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Burning the Qur’an

When I think of the thread to burn the Qur’an and of the many divided voices in the media, I can’t help but to admit the strong clash I feel between what we call the liberties of this country with what I remember as the history of my family, of my country, of Europe.

I didn’t expect to discover in the past week, but I did, that I am against the liberties of this country, of the country I love also for its liberties.

I remember being a child, growing up in a multi-generational  family and learning some aspects of the history of my country and of Europe almost every day of my life.

On many occasions, when I didn’t want to finish my meals, my elders reminded me of the horrors of World War II. “Don’t waste food.  Children in Auschwitz were dying of starvation.”  Sometimes I had heard a different version of the same message: “If you won’t eat your food you will look like children in Auschwitz.  All skin and bones.”

I still see myself staring absent-mindedly into the plate of unfinished kotlet schabowy (a pork chop dish) and wishing I could either erase history or be transported into the horrific past to share my food with the ones who needed it most.

I also think of the relatives I had never met because they were killed by the Nazis.  I look at the picture of my grandfather’s brother, Leon Jank, a young priest, printed in Pomerania Magazine in September 1995 in the article about my family, Szesc Pokolen Rodziny Jankow (Six Generations of the Jank Family) and I wonder what would had become of him and his life if he hadn’t been murdered at the age of 33.  I see a young face and intense eyes behind round glasses, short haircut, and a priest’s collar.  I imagine him hunched over a book for long hours into the night.  No one knows where his body was buried.

I think of my grandfather Joseph, whom I carry in my heart remembering the many stories he shared with me when I was a child.  And I remember the stories about him told to me by my mother when I was a teenager.

“Grandfather lost his mind after the war,”  she told me.

“What do you mean?”  I couldn’t imagine him being different from the grandfather I knew.

“He saw too much during the war and couldn’t forget.  He spent many months in Kocborowo, psychiatric hospital,”  she said in a whisper.

Everyone whispered about my grandfather when the war was mentioned in his presence, because losing one’s mind was stigmatized as weakness and not accepted as a medical condition.  One had to be strong to live through the horrors of war and this is what was expected of all.

And I think of my father, Jerzy (George), who still, at the age of 73 is tormented by what he remembers.

“I remember them here.”  He had pointed to the ground next to the bridge near my house for the first time when I was a teenager and then repeated the story many times throughout my life.  “The woman was lying on her back and the little boy was next to her.  She had holes in her sweater and her tights.  I was six years old.  They were buried right here, in the same spot where they were shot and killed.” He have been haunted by this image since the day it happened.

“I think we should dig them out and give them a proper burial,”  he says sometimes, “We need to dignify their lives and their passing,”  he says, “I need to talk to the Mayor one day,”  he says, “I see them as if it happened yesterday,”  he says.

When someone says, “There is no book that is too holy to be burned,” I remember that moment in history when books by Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Jack London, H.G. Wells went up in flames. The moment of burning those books preceded the horrific atrocities of the Word War II and marked millions of lives, including mine with knowledge that should never be learned.

And here is a list of incidents of book burning in our human history.  Can we point even one that came down the history as justified or noble act?

I want to remember the words of a Jewish-German poet, Heinrich Heine who said:

“Where books are burned, human beings are destined to be burned too.”


60 Responses to “Burning the Qur’an”

  1. Bell Noor says:

    Danuta, I thank you for the writing, I appreciate for the time, the effort, and the context is enormous and makes the point so clear to many individuals.
    I so wish, I could put words in writing like you do. I guess, some of us read and write batter and some read and talk batter.

  2. Danuta, thank you for another thoughtful post and for telling us something about your family. I think of all my relatives who didn’t survive the war too, and I wonder about how someone can decide to do a hateful act like burning a Qur’an.

    Is it that the person has never been hurt and therefore can’t sympathize with the pain others feel? Or is it that he has been hurt so bad that he can never get beyond that hurt and feel for another?

    As my mother used to say, “If I could answer this question, I would be able to answer all the others.”

