What the Heck, Roger Cohen??

On this morning’s Opinion Page in the New York Times, columnist Roger Cohen (“Religion Does Its Worst”)pontificates on not so much the evil of useless, unnecessary bloodshed as he self-righteously denounces the horrible, mind-boggling evil of…burning a book.


A guy named Terry Jones in Gainesville, Florida organized a book-burning party on March 20. Big deal, right? In 1966, when Beatle John Lennon made an ill-conceived remark about Jesus Christ, fans in the US and elsewhere burned records, books and other Beatle collectables. (I was even able to add a bunch of trading cards to my collection by policing the neighborhood where I lived.)

But nobody killed anybody over it. When Lennon was murdered nearly 14 years later, the motivation didn’t have anything to do with Jesus.

Okay but wait…this bonfire was DIFFERENT because Terry Jones and friends burned…a KORAN. Oh, noooooo!!

So according to Roger Cohen, some funny little man in Florida is responsible for the deaths of 7 UN workers.

Cohen writes that the folks at the UN in Mazar-i-Sharif were slaughtered by Afghans who were “whipped into a frenzy by Jones’s folly.”

Roger, Roger, Roger…. Does this mean that if I were to burn a Koran (that is, a BOOK) in my little quiet corner of the world that I would be responsible for an insane shark-frenzy of bloodlust in a country 1000s of miles away from my home??

Jones is “a zealot,” says Cohen. “How else to describe a Christian who interprets his faith not as grounded in love and compassion but as a mission to incite hatred toward Islam?”

Again I say, WHAT???

In a contradictory sentence a few paragraphs down, Cohen writes that the “…imams of Mazar chose to use Friday prayers to stir up the crowd.”

The imams used PRAYER time to motivate Afghans to commit murder? But Jones is a Christian “zealot”??

Granted, Cohen does go on to write that the massacre “…was a heinous crime against innocent people and should be denounced throughout the Islamic world, in mosques and beyond. I’m still waiting.”

He’s “still waiting.” Sorry Roger, but I think you’re going to be waiting a long, long time for an Islamic denunciation to violence.

Roger goes on to pity the poor Muslims in the United States who he says are “victims” of Islamophobia.

He goes on to write “…Muslims are victims in 14 percent of religious discrimination cases when they make up 1 percent of the population.”

Well, talk about skewered statistics.

According to FBI hate crime statistics,
American Jews outnumber Muslim victims by a 7-1 ratio as victims of intolerance and hatred.

Of the 1,575 verified offenses in 2009 motivated by religious bias, 71.9 percent were anti-Jewish.

Only 8.4 percent were anti-Islamic, despite claims of rampant anti-Muslim bigotry in the U.S. by groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Roger also writes, regarding Jones’s Christian crime against humanity, “How is it consistent with religious faith to stir hatred and killing?”

Jones didn’t order anyone to kill anybody. Hamid Karzei and a bunch of dumb imams incited a bunch of dumb Islamist Afghans into an unspeakable violent frenzy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “… thousands of people gathered in Mazar-e-Sharif’s revered Blue Mosque. Speaker after speaker denounced the Quran-burning, which for Muslims is abhorrent because Islam teaches that the physical book is holy.

“‘Stand up against the enemies of the Quran with your pen,’one of the men shouted from the podium, videos show. ‘Stand up against them with your voices. Stand up against them with weapons. It is everyone’s right to stand up against them and make a jihad.'”

And then, THOUSANDS of men left the Mosque, walked to the UN compound and murdered 7 innocent people. Let me repeat…THOUSANDS against a small group of unarmed UN workers.

Cohen also calls Islam a “world religion.” Islam is NOT a religion; it is a theocracy. He also compares the whole Koran to one line of one Psalm in the Bible that’s a tad unpleasant. The Koran is not like the Bible AT ALL. The Koran contains page after page after page of EXTREMELY unpleasant stuff.

Oh…and you can burn a Bible and nobody gives a sh*t. You burn a Koran and people die.

The irony is that people who speak out against the growing danger of radical Islam risk death. But Roger Cohen gets to denounce and criticize Christianity and live to tell about it.

Link to Roger Cohen’s NYT article:

Link to Wall Street Journal article:

3 Things That You Probably Didn’t Know About Islam:


About pjh95811

I am a writer and poet living in California. I love cats, dogs, nature, poetry, spirituality and the Pacific Ocean.
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One Response to What the Heck, Roger Cohen??

  1. june gillam says:

    Good support for your position to bring up the Beatles burnings. Another well-reasoned blog.

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