We know from history that it is acceptable to desecrate and destroy non Muslim artefacts and non Muslim holy books; to the murderer of Jews, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists is accorded a place in heaven with 72 virgins (according to one bizarre fairy tail). But even threatening to burn a copy of the Koran causes riots in the peaceful Muslim world. In Afghanistan up to 20 UN workers were attacked by a mob and murdered – some were allegedly beheaded (although the UN denied this) and others were simply butchered.
Let us be clear about this. A book is a book. And the two missionary faiths have historically made it a habit to burn the ‘holy’ books of other faiths because the physical act demonstrably reinforces the proof of the book burners’ superior power. For this same reason, Muslims have been murdering both Muslims and non-Muslims alike since Muhammad and his tribesmen by bloody ethnic cleansing bulldozed their way to power 1,400 years ago. The theological narrative that justifies this cruel barbarism is to this day in use across the Muslim world. It has been a successful model for conquest since Mohammed’s founding of the Islamic faith. But it does not make it right.
It is sanctified by far too many Islamic rulings for us to not pay attention. I repeat - book burning is an act of intellectual thuggery but no more than that. The people, who committed this atrocity in Afghanistan, if they are not fundamentally evil, did commit an act that places them outside of civilized society. No amount of cultural relativism can ever justify this. These people are barbarians; they are ethically sick human beings and we should despise them with every fiber of our being. Again, I will repeat it. A book is a book, it is not flesh and blood and it does not deserve our veneration. It is what is in a book that counts and nothing that incites the faithful towards violence can ever be described as sacred. The monotheistic faiths were created as a denial of idolatry. Those who kill for a book worship an idol. They deserve our disgust and not perhaps, because of their faith but because of a version of their faith that legitimizes violence and murder. They stand outside of the realm of civilization. And they enjoy it.
We are all of us equal, irrespective of our beliefs. Those that kill for their faith do so as proof of their spurious superiority. It proves nothing but that they are twisted and evil human beings.