Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Koran Burning Publicity Stunt Should Have Been Ignored

by David Doody

Tags: Koran, Terry Jones, Spirituality, Orlando Sentinel, The Economist, Southern Poverty Law Center, Hatewatch, National Review Online, David Doody,


It always feels odd to write about a “news” event when the argument you are trying to make is that no one should have paid attention in the first place. It’s ironic, at best. And probably closer to idiotic. Understanding that to be the case, we’ve rustled up what we think are some important articles that addressed the much-talked-about Koran burning that is to take place on September 11.  Important if for no other reason than they would hopefully guide us when the next media-hungry sensationalist attempts to get everyone, including the White House, to respond to some stunt.  Unfortunately, calls to ignore sensationalism tend to get lost in the frenzy.

Writing for the Orlando Sentinel, Mike Thomas argues that General Petraeus’ warning should have been directed at the media:

At The Economist blogger M.S. files the media grab and its central figure under “people who do foolish, crazy things to get in the news”:

On the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch Alexander Zaitchik compares the actions of Terry Jones to those of another “media-hungry hate-church preacher”:

If stories like this are not going to stay out of the public eye—and let’s face it, they’re not—then it’s best to look for people at least trying to engage with the topic in an intelligent way, like Nina Shea and Paul Marshall do at National Review Online or Adam Serwer does at The American Prospect.  Serwer argues that “‘Burn a Quran’” day and the protests in Afghanistan are symptoms of larger problems,” and in an honest attempt to discuss the issue of free speech behind the Koran burning, Shea and Marshall look at Islamic blasphemy strictures around the world and conclude,

Source: Orlando SentinelThe EconomistHatewatchNational Review OnlineThe American Prospect 

Image by adobemac, licensed under Creative Commons.