Book Burnings, here and there

This week, US soldiers in Afghanistan accidentally burnt a few copies of the Quran because they regularly change the copies of the Quran that the prisoners there are allowed to use, in order to prevent messages being written into the books and being passed on to other prisoners.

The population of Afghanistan is outraged, aghast and angry. More than 20 people were already killed in the ensuing riots.

An over-reaction? After all, the story is only about a few books which can be printed again. Surely this matter does not warrant the loss of human lives.

But maybe Afghans have simply learnt the lessons of history. Let us look at another book burning, at another place, 79 years ago:

The nation of poets and thinkers got together in May 1933 for the specific purpose of burning books. The book burnings were led by students and professors, the supposed intellectuals, who set tens of thousands of books ablaze under the jubilation of spectators.

Already 1823, Heinrich Heine had (the Muslim) Hassan say in Almansor:

Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings.

This quote, which actually refers to the Quran (!) in Almansor, should turn out to become true as German history proceeded. At the end of the only 12 years of the Nazis’ reign, the book-burning people had laid waste to all of Europe and murdered several million people.

I wish Germany in 1933 would have seen protests anywhere near as now in Afghanistan.

(Es gibt eine deutsche Version dieses Artikels.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Books, Germany, History, Islam, Politics, Religion and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Book Burnings, here and there

  1. Pingback: Bücherverbrennungen hier und dort | The Happy Hermit

  2. Lillian Smith says:

    Unfortunately this comparison is not applicable in this case. I doubt very much that Afghanis, especially those that are seen rioting, know about European or German history. It is not the burning of books as representing knowledge or philosphy that they are upset about but of a perceived insult to Islam. This scene has been played out already numerous times around the world, whether because of cartoons of the prophet or Koran burning. You give them too much credit Andreas.

  3. John Erickson says:

    The point I’d make, in addition to Lillian’s about the unfamiliarity of history, is that this was first and foremost an ACCIDENT. The US military did not set about a determined and organised destruction of religious materials. A couple grunts, acting without thinking (which is encouraged in the US Army, among others), hauled some bags of “trash” out to be burned. There is absolutely no sign of any intent to insult anybody, just a mess of confusion spread along the chain of command.
    And I find it interesting that there have been few or no protests in the South, where the Taliban has been a persistent threat to the Afghans and their way of life. The protests have been in the well protected North, where little fighting of insurgents has been seen.
    Perhaps the folks in Kandahar realise we’re there to HELP them? And maybe they could pass that on to the ingrates killing US troops, who are protecting their lives and homes?
    (I doubt it, but hope springs eternal.)

  4. Totally incorrect comparison!

  5. Those who are outraged don’t even know how to read or write. They are manipulated by the mullahs.

  6. The Literacy rate in:
    Afghanistan is 28%
    Pakistan 58,2%
    Germany 99%

    See what I mean?
    Check out this index http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_literacy_rate

  7. Pingback: Att jämföra Koranbränningen med Hitlertidens bokbål är inte rätt « Vad händer i Mellanöstern idag?

  8. One more thing:
    In these riots in Muslim countries mostly local Christians are killed by the angry mobs! (and churches burned)
    This fact is usually not told by our leftist media for some reason… When the refugees come to the west our leftist authorities in Sweden favour Muslims instead of persecuted Christians since Muslims tend to vote left to 90% and Christians tend to vote right (according to studies in Denmark).

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/05/ayaan-hirsi-ali-the-global-war-on-christians-in-the-muslim-world.html

    • Are refugees allowed to vote in Sweden and Denmark?

    • Unlike the Palestinians in Arabic countries that inherit their refugee status, all refugees in the Nordic countries are integrated into society and get citizenship. They can participate in local elections after 3 years as a refugee but have to have citizenship for national elections.

