Wednesday, September 08, 2010

What if your "morning after" starts with a fatwah?

The lunatic Reverend Terry Jones, who claims he'll burn about 200 English translations of the Koran this Saturday, is like a meth addict right now — high as a kite. There's no reasoning with him, and for his own safety he should be taken into protective custody and sent up the river for deprogramming. Considering the inestimable damage to U.S. troops on the ground, to Americans abroad, and to the consciences of the silent at home that Jone's defiant book-burning will cause, I'd recommend slapping him with at least a $20 billion bill for the clean-up in Afghanistan alone.

What's the provenance of those Korans, by the way? Has Amazon been getting a spike in Koran sales? Or are Public Libraries missing a lot of overdue Korans? Have U.S. citizens who happened to be Muslim been mugged for their Korans? Have canny Tea Party booksellers dumped a lot of bad-selling inventory on the (ironically named) Dove World Outreach Center as a way to recover losses from publishers who want the overstock burned anyway?

Just as yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater is NOT protected speech, Jones' raving for the "minions of Hell" to carry him away to his private vision of the promised land is not only irrational, stupid, ignorant and a criminally mixed metaphor, his theological crime is nothing less than despair: His intent is suicidal.

Consider the maniacal fury of those minority fringe elements of Islam who are just as crazy as Jones is. There will be a morning after, and the outcome is plainly obvious, plainly predictable. There's history: Salman Rushdie got slapped with a fatwah (sanctioned murder of an infidel) from Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini for satirizing the Koran — which forced him into years of hiding from persistent and credible threats.

The Kool-Aid is coming to the irreverent, and in the long run absurdly irrelevant, Mr. Jones.

"Satire" may be far too mild a word, since the offending passages exceed "irreverent skepticism" by several lightyears. John Barth is another seldom read academic who writes with a pisdip pen for the sheer perverse fun of it, but Rushdie seemed bent on martrydom considering how well he knew his audience.



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