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Call to Action: September is Quote Qur’an Month

In opposition to the Dove World Outreach Center’s Qur’an book burning being done in the name of Christ on September 11, 2010, I plan to share a quote from the Qur’an each Friday in September 2010. As a librarian I refuse to support the burning of any book anywhere. As a Christian, I follow Jesus’ command in Matthew 7:12, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” I don’t want my books burnt, so I will never burn or condone burning the books of others.

I’d love to be able to say that the Bible never condones book burning, but that would be a lie on my part. There is one instance of book burning related with approval in Acts 19: 17-20:

When this became known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus, fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in great esteem. Many of those who had become believers came forward and openly acknowledged their former practices. Moreover, a large number of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in public. They calculated their value and found it to be fifty thousand silver pieces. Thus did the word of the Lord continue to spread with influence and power.

There are important differences between this Bible-sanctioned event and the planned action by Dove World Outreach Center:

  • The people in Acts were burning books they had owned for many years. I’m assuming the Dove World Outreach Center copies are being purchased especially for the occasion.
  • The people in Acts were burning formerly prized possessions. The Pastor of Dove World Outreach has never regarded the Qur’an as an object of any value.
  • The book burning in Acts was done as an act of personal repentance. There’s no parallel with Dove World Outreach that I can see.
  • The book burning in Acts was not directed a specific group of people, not even other magicians. The participants in the Dove World Outreach book burning are proud of being against Muslims as their web page and Facebook presence attest to.

So I don’t think Jesus sanctions this book burning. It not only runs counter to Matthew 7:12 as quoted above, but also to Matthew 5:43-45 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.”

If you’re a Christian and agree with me, then please join me in an organized effort to quote areas of agreement from the Qur’an during the Friday’s of September 2010. Hop on over to http://quod.lib.umich.edu/k/koran/ to start browsing and sharing. If you like a different version, leave a comment. If you’re not a Christian, but just don’t condone hatred, join us!

Update: If you’re a facebook member, I’ve set up the Friday postings as an event you can join at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=102552719803318.


4 Responses

  1. As a Christian the hate in this world can be disheartening. Thank You for you post.

  2. Thank you.

    It is lovely to read these words and remember what it once meant to be a Christian. They are sentiments not easily heard over the din of book burners and the like.

    Thank you for another well written, thoughtful post.

  3. Thank you both for your kind words. I take heart that even Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network seems critical of the book burning effort. See http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2010/August/Christian-Jewish-Group-Condemn-Koran-Burning-Day/.

  4. Good thoughts from an agnostic who views most organized religions with contempt. This idea in support of knowledge, understanding & respect is most laudable. Thanks.

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