    • Lillian Smith says:

      Mellanosternidag, I agree with you about the low literacy rate in Afghanistan and other Muslim countries but what I added was that in addition to the illeracy, the problem is compounded by low IQ’s due to inbreeding. This is not just my say-so but is based on studies carried out about IQ in certain areas and they blamed the practice of cousin marriages, which in additon to low intelligence also cause high incidence of birth defects amond Muslims

      Although these people do not speak or understand Arabic, I am sure that the Mullahs know enough of the Koran to be able to rouse the sentiments of Muslims to fever pitch and to cause riots, and murdersous rampages.

      As to the plight of Christians I agree that their plight in Muslims countries is under-reported or not given much prominence. As for the ‘left’ and ‘right’ debate, I do not give this much credence since these are just convenient labels that mean nothing at all nowadays, especially when one realizes that Muslim immigration both in Europe and the US went on unabated no matter who was in power. Also, the corporate Media around the world is owned by a select few with their own agendas and it is convenient for them to blame the ‘liberal’ media when many of the controlling shareholders of big Communication companies are in business with Oil producing countries such as Saudi Arabia and Saudi princes own large shares of Western Media companies.

    • I agree with you

    • Lillian Smith says:

      I think that the West favours Muslims instead of Christians because they (and by ‘they’ I mean our leaders, both elected and unelected) would rather see Islamo-fascism to grow and thrive in the West. In order to introduce draconian legislation, first you need to remove national identity and introduce multiculuralism and Islam is the perfect ‘religion’ for the enemies of mankind, who wish to introduce rule from above and One World Government. In short, Democracy has to be dissolved and Islam is the solvent.

      Another point about the Christians being persecuted both in the Middle East and Africa, is that almost without exception, all these Christians such as the Copts or the Chaldeans or Maronites are the original Christians and do not look up to Rome, likewise the Christains in Ethiopia who are constantly being harassed by Muslims as well as the Protestant Christians in Nigeria who are being killed by radical Islamists backed by rich Middle East Sheiks. I find it odd that these Christians are for the most part are ignored despite the peril and plight they find themselves in constantly by the supposedly Christian West, who in most cases favour and support Islam (note how Nato (Clinton) ordered the bombing of Serbia – another non-Catholic but Christian country in favour of Muslim Kosovo).

  9. gh21 says:

    With respect to what was said in the article “Book burnings Here and There” there are some points you misunderstood and I am here to clarify them. To Muslims in particular, the burning of their book “Quraan” is a crime itself. I do not find the outrage a problem. The Afghans are people who fight fiercely for their beliefs and we have to respect their demonstrations. They woke up to defend their beliefs and their holy-book, although their anger was translated into uncontrollable actions. If I were there I would protest against such deed. The Americans behavior was immoral. By targeting the Quran they are not just degrading the Muslim population all over the world but “Islam” as a religion.
    Americans believe in freedom of speech and democracy and that ” Individual’s freedom ends when others freedom starts” . I wonder if they do apply Freedom of speech!. However, they misunderstand the concept of freedom because freedom is all about (respecting) others values beliefs and point of view.
    I do not understand why you compared “art books” and the event that happened in Germany during the Nazi period with the Holy-book Quran!..U.S soldiers accidentally burned the Quran..I have some doubts…!!!

  10. Dear Mr. Andreas Moser
    I am in no way defending the book burnings in Nazi Germany, on the contrary.
    – We must never forget that Hitler used democratic means (like Hamas) to getting to power.

    You as a lawyer, taking a sabbatical year, should educate yourself on Sharia law. Muslims are not a problem nor Islam. But their Sharia law is incompatible with democracy and here we should fight for our freedom and democracy. Often the Muslims flee their countries of origin to escape Sharia law and now the Mosks get the right to implement Sharia law in country after country in Europe. They will do anything to fight our freedom of expression.

