Friday, September 17, 2010

Dammit, I wish I'd been able to put it this well

On one hand, the idea of burning a book -- any book -- leaves me cold. A book is knowledge made tangible; it is far more than just ink, paper, glue and leather: it is ideas, dreams, hopes, fantasies ... it is all those things that make us human -- those that separate us from animals -- distilled into an object one can touch.

To burn a book is to spurn those ideas, those hopes; to reject those things that do separate us from animals, and to symbolically reject at least a small part of our humanity.
On the other hand, a book is nothing more than ink, paper and glue. Burning one book is not going to remove the knowledge contained there-in from history. Especially a book as widely-printed as the Qur'an. You could -- if you so chose -- burn every Qur'an in the Western Hemisphere, and you would make less than the tiniest dent in the numbers of that book.

To burn a book -- or a pile of them -- is, quite literally, useless for any purpose other than symbolism or to ensure the livelihood of those who will -- inevitably -- print more books to replace those you have incinerated.
And you'll like the ending.

No comments: