Archive for the ‘Heinrich Heine’ tag
Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings. — Heinrich Heine
As ever, Hitchens brings his acid wit to bear in writing about recent violent protests in Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif and calls to burn humans in response to Pastor Terry Jones’ and Dove World Outreach Center’s decision to torch copies of the Koran:
How dispiriting to see, once again, the footage of theocratic rage in Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif. The same old dreary formula: self-righteous frenzy married to a neurotic need to take offense; the easy resort to indiscriminate violence and cruelty; the promulgation of makeshift fatwas by mullahs on the make; those writhing mustaches framing crude slogans of piety and hatred, and yelling for death as if on first-name terms with the Almighty. The spilling of blood and the spoliation of property—all for nothing, and ostensibly “provoked” by the corny, brainless antics of a devout American nonentity, notice of whose mere existence is beneath the dignity of any thinking person.
Dove World Outreach center apparently takes the name of its church very seriously, since it seems to have spread its influence, quite like a malignant tumor, from its tiny location in Gainesville, Fla., to the far reaches of the Middle East. Why Afghan President Hamid Karzai feels the need to even bother himself with such tripe coming from a congregation of about 70, one can only wonder, but bother himself he has. According to Hitchens:
Unlike some provincial mullahs, Karzai also knows perfectly well that the U.S. government is constitutionally prohibited from policing religious speech among its citizens. Yet, when faced with the doings of the aforementioned moronic cleric from Gainesville, he went out of his way to intensify mob feeling. This caps a long period where his behavior has come to seem like a conscious collusion with warlordism, organized crime, and even with elements of the Taliban. Already under constant pressure to make consistent comments about Syria and Libya, the Obama administration might want to express itself more directly about a man for whose fast-decomposing regime we are shedding our best blood.
Andrei Fedyashin provides a detailed look of the ugly situation, with the following to aptly sum up matters:
What Jones has is not a church, although it is often described as such. His congregation of 50 to 70 people qualifies it more accurately as a very small fundamentalist sect. Normal Muslims should, therefore, not take broader offense, but they, too, have their own such sects at the other end of the confessional spectrum.