  3. Katie Cofer says:

    You sum this up very eloquently, Danuta. When I hear the word book burning I can only think of the Nazis and the Inquisition. It is terrifying to think about book burnings starting to be talked about in this supposedly liberal country, in the name of freedom of speech. How about freedom of religious belief? But, the country is too insular, too huge, too intolerant of the many nondominant cultures it embraces, there can’t be the same sense of connection with the past, with tradition, with other places and peoples that exists in Europe.

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      Thank you for sharing, Katie.
      Yes, I think, unfortunately for many people, it’s difficult to see the similarities and much easier to see the differences. And this is where the unreasonable actions come from.

  4. Khaled says:

    This priest and his call to burn to the Koran is doing nothing but widening the gap between Muslims and the West, at times when Muslims are cynical of what the West has to offer..
    Reading your memories in Poland makes me think that we have so much in common, we are all devastated by wars, we are all human beings who want to just live and let others live..
    I keep telling my friends who want to immigrate outside Egypt that immigration is not the answer, life is life everywhere, the differences are very minor..
    Cheers and have a great day my friend.

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      Great points, Khaled!
      Yes, this is exactly how I feel. There is so much we share as humans even though we come from different parts of the world.
      How I wish we could see it clearly and how I wish we could lead our lives from this point of clarity.

  5. Hanna Ejamo says:

    Thank you for sharing your family history, it is nice to read your personal opinion about the book burning. You put it in very good way for me to understand it and see it from different directions.

  6. Mahnaz says:

    Burning Quran is not a good choice to show hate of terrorism. I know that there are many countries that they grow up terrorism in the world and some of them are Muslim. But is that the reasons that burn the holly book of a religion. What will change? The people going to change? Their ways going to change? What is the real reason for this work? Many country react to burn Quran like Iran, but they said that we will not do same work because all of religion believe God and all books are holly.

  7. missrifath says:

    When I saw on CNN that someone want to burn the Qur’an I was shock not because I’m Muslim but because I thought there is no reason to burn any books. First of all, we never ever get anything beneficial with violence. In addition, by doing that it simply going to bring a war between Muslim and Christian people.

  8. Andre says:

    When I heard the article about burning Qur’an, it makes me surprise because it was too violent and immoral behavior. As if our religion is precious thing, there is same too. We cannot attack other’s culture, religion, or country. If we want to earn respect, we should respect the other’s things. Even though they don’t respect me or us, we need to forgive them. That is God told me and teach me. However, the priest who burned Qur’an is not eligible people I think.

  9. Rishabh says:

    It is very painful experience, when one hears about the death of relative(s). And it is very unfortunate to hear about a relative(s) getting murdered in massacre. In any civilization, the burning of holy book is unacceptable. While the Qur’an, which happens to be one of the oldest religious book, the burning of that book is very sad.

  10. Dong Sun says:

    After reading burning the Qur’an, I was thinking about the book burning in China during the Qin Dynasty. I was thinking about the difference between these two books burning. I know the reason of why Qin Shi Huang burning the book. He wanted to control the whole country. I think burning the Qur’an was that some people who against the Muslim. So they thought that Qur’an was an evil book. They wanted to destroy the book. From the your post, I know your family and I am glad to know some history about your family.

  11. Alexander says:

    What I think about the fact of burning the Qur’an

    I was very shocked when I heard the news last week, the news were about a Pastor from Florida who tried to burn the Qur’an. This became a thread against the world; I mean it this way because this issue involves the Muslin religion. All the Muslin people are very upset and angry about the fact of burning the Qur’an. I think that if he would have burned the Qur’an, he should be prosecuted because it goes against the US Constitution. No one should burn a book!

  12. Ivan says:

    As you mentioned on your blog, there is a great importance to books. They carry infomation of our past, present, and future and they shouldnt be burned.