  11. Lillian Smith says:

    Andreas, theoretically men cannot force their wives into Sharia courts but in practice this is what happens. They live in close-knit communities and many women do not even speak English (or the language of their adopted countries). Men in Islam are allowed to use force and are permitted to beat their wives. And how can you say that Sharia is not enforced in Europe or America? In certain areas, it is a no-go zone for non-Muslims and even the Police do not go there. Honour killings of women and girls is also happening, so yes Sharia is being enforced in the West and political correctness has a lot to do with this state of affairs.

    Then there is the fact that lobbyists for Sharia Law are everywhere and bit by bit they are introducing Sharia Laws on equal footing with Western Laws. As an example, the idea of ‘insult’ as long as you do not libel anyone, was foreign to Wester jurisprudence before the mass immigration of Muslims. Now they demand respect for their religion and Western laws have started to reflect the Muslim mindset (appeasement?). If I perceive an insult (which is purely subjective) I feel entitles to be compensated for this and want the perpetrator of the ‘insult’ to be punished – this is the Muslim want and in many instances are able to achieve in the West already. This is dangerous territory that we are going into. And what about Sharia Finance? This is also being introduced along side with Western finance as being of equal value but the fact remains that Sharia is an all encompassing system of Laws, from hand amputations and beheadings, to second class status for women, gays and non-Muslims. Once you introduce Sharia into the West, it means that you are open to all aspects of Sharia and are giving it legitimacy.

    Also you cannot dispute the fact that we self-censure ourselves for fear of running afoul of Muslims, vide what happened to Theo Van Gogh, the Mohammed Cartoons and the resultant gagging of free speech. So yes, Sharia is being introduced in the West, piecemeal and by stealth.

    • “Europe or America? In certain areas, it is a no-go zone for non-Muslims and even the Police do not go there.”
      Where is that? I’ll go there right away to check it out.

    • Lillian Smith says:

      The suburbs of Paris for starters. In Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, Western women cannot walk in certain areas for fear of being mugged and raped for not wearing the veil or hijab. It is called the “Rape Jihad”.

      Andreas, you seem to only follow the mainstream Media which does not report events that go contrary to the official dogma of multiculturalism and moral relativism. Too bad for you are young and yet seem to be an agent for the status quo.

    • “many women do not even speak English (or the language of their adopted countries)”
      That’s no problem really as there are many lawyers, police officers, charities in Europe and North America who are fluent in the languages where most of the immigrants come from. When I worked as a family lawyer in Germany, I regularly had immigrant clients. If their German or English was not good enough, they brought a friend with them to translate or I found somebody to translate. Especially the main languages Turkish, Arabic, Urdu, Farsi etc. are no problem at all. You find bilingual people everywhere.

    • Lillian Smith says:

      Although the facilities are there as you stated, in practical terms women who are under the control of of an abusive husband do not find the support they seek within their families and communities. Ones you put Sharia on equal standing with the Law of the Land, then it is no problem for these women to be forced into Sharia Courts instead.

      If everyone is equal before the Law and if you accept the premise that the Law should be the same for all irrespective of their religion or cultural background, then our Governments should not relegate power to an alien legal system which goes contrary to many fundamental rights that are guaranteed before the Law by empowering a parallel legal system such as Sharia Courts (which by the way, already exist in Britain). In a sense, when any country or jurisdiction considers or implements such a scenario, what they are actually saying is that it is OK to have one law for the people that matter, i.e. the culturally European and another law for the Muslims. What they do not understand is that Sharia will not be content to be given the right to implement its ruling in family matters only and its long-term aim is to become the one and only law of the land like it is in Islamic Republics.

      Our leaders, who either because of moral relativism or because they succumbed to the Islamic lobby or because of the soft prejudice of lower expectations, should realize that when they accede to the demands for Sharia compliance, that they are undermining all our rights and freedoms and sowing the seed for the destruction of the West. For Islam is not just a religion but it is also an ideological and political movement that shares the same aspirations that the Nazis did – total world domination.

