Sparks From A Book Burning

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On March 20th, Pastor Terry Jones held a Koran burning in Florida. On Thursday Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, condemned the burning and called for the arrest of Jones. Yesterday, Afghans protested the Koran burning by killing UN workers. And today the deadly protests have spread to Kandahar. Una Moore, located in Kabul, Afghanistan, puts the killings in context:

This is not the beginning of the end for the international community in Afghanistan. This is the end. Terry Jones and others will continue to pull anti-Islam stunts and opportunistic extremists here will use those actions to incite attacks against foreigners. Unless we, the internationals, want our guards to fire on unarmed protesters from now on, the day has come for us to leave Afghanistan.

The interaction between Christianism and Islamism could take us all back to the dark ages. Both acts are, to my mind, egregiously unhinged. What on earth does it achieve to burn a holy book? And how screwed up is a religion which responds to this by murdering UN workers? Both mindsets are sick versions of religious fanaticism.

My fear of a Huckabee or Palin as president is precisely their ability to inflame this kind of thing still further, and identify the the entire United States as representative of Christianist excess. The current GOP no longer includes in its leadership even someone like George W. Bush who kept insisting that Islam itself was not the problem, Islamism is.

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