  13. Nyambi says:

    To burn another religion’s scriptures is not only disrespectful to all who practice that religion but it is also an act of hate that could bring about violence. The Qur’an is a holy book like any other one and as such must be treated in the same respect as any other holy book. The burning of the qur’an will not only widen the gap between the muslims and the western world but it will also endanger the lifes of christians wherever there may be. At the end of the day, our prayer should be that muslims come to understand that those who distroy the Qur’an do not speak for all christians, but are only trying to satisfy their own sefish desires.

  14. lee says:

    The pastor was ridiculous. What for? Just to get the fame? Just want to be focused from public? It was an irrational attempt. Even though he cancelled, it was enough for Islam to get upset. The small match can burn a whole mountain. Burning a qu’ran by one man could cause the other religion war or another 9.11 terror.

  15. Lexy says:

    As you said, books are very important to us because they tell us our history and show our progress throughout time. Our past times are ours to keep with us and remember forever. Burning books is not a very well thought out approach to getting a point across when it could very well be done by writing another book! Writing is the tool that allows us to remember emotions as clear as the day they were felt.

  16. Casey says:

    when I read about burning the Qur’an, i was very shocked. I don’t think that the priests attempt was a very wise one. books are what we learn from. some are holy such as the Qur’an and others tell about the past and the emotions people felt in certain moments in history. burning the holy book for Muslims is a ridiculous way to ‘get back’ at terrorists for their attacks on 9/11. not all Muslims are affiliated with the terrorists and doing something as obscene as burning their holy book is offensive to many that have nothing to do with them. although the priest cancelled it, it was still something that should never have been thought to do.

  17. homeira says:

    The news of burning holy Quran was so sad . I was crying in my heart and I’m sure many people Moslem or non Moslem had the same feeling. There could not be any reason behind this unexpected behavior .
    People all over the word are different in race, shape, religion, language, believe and ideas. This diversity is beautiful and nice. If we say we are civilized we should not attack to each other opinion. In additional, if there is something wrong with any idea or any book, there is better way to prove it that they are wrong . Unfortunately, the reaction to violence always has been violence in the history. I hope we all teach our kids that war is ugly and we must prevent to do any wrong behavior that causes or starts a war.

  18. Andrea says:

    I feel like the pastor is only giving himself more reasons to have hatred for the Muslim culture. Because he burned the Qur’an he may turn himself into a target of hatred from the Muslim prospective. I certainly think him burning the book PUBLICLY was a big mistake. If he really feels the need to do that he shouldn’t have let the media get involved. This cycle is constantly being fueled by violent acts such as this. When people burn books it destroys so much more than paper pages. Some people pour their whole life into a book; sometimes it’s a irreplaceable key piece of history. Sometimes it can start a war because those pages may symbolize everything that person has ever stood for.

  19. Andrea Lazo says:

    This blog made a very big impact on me, especially were you mention that your parents made you eat everything, they taught you that you were lucky about having food in your plate. While I was reading this part I went back to my childhood, it made me recall all the values and morals my parents implanted on me as a little girl, throughout my childhood and my adolescent years. In my country El Salvador, I was considered lucky, privileged, people sometimes said to me “oh, you don’t know what problems are, you were born on a crib made of gold.” yes, my family was wealthy, but I am thankful to them for teaching what’s right, for nurturing my heart. My parents made me appreciate what I had, they helped me understand that in this world there are people with need, and we can be part of the help to them. My parents also appreciated education very much, they said that the best thing they could leave for me and my sisters in this world was a good education, because no one could take that from me. This is when the love and respect for books came around in my life. My mom loves reading, she does it for fun, she was an excellent student when in school. I grew up reading, in my point of view, books are sacred and it is a disrespectful act to burn books. If you burn a book that a hundred people have read. You will just be burning pages, all the information is recorded in the database of the minds of people. These people can decided to all together rewrite this book and make it a lot better. People who decide to burn books only make fools out of themselves, they show how uneducated and how low communications skills they have.

  20. Olana says:

    I think this whole experience was all for attention. I believe that the more we make it more than it is, we are giving the pastor more power. This was such a disaster and an embaressment to all christians. I believe that he is misrepresenting the chiristian faith.