  12. Lillian Smith says:

    Andreas, you stated that “Parliaments pass laws in Western democracies, nobody else”. this may well be true but Islamists are hard lobbying for the laws to be changed. In the province of Ontario, Canada, the provincial parliament was ready to cow-tow to the Islamic lobby and to give equal footing with the law in family Court matters, under the guise of being politically sensitive to minorities who are Muslims.

    The only reason it did not happen is that a back-lash of ex-Muslims led by Maryam Namzie, an Iranian anti-Islam activist who came over to Canada and successfully fought this law that would have brought great injustsice to Muslim women who had fled their own countries to escape such discrimiation against them as found in Sharia. Ms. Namzie is an articulate and educated woman who was able to rally like-minded people behind her cause and eventually the provincial government back down. However, the Islamists have vowed that this is not the end of the battle and that they shall keep on fighting until Sharia Law becomes a parallel Justice System (for now, as when Muslims become the majority, Sharia will replace all other Western Laws) with equal footing to the English Common Law in Ontario, Canada.

    http://www.maryamnamazie.com/

    • “but Islamists are hard lobbying for the laws to be changed”
      What percentage of the voters is constituted by Islamists? I doubt they are a major force in Canada, given that many Muslims are not even Islamists.

    • Lillian Smith says:

      Lobbyists do not have to be a majority – they just have to have money and clout and access to the Media and to Politicos.

      Most mainstream Muslims are ‘silent’ Islamists, that is that while they may not outwardly be fanatical and be good citizens, they all believe that Islam should rule the world and do their duty by Islam just by breeding a lot of children (the demographic war) and by bleeding dry the welfare state of the infidel countries. They are usually also hyper-sensitive to any perceived insult and are usual first in line to scream ‘discrimination’ unless they are allowed to take breaks to pray five times a day, demand halal food (in fact in the UK most schools serve only halal foods to pre-empt this from happening, which has prompted some Christians and Atheists who object to halal slaughter to found their counter demands). In North America, where most taxi drivers are Muslims (see above – bleeding the infidel welfare state, since most of these do not pay tax and in some instance are on government assistance, all the while they drive taxis for a very good living) many refuse to take customers who have dogs, even sight dogs for the blind , or who carry pork or alcohol.

      Isn’t Multiculturalism wonderful!

  13. Lillian Smith says:

    Andreas, the Islamic lobby is very big in North America. In the USA, CAIR is the most promient one and in Canada there are various under different names and umbrellas. The money that flows into Mosques, Madrasses and Islamic Centres (which seem to spring up as mushroom overnight) must be enormous – one centre I know of is so huge and modern that it must have costs hundreds of millions to build yet the Muslims that utilize it are in the majority poor new comers. These centres, as is in most cases, are a hotbead of radical religious fanatics. In fact in Canada a couple of years ago, around 18 radical Muslims were caught planning the takeover of Parliament in Ottawa, behead the Prime Minister as well as bomb prominent landmarks in Toronto. Some of these conspirators were born in Canada. It is a well know fact that most of the money for these groups here and all over the world comes from Saudi Arabia who sponsors terrorism around the world and use every method at their disposal such as donating whole departments to prominent (and privately run) Universities in North America. There is also a quite take-over of Media companies to ensure that the Islamic perspective is presented in a good light both in newsprint and TV, with hired shills constantly spewing misinformation. In New York a prominent Muslim businessman wants to build an Islamic Centre right on the grounds of the Twin Towers and a campaign from outraged US citizens who oppose to an Islamic Centre at this hallowed ground.

    The Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Circle of North America is beginning a propaganda war to whitewash Sharia.

    “Subversive groups will tell you that Sharia is just private religious law. They’re lying. Sharia is a political system that contravenes American freedoms in numerous ways. Sharia asserts authority over non-Muslims. It mandates discrimination, harassment, and second-class status for both non-Muslims and women. It denies free speech, which we’re seeing in America increasingly under the guise of “hate speech laws.” How can anyone support Sharia when its undermines our fundamental Constitutional liberties?”

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