Burning the Koran is free speech. But must we have a holy war?

Not only do I share the disdain for Lindsey Graham expressed by Ann Barnhardt (whose Koran-burning bravery is eloquently praised in a post by Roger Kimball that Glenn linked earlier), but I agree she has balls. I think more Americans need to exercise our free speech birthright that cowards like Lindsey Graham and his ilk would have us so cavalierly disregard. 

However, free speech means free speech, and defending the free speech right of someone to say or do something does not mean having to agree with that person says or does. So, even though I defend Ann Barnhardt's right to burn the Koran (and to say that most Muslim men are "homosexual pedophiles" who are taught to be that way by the Koran), that doesn't mean I agree with her actions or her thinking. 

Similarly, even though I defend her right to say it, I feel obligated to disagree with her brave and passionate analysis of Islam -- ("The problem is islam.") --  which I found at her website:

This brings us to option #2, which is actually the more viable and certainly the more loving and charitable option.

2. Fight a Final Crusade and exterminate islam from the face of the earth once and for all.

Yep. I said it, and I mean it. This option isn't really an "option" at all, because this is where we are heading whether we like it or not. There is going to be a massive, final war between islam and the civilized world at some point. The only real question is, how long are we going to stall it off? A week? A month? A year? A decade? A century? Some would argue that the Final Crusade actually began on 9/11, and that we have been fighting minor skirmishes ever since. Perhaps. If that is the case, the civilized world clearly does not understand that it is in a fight for its very survival. There isn't room enough in this world for both human civilization AND islam. One side is going to be destroyed by the other. If islam wins, then humanity will be dead as well, because it will be just a matter of time before islam consumes itself, as outlined above. If civilization wins, humanity will continue, knowledge and technology will increase, there will be joy and laughter and goodness, and human beings will be free to seek and find God. In this way, islam is exactly like cancer. Either a person destroys the cancer within them and survives, or the cancer wins and both the person AND the cancer die. Given that the civilized world still doesn't understand what is going on, I don't think it is fair to say that the Final Crusade has begun. It will begin when we comprehend that it is us or them - kill or be killed....

Sorry, but brave as she is to express it, I think that is an extremely bad idea. I don't think such a "massive final war" is wise. A better idea would be to form alliances with (and encourage) those Muslims who genuinely seek peace, and who believe in interpreting the Koran accordingly.

All Muslims are not the enemy. To say that they are is bad logic and a bad tactic.

If this thinking were to be put into practice, it would jeopardize the entire war effort over the past decade, in which thousands of Americans (including Muslims) have given their lives.

If all Muslims are the enemy, then what the hell are we doing helping any of them?

In addition to wanting to wage war against all Muslims, Barnhardt comes close to advocating a civil war in this country (an idea I have opposed for years). She thinks we are under a duty to wage a just war ("in which it is lawful to kill another human being") against Marxist-Sorosists -- and she considers those who disagree with her assessment that there is such a duty to be guilty of self-loathing* and thus the enemy:

What we face today is a two-pronged attack. There are two invading groups that have openly declared that the United States has no right to exist and have announced their intention to destroy us. Those two groups are Marxist-Sorosists and islam. Not only do we have the right to defend ourselves, and even to wage just war against these groups as a last resort, but we also have the obligation - or "duty" as the Declaration puts it - to do so. Those Americans who argue that we have no such obligation or duty and are in fact obliged to commit societal and cultural suicide are the very people outlined earlier who have been indoctrinated in a culture of self-loathing. Who comprises the first prong, the American left? Athiests. Feminists. Materialists. Hedonists. Homosexuals. Marxists. The second prong of islam is comprised of people who worship satan under the name of "allah". Satan's entire raison d'etre is the loathing of humanity.

I hope I'm misinterpreting her, but much as I'd like to ignore this in the hope that it goes away, the above reads like a call for civil war. If it is that, I guess she would consider me to be on the wrong side.

Which sucks, especially because I don't want to fight in a civil war. I don't believe Americans should kill other Americans over political or especially cultural disagreements. I think it is irresponsible to lump together all atheists, feminists, materialists, hedonists, homosexuals, conflate them with Marxists and Muslims, and then declare that we need to wage a just war against them so it is lawful to kill them.

But lump them she does, and then she analogizes to World War II and invokes her religious views: 

...We fought in WWII not only in defense of ourselves and our allies, but also in the hopes of saving the German people and the Japanese people from themselves and the evil that they had fallen into, and we were successful! What it means is that we PRAY for the conversion of our enemies, both the dead and the living. We pray that they find Christ and realize the evil of their ways before such time as we are forced to fight and defeat them. If that fails and we are forced to kill them in battle, when they are dead we pray for Christ to have mercy on their souls.

What's up with that? Does praying for them after they're dead make it more OK to kill the atheists, feminists, materialists, hedonists, homosexuals she so abhors and links to Marxists and Muslims?

Why inject religion into the killing process? It strikes me that such talk only increases the likelihood of killing. 

I don't know whether this is a religious disagreement or not, but I just felt I needed to say something. Especially because one of the reasons I started this blog was to try to prevent the damn culture war from turning into a civil war. 

All of the above notwithstanding, I agree that the First Amendment is one of those "use it or lose it" things, and I admire Ann Barnhardt's bravery.

(So to that extent, and no more, I say "burn baby burn!")