  21. Nicholas K. says:

    I found the recent event with the minister in Florida threatening to burn 99 Qurans disturbing, but not very surprising. The pastor in Florida who wanted to burn 99 copies of the Quran, was filled with anger and vengeance. He was enraged by the 9/11 attacks on his own country and religion and felt this was a way to exact his revenge. It was not a terrorist attack, but it was his own way to strike back at those that attacked his country. In fact, I think we should be fortunate that all that he was trying to do was to burn Qurans, rather than acts of violence against other people. He was hurt by what radicals did to his own religion and felt this to be an appropriate action.

    Regardless of his anger and hurt by the terrorists’ attacks, that does not give him the right to burn the holy book of another religion. Our country was built on freedom for all religions, not just his religion, your religion, or my religion for that matter. It was also wrong of him to assume that because the terrorists were radical Muslims that all Muslims backed the attack of 9/11. Most Muslims do not support terrorist actions. A man planning to go through with this rash action needs to take that into consideration, before making such a bold move.

    With the action, the pastor also was risking everyone else’s lives. A radical group of terrorists hearing about his plan could have decided to take action against it. It very well could have happened due to this man’s actions. We are very lucky not to have another terrorist attack on this 9/11 anniversary.

  22. Khomkrit says:

    I feel sad about the people who were killed during WWII by the Nazi. I agree with the Jewish-German poet written by Heinrich Heine. The books are burned, the human are also burned because the books are written by human. I do not understand why people burn the Qur’an and there is no reason to to burn them, in my opinion.

  23. Andrew says:

    Religion will always be around. Burning the book of a person’s religion will not do anything to them except cause problems. This whole incident with the pastor was just for attention. It was blown way out of proportion in my opinion, and gives a horrible name towards Christians and also Americans. There was no real logic in the pastors plan, this is what made me believe it was all for attention.

  24. yousaf sethi says:

    As i was reading different comments from different people. i again noticed this think that a lot of people have a very wrong perception about Muslims and Islam. majority while thinking and talking of Muslims, Islam and Quran, they have this image of TERRORISM and Terrorists. and stuff like that. Thats a wrong perception, ” Muslims are not terrorist” . Islam doesn’t teach terrorism , In fact if you study different religions, No religion teaches terrorism. TERRORISM HAVE NO RELIGION. It wasn’t the Religion who Attacked 9/11. I would recommend to WATCH THIS VIDEO
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvwB0guyuNk

    at 3:30 .. (at 3 minutes and 30 seconds) …. 1, Terrorism and Islam have nothing to do with each other..
    2,TERRORISTS HAVE KILLED MORE MUSLIMS IN THE PAST 9 YEARS THEN ANYONE ELSE ON THIS EARTH. So how can we say that muslims are Terrorist ?

  25. Bobby Lebair says:

    I do not believe that those people should burn the Quran. I belive it will lead to more violence and can hurt our troops over seas. Secound I think that everyone should respect other people no matter what their religion is. If we all left each other alone we would not have this tension. I belive that the man who is planning to burn the Quran is just makking him self a big target and could put his family in danger.

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      Good argument, Bobby.
      President Obama made the same point about our troops.
      The implications of one’s actions might be much broader than expected or even anticipated!

  26. Emily M says:

    After reading your blog entry, I learned a lot about the history of burning books. I didn’t know that is was even going on let alone that it was such a problem.
    Burning the Qur’an was a scary threat against our country and shows the danger and possible loss of historic literature. I think that our country needs to do more to preserve the historic books in our country. I feel that it is a major problem and that we need to do something about it.

  27. Lizzi C says:

    I am pleased to know that Pastor Terry Jones did not proceed with the Qur’an burning. Although I disagree with his intentions on the original plan to burn the Qur’an, I approve of the way he turned the situation around and made an agreement with the Muslim leaders to move their Islamic center and mosque away from Ground Zero. I think that although his plan to burn the books was controversial and he was strongly advised not to follow through with his plan, the way he handled himself and made the agreement was a workable outcome that worked for everyone. The end result of the stir he created made it so that the Muslim’s did not have their book burned and the American’s did not have the Islamic center and mosque on Ground Zero. So overall I would say that I disapprove of his original intention, but am overall satisfied with the situation in its entirety.

  28. dominque davis says:

    I think the priest was being extremely unnecessary. The burning of Qur’an would be pointless because there is always another book somewhere or a person that’s willing to rewrite it. Besides there is always some way to remember the book or republish the book . I feel like he was just trying to show off his power, by saying I could do this, burn everything you people believe in, and there is nothing that they could do about it. Maybe the priest was going through a power struggle I don’t know, but the burning of one book would be pointless and it would not do anything but anger the people even more then they probably already are.

  29. Zenab C says:

    Hello Ms. Hinc

    Thank you very much, what is the meaning of religious freedom in this powerful country? VIOLENCE is not equal to PEACE.
    The priest is just ridiculous, he wants to be on the news.

  30. yousaf sethi says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvwB0guyuNk
    This is the video… forward to point 32:33 ..or from 3:30 to 34:00

  31. Josef O says:

    The priest is showing the world how intolerant Americans are of other religions, despite our constant struggle to make our country universal and equal and fair to all its citizens. It is like a single story that is marring the American image of equal liberty for all because if there is persecution there is no liberty for the group that is being affected and this Qu’ran burning, or the planned one is an affront to that liberty and that freedom to being Islam. It is unjust. And the media just magnifies the issue. When will this country ever see true equally prevail?

  32. Trisha says:

    When you mentioned that your elders would tell you there were starving children, that reminded me of my own mother. When I was younger she would tell me something very similar. She told me not to throw food in the trash because many little boys and girls were starving and all they had to eat was food that they dug up from the trash, and that i was very fortunate to have food on my plate. I never understood why she insisted I didn’t throw food in the trash if that’s what they had to eat. When my mother wasn’t looking, sometimes i would sneak food into the trash like i would throw a banana or anything else for the kids who eat from the trash. So that reminded me of that. I have yet to tell my mother about all the food she influenced me to throw in the trash.
    The burning of the qur’an is a horrible tragedy. by burning a book you are not affecting the makers of it, because they have earned their income if the book is out there. You end up hurting your children and their children. without books we have no knowledge. Books are our written source of information. All of our past learnings come from our ancestors written documents such as books. Without them we are nothing but ignorant to the facts of the past.

  33. Hae P says:

    America has freedom of religion. I know Christianity is quoted many times in America. For example, pledge of allegiance states, “one nation under God”. Another example is that presidents have to sworn into presidency by swearing on the bible. Therefore I understand that America has freedom of religion and we should support other religions as well, but I don’t agree with the pastor trying to burn the Qur’an. Honestly, it does not affect me if Qur’an is placed at ground zero or not. However, I believe that people should practice their religion without trying to interfere with other religions.

  34. Mike Clark says:

    The older I am
    the more I know
    that I know less
    of what ultimately is
    but know more
    of how important
    being present
    is.
    I believe
    the ultimate gift
    is here
    if we choose
    to accept its grace
    and one another.

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      Mike,

      your words have resonated within my mind for several long moments before I realized what was happening.

      I think I want to describe it this way:
      Your words are like drops of water.
      They shape my mind slowly but permanently.

      With gratitude.

  35. ypatton says:

    Reading your blog made me think of a novel entitled The Day They Came to Arrest the Book by Nat Hentoff. The copyright is from 1982; the book cover on my copy is very late 70s/early 80s; we studied the book in back in college–but it’s still incredibly relevant. It is a narrative set in a high school in which a history teacher assigns her class Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and many students and parents are offended for various reasons, particularly because of the works’ characters’ offensive language. The novel revolves around the characters and events that transpire in the lead up to the school board’s decision whether or not to ban the book.

    Obviously, from the title, one can guess that Hentoff is against banning books; nevertheless, he presents fair arguments from both sides—including a debate between a young lawyer from the ACLU and the founder and chief executive officer of the “Citizens’ League for the Preservation of American Values”—which provides readers with useful basis for discussion.

    In any case, your writing inspired me to go down to our library and find the book–to see if I still liked it as much as I thought I did. I have been just finished re-reading it. I have read it with a pencil. One especially good point the makes (through one of the characters) is that the founders–George Mason, Jefferson, Madison, etc.–of this country knew all along that freedom of expression was risky. But in writing the constitution–and particularly in the first amendment–they took the chance because “freedom, real freedom, is always—always—the deadliest enemy of tyranny.”

    Thank you for inspiring me to study further.

  36. […] Burning the Qur’an September 2010 51 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com, 4 […]

  37. Alexandra Fitzgerald says:

    I don’t think that any book should be burned for whatever reason a person may think that it should be. Books are meaningful, necessary, and a source of education and knowledge. Books are what we learn from about education and past and present events and if we were to burn books then we would know nothing about what has happened and what is happening in the world. People read books for personal enjoyment and books are something that people express themselves and what they read. Books such as the bible and the Qur’an are books that express their culture and differing viewpoints that show them apart from others. If we were to burn all books then we would not have any books to learn from and there is no point for education because other than internet databases we get educated through books. We also that not all our information is factual and by reading a book we recognize that actual information and what is really being said so that we can differ from facts and opinions.
    There would also be no educators, or lawyers, or attorneys as well as others such as nurses, and doctors because they learn their knowledge mostly from books and without books they have no kind of knowledge what so ever. Burning books is like taking away freedom of speech because that is taking away something that somebody likes and gets enjoyment out of. If we were to look at burning books than there would be a domino effect burning other things that people get enjoyment out and then there would be nothing, it is like having no freedom. I am against book burning because of the reason that it takes something away from somebody that they value.

  38. Corynne says:

    I believe that books should not be burned. People take the time and energy to write these books. They use the writing to express themselves and to let people know where they are coming from. I believe that they way you handle the book and the attitude toward the book is a major thing. Many people use books to “escape to another world” or for entertainment. Burning books is taking away from people’s entertainment. Everyone has their own different opinions on burning books or not. Also people have the choice to read the books; if you disagree with the book or have an issue with the book then do not read it. Everyone has their own opinion; how you express it is up to the person.

  39. Dan.S says:

    I personally think that any kind of book burnig should be looked down upon. All around the world people have some kind of a belief that came from a book. We all have a right to believe in what we want. We should respect others opinions and decisions as we would want them to respect ours. I never knew that a book burning could create such a horrible sequence of events like it did with the Nazi’s. I hope humanity learns from this story and others like it that tremendous consequenses follow to a book burning.

  40. ebe says:

    Burning of the Qur’an
    We should realize that to burn a book is to follow in the footsteps of hate mongering and authoritarian censorship. It goes against any ideal of peace and acceptance and human thought. It is all too easy to think of the burning of the Qur’an and immediately look back to the infamous Nazi book burnings that surrounded the WWII era. There is no greater point of reference for many of us, especially for those of us who were not alive to witness those sad spectacles. To burn a book is to attempt to silence the ideas of not only individuals but of cultures and entire regions. The pastor in Florida who wanted a mass burning of the Qur’an is only a more recent example from an age where people think themselves civilized or educated. To be truly educated does not mean that we only understand and look at the things that we believe, but to have a broad view of subjects and to understand different views from others in our arena, despite the fact that they differ from our own. One cannot consider himself an authority on God and religion and consider himself to have made an educated decision when he knows nothing of a faith or peoples aside from what he has seen on television. But I do not think this was his intention. It seems more like a passive attack on a people or idea for which he harbors hate, and this is his attempt to introduce a spark into the volatile emotions of a people/culture he does not understand. To be a man of God means to harbor love and acceptance of people despite their flaws and differences. Burning books are allowed in this country as I think they should be. I hate the idea of it, but when we live on a set of values and principles such as freedom of speech or expression, then we have to take the good with the bad. To say that we are free to express ourselves, but we cannot burn a book to show our discontent would place us in the same category of the pastor, who claims to preach love of God and His will except those of which differ from his own. To burn a book of any kind to me is an act of ignorance and fear and, of course, censorship. But to say that it should not be allowed is the same, and where then shall we draw the line? And why instigate? Is he not burning the book because it is a source of violence and hate to him? It is almost painfully obvious to anyone who has done research or experienced a moment of rational thought in this decade that such hateful acts almost always provoke retaliation. In a way, though, we should thank people such as these. Banned books are almost always more vigorously sought. Books which are elite enough to be burned are only given more exposure and gain more interest. The physical act of burning books bears little significance in today’s world. Printing is cheap and it will be easy to replenish. The idea is what is important, and the ignorance and disregard is what is communicated – the blatant disregard for other peoples or cultures. If you want to kill the ideas of the Qur’an or any other book, show a better example through yourself. If you want an idea to thrive, burn the book in which it is written.

