I'm going to make a radical statement: I'm not against giving away books. And I mean any book from the Twilight series to Mein Kampf. I have personally read through the first two Twilight books and was amazed at the only skill the author seemed to possess was the ability to understand the inner workings of a twelve year old girl's mind (obviously that is an important skill to have if one is writing for twelve year old girls). Mein Kampf is the blueprint for Hitler's heaven on earth. Both books I find irritating to say the least (the latter much more than the former), but I would not stop a group from giving away such books. If radical Twilight-ers decided to do such a thing, the worst that would happen is that we would all have to deal with those glittery vamps a wee bit longer. If neo-Nazis decided to pass out their tome the populace would at the very least understand the workings of the Republican party.
I'm sorry for that last joke. It was too easy not too make.
But why all the musing on giving out books? It seems the Germans are not too happy with the Koran being given away for free. I found the story Koran study: Some Germans worry about the distribution of free Korans in The Economist.
The Gideons in Germany give away 2,000 Bibles a day and nobody complains. The Koran is another matter. A group called the True Religion has handed out 300,000 copies, many from “information stands” in shopping areas. All told, it wants to give away 25m in German-speaking Europe. Intelligence agencies are alarmed; politicians have condemned the plan. The printing firm has even cancelled its contract. “The public pressure was too great,” it explained.My first reaction was something like I don't think the country that made book burning look cool should be telling people not to give away books.
|Yes, I know book burning is wrong, |
but they do look like they are having a swell time.
The problem, critics say, is not the gift but the giver. The True Religion espouses Salafism, a fundamentalist branch of Islam. Its leader is Ibrahim Abu Nagie, a Palestinian-born, Cologne-based preacher with intolerant views and a knack for getting others to embrace them. The Cologne prosecutor wanted to try him for inciting violence against Christians and Jews but could prove nothing worse than predictions that they would end in hell. The case was dropped in January.
There is nothing wrong with distributing religious texts, said Günter Krings, a Christian Democrat member of the Bundestag, but this “aggressive action” disturbs religious peace. Salafism would replace the “sovereignty of the people” with a theocratic state, declared North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister, Ralf Jäger. The domestic intelligence agency has been watching Mr Abu Nagie. Mainstream Muslims object to “instrumentalisation” of the Koran.I find this attitude from Mr Krings a bit hypocritical, to say the least. I wonder if he actively opposes the Lutheran Church in Germany. After all, the founder of that sect, Martin Luther, was the grandfather of the Holocaust. Here is an excerpt from Luther's 1543 work On the Jews and Their Lies.
First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. For whatever we tolerated in the past unknowingly and I myself was unaware of it will be pardoned by God. But if we, now that we are informed, were to protect and shield such a house for the Jews, existing right before our very nose, in which they lie about, blaspheme, curse, vilify, and defame Christ and us (as was heard above), it would be the same as if we were doing all this and even worse ourselves, as we very well know.How many times, I wonder has Mr Krings attempted to keep the Gideons from distributing their filth? How many times has the esteemed politician attempted to get the statue in Berlin of that Jew hater Martin Luther torn down?
I'm guessing zero.
Predictably, the ban of the Islamic group from giving out Korans has been a boon for their propaganda machine.
Fundamentalists are delighted by the shift in attention away from their ideas to their rights. “Where is religious freedom? Where is your democracy?” demands a spokesman in a video posted on the True Religion website. Pro-NRW, an anti-Islam party that is standing in the state election taking place on May 13th, wants to display caricatures of Islam near mosques. That could win the Salafists even more recruits than handing out any number of free Korans.
Atheists know that the best remedy for religion is to know more about that religion. Isaac Asimov stated is succinctly: Properly read, the bible is the most potent force for Atheism ever conceived. The same principle holds for the Koran and Islam.
This is Purgatory.