In my humble opinion, there are only a few reasons why anyone would stage a public burning of some other peoples’ holy book:
- They want to show in public how pious they are.
- They want to score some brownie points with God.
- They want to blow raspberries at Team Not Us.
- They want to generate publicity to expand their congregation, go on the Tee Vee, and do something to improve the fill ratio of their collection baskets.
Which one of those reasons listed above would Jesus approve?
Every time I hear of a book burning somewhere, I think of this quote:
“Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings, too.” –Heinrich Heine, Almansor (1821)
Do they have the right to do it? Sure. Is it a good idea, especially when the U.S. commander on the ground in Team Not Us Land says that it would endanger our troops? Probably not.
(And the people in the Comments section who say that they’re Christians and they wouldn’t care if someone burned the Bible are very much missing the point. To Muslims, the Koran is the literal, physical word of God in a way the Bible isn’t to Christians. To them, it’s a sacrilege to defile one. It’s like…oh, there’s no real analogy in Christianity I can think of. Maybe taking a leak on the Shroud of Turin just for kicks, or picking your teeth with a splinter from the One True Cross, perhaps.)
Book burnings–not just burnings of someone’s holy texts, but the burning of any book–are an affront to humanity, culture, and civilization. There’s no good or right reason to burn any book, anywhere, at any time. People who do it anyway are illiterate, unenlightened savages, whatever their motivation.