a mosque/community/cultural center from being established adjacent to that place where there were 5,000 people (give or take) crushed or incinerated when a pair of hijacked airplanes were deliberately crashed into two tall and shining skyscrapers nine years ago to the day by representatives of the Religion of Peace.

So, established – they each can do this thing which they want to do, for whatever reasons. And Andres Serrano can take pictures of a crucifix in a vial of his own pee, and Chris O-whatever can adorn a painting of the Virgin with mounds of elephant dung, and Danish cartoonists can do cartoons about how fear of drawing a picture of Mohammad leads to self-censorship, and Salman Rushdie can joke around with Satanic Versifying and all of that is perfectly OK in a free country, or it ought to be.

But where is the line to be drawn, then? And if you are offended by one or the other, than what is the acceptable response? Letter to the editor, an angry post on a blog, a boycott? Threatening violence? Should the fear of violence lead one to self-censor? What about a fear of offending people? Why is it OK to offend one particular class of people by your actions in support of religion or art, but tip-toe around giving offense to the other? Exactly what is the standard at work here, and who decides to apply it? And hey, isn’t the poor old bourgeois getting a little tired of being constantly epatered?

Just as a final aside – the copies of the Koran that Reverend Jones is planning to flambé – are they English translations of the Koran, in which case it doesn’t really count as a Koran, per se, because the only Koran that counts as a Koran is the one in Arabic. Revelations straight from The Big Guy to Mohammad has been my understanding. Everything else is just a translation, and so it really isn’t the Koran, except for when it is. And I think Pastor Jones looks amazingly like the historic John Brown, of Pottawatomie, who tried to kick-start a slave insurrection, pre-Civil War. If The Reverent Jones really wants to cover his posterior for this little venture into protest, he ought to announce the Koran-B-Que as a piece of performance art and apply for a NEA grant. Your mileage may vary. Discuss.

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