Thoughts on Koran burning

Popular Youtube personality Thunderf00t has posted a video in which he advocates the burning of Korans as a way to send a message to radical Muslims that we're not intimidated by their threats of violence toward anyone who would dare desecrate their holy book. Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist agrees:
There’s nothing inherently wrong with criticizing Islam, or burning a copy of the Muslim holy book, or drawing Muhammad. I see nothing wrong with doing those things in protest of how radical Muslims have reacted against them — to me, that’s different from doing it out of pure hatred of Muslims.
I'm going to part with my fellow nonbelievers and say that this kind of thing is, in my opinion, childish and stupid. More than it degrades any holy book, it degrades the people participating in it.

This is because, to my mind, the "message" is simply going to be lost on radical Muslims, who will simply view it for what it is – an act of provocation. In the meantime, Thuderf00t and Hemant seem to be forgetting that this will also unnecessarily provoke the ire millions of moderate Muslims who are not prone to making death threats and are actually amenable to discussion. I wholeheartedly agree with the remarks of a commenter on The Friendly Atheist:
It is an ignorant, barbaric and deliberately provocative act, and I’m sad to see Thunderf00t advocating for it; I thought he was better than that. Heretofore he has always been a shining example of the fact that one doesn’t need to be either an accommodationist or a gleefully antagonistic asshole when combating the ridiculous ideas of religion, but can in calm, measured tones utterly demolish those ideas by holding them up to the light of reason.
The whole point of being a person of reason is that you do not resort to shock tactics and provocation, because that's exactly what indoctrinated radicals do. You stubbornly insist on raising the level of debate rather than sinking to theirs. Burning books? Really? Hemant and Thunderf00t should be ashamed of themselves for advocating such foolishness.


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