  41. It’s four months later, and I wonder what happened to the Qu’ran burning minister.

  42. samuel says:

    Nothing is wrong even a broken watch is correct twice a day. A bad experimental procedure teaches us not to conduct the experiment the same way and the next step would be to modify the experimental procedures. For different reasons books could be bad, provocative, excellent, ethnical, etc. All of them are important and at least we could learn what those books are trash, good. If we burn them how could the future generation know that those books were good or bad. Knowledge should have a free flow at all times and everyone is entitled to his ideas. However, we need to be able to develop critical selection of what we read and watch in a mass media.

    All holly books are dear for its followers. Holly books have more values on the eyes of their followers. Destruction of holly books is a lot more than destruction of books and it is a very sensitive issue. People are very much attached to their religious books and read them several times in their lives unlike the other ordinary books. Trying to burn a holly book doesn’t only over right the freedom of belief but also humiliate the religion of others. That’s why President Obama step up and advised the person who wants to burn qoran not to do it. It is a paramount important for all religious groups to live in mutual respect and understanding. Holly books should not be regarded as ordinary books but also knowledge of any kind should be well entertained at any time. Diversity is a beauty.

  43. Tsehaye says:

    For me, burning the Quran signifies the ethnocentrism that has followed humanity age long. Throughout its history, human kind has been consistently ethnocentric towards its value and increasingly hostile to others which deviate from its stand point. It is all about self-referentially, the tendency to view the world through your selective eye and mind, and devalue the value of others. Intolerance is human kinds’ typical character as witnessed in its history. Many of the past tragic events can be explained in the language of ethnocentrism. When one is intolerant, he filters the world through his life-world and develops the tendency to shut its system off. It is like the other party does not exist or it is irrelevant. Burning the Quran I say is a form of religious bigotry, a form of ethnocentrism. In the same token, one thinks his religious view is superior and that everyone has to embrace his stand view. When one is intolerant in religious terms, he is resentful to other perspectives. It is like everyone has to look at the world with one binocular. If you can’t see through it, then blame your eyes. It is there except that you can’t see it.

    No matter what justification one can present, perspectives are value-laden and there is no way to justify your stand as the ultimate one. Values are personal and can’t be measured objectively. What way is there in the world to appreciate the diversity in values and standpoints than to accept the diversity itself? Of course it is always possible to open up forums for discussion and influence that would cultivate tolerant behavior.

    I am a big believer in human kind. It is remarkably flexible and always finds its ways out of challenges. Just think of the countless challenges human kind has faced in its history. We are survivors. If only we can accept the fact that in our own world, we are all right. Only if we can grow tolerant and extend our perspectives to find common areas and compromise differences. Little of that would make the world a nice place to live. I would suggest we start with religion. It has caused more harm than good!

  44. […] happened. By that time, many different stories became a part of Polish daily life, just like the stories about World War […]