* But is it self-loathing to defend the First Amendment rights of people who want to kill you?

posted by Eric on 04.07.11 at 04:18 PM


I disagreed with her on her war on all Islam bit, but the Koran burning was spot on. Those passages were evil.

However..... I could go through the Bible and find stuff just as bad.

The difference is that the overwhelming majority of Christians today do not use those passages to tell them how to live.

Wiping out political Islam would be a service to the world, but peaceful followers are fine by me. I rate all religions on the same scale.

Do they want to hurt me, kill me or make me believe as they do? Bad.
Do they not want to hurt me, kill me or force me believe as they do? Fine.

Add in that human sacrifice is bad and that's how I rate religions as "good" and "bad".

It's no skin off my soul if you pray for it.
If you want to lop my head off I'm less tolerant.

Veeshir   ·  April 7, 2011 4:40 PM

She's right. You are deluded.

They ALL work from the same book of evil and they are commanded to convert or kill. So let's just
get it over with.

sablegsd   ·  April 7, 2011 6:28 PM

Veeshir I agree.

S, you have every right to think I'm deluded, but exactly how would you plan to do that? Kill all Muslims, starting with the populations closest to U.S. troops?

Eric Scheie   ·  April 7, 2011 6:46 PM

But she is a little hottie...

Ken   ·  April 7, 2011 8:27 PM

What she is calling for is almost exactly a mirror image of what the jihadis want. But I guess because it is the "Christian America" version of jihad, it's all good. Alanis Morisette might say that that is even more ironic than a black fly in your chardonnay.

john   ·  April 8, 2011 12:09 AM

Islam is and always will be a threat to peace and reason even if many of its followers are not. It does not matter if we remember the lessons of history or not, we are doomed to repeat them, because we are what we are. Human natures have not changed. We are still moved by the same oratory and speeches, driven by the same passions and desires, still easily deceived, often by ourselves. We will wage war. Whether the cry is "God wills it!" or "Justice and Reason demand it!" we will fight for our beliefs and ways of life. We are human.

Will   ·  April 8, 2011 1:16 AM

"All muslims are not the enemy"... Actually, what she said was that Islam is the enemy. This may seem like a very fine distinction, but ultimately it's a distinction between people and ideology. Also, I don't know anything about Ann Barnhardt, but it sounds to me like she isn't calling for war as much as saying war is upon us, whether we like it or not. Again, a fine distinction, but a necessary one.

Also, praying for your enemies after they're dead doesn't make it OK... but if you're forced to kill someone for some reason, wouldn't you say it's better to pray for their soul than to say, "Eh, screw 'em... let 'em rot in hell." (I'm not trying to justify Ms. Barnhardt's position, but rather trying to explain why, say, Christians would do such a thing as pray for an enemy after being forced to kill him.)

That said, while I agree that certain factions of Islam are indisputably at war with Western civilization, I don't think that Ms. Barnhardt is at all correct in her statement of what must be done. The only thing she has right is the idea of conversion... we should strive to convert as many people as we can to beliefs in democracy, free markets, and individual liberty, whether or not they are Muslims. Only in this way, and not through the wholesale destruction of human beings, can Western civilization triumph.

John S.   ·  April 8, 2011 11:47 AM

John I mostly agree but because by definition Muslims are followers of Islam (in fact, the root word is the same), if Islam is the enemy then Muslims become the enemy. Islam is to Muslims as Christianity is to Christians, as Communism is to Communists, and as Nazism is to Nazis. Not all Arabs or people in the Mideast are Muslims, though. Try as I might, I cannot see how Islam can be the enemy, but not Muslims. Once they are converted, they are no longer Muslims.

OTOH, Hitler considered conversion irrelevant, but we're not talking about race here....

Eric Scheie   ·  April 8, 2011 12:54 PM

"S, you have every right to think I'm deluded, but exactly how would you plan to do that? Kill all Muslims, starting with the populations closest to U.S. troops?"
Eric Scheie ยท April 7, 2011 6:46 PM

No, I would bring all our people home and start eliminating the ones here. Stop letting them come here, deport ones that aren't citizens and watch the citizens closely. If any are found plotting evil give them the choice of an internment camp or a one way ticket to their favorite muslim shithole and revoke their citizenship.

Meanwhile, we start developing our own oil resources so we don't have to deal with those insane neanderthals again.

sablegsd   ·  April 8, 2011 6:41 PM

S, that plan might work if you could make the necessary changes in the Constitution to allow surveillance, internment and deportation of people based on their religion (and/or politics). I think that's about as likely as world peace.

Eric Scheie   ·  April 8, 2011 7:44 PM

"A better idea would be to form alliances with (and encourage) those Muslims who genuinely seek peace, and who believe in interpreting the Koran accordingly.

All Muslims are not the enemy. To say that they are is bad logic and a bad tactic."

Thank you for being a haven of sanity in the right-leaning, libertarianish blogosphere. Most liberals won't utter a negative word toward Islam, while the conservatives won't utter a complimentary word. It's not all good, but it's not all bad.

My boyfriend (who is a Muslim) watches MSNBC religiously and is convinced that the Democrats are protecting him and his fellow Muslims. I keep telling him that the left is using his religion (and the crazy shit conservatives say about it) to enhance their voting block. If Islam ever became a more prominent force in our society, I suspect that would no longer be the case and they wouldn't like his religion any better than mine.

Melissa   ·  April 9, 2011 12:21 AM

Just what the world needs, another war to end all wars.

Randy   ·  April 11, 2011 11:30 AM

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