Well, unless you have been living in a hole for the past week (and that may well be the case for some of my blog readers!) ;-), then you cannot have failed to read about the American Pastor, Terry Jones, who planned to jeopardise world peace and National Security tomorrow, by openly burning the Koran on the ninth anniversary of September 11th. (see photo).
Now, I am not about to start offering an opinion as to whether he is a madman seeking publicity or whether he genuinely believes in what he is saying, I’ll leave that to the rest of the world, my opinion on it is unimportant, but it got me thinking….
“burn the books they’ve got too many names and psychosis,
all this incriminating evidence would surely haunt me,
if someone broke into my house” (thanks once again Alanis, twice inspired in the same amount of days…)
Through time, we have indulged in this crazy practice. As a writer (sort of), there is nothing more soul-destroying than the thought of someone burning the written word (affectionately known as libricide). I personally could not stand by and watch a match being put to anything that someone had taken the time to write, rightly or wrongly!
The Beatles even suffered the same fate when John Lennon made an inflammatory remark about Jesus Christ, only then it was records we were torching!
So let me ask (apart from the writer being horrified at his/her words being destroyed) what does it achieve? A symbolic gesture, no doubt, but unless what is burnt is the ONLY copy of what has been written, is it not too late?
Remember a previous post, when I told you what a writer friend of mine said? “Once it’s been read, it stays read. You can’t ‘unread’ something.”
So Pastor Jones and his (small) band of merry followers could have a nice little marshmallow toasting session tomorrow with 200 copies of a book that millions of people live their lives by, but what would it achieve? Would all Muslims suddenly stop believing in and practicing its teachings? Will they all willingly convert to whatever faith he preaches? No.
But what it COULD do, is endanger the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands of people and start the process of hate, all over again.
Me? I’d much rather write or read a book, than set it alight! 😉
Have a good weekend everyone and let’s hope it’s one without fireworks! We’ll save that for November.