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General Petraeus Errs

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Let me start by saying I’m a fan of David Petraeus. He’s clearly the most consequential American general since Norman Schwarzkopf and thus in the top commanders of the past thirty years. It goes without saying that I would not second-guess his battlefield acumen – I obviously wouldn’t know what I was talking about.

So, all that being said, I think General Petraeus was wrong to comment on the wacko Florida pastor’s plan to burn the Koran. He has given far too much weight to a buffoon.

I’m no fan of Islam. I was first exposed to it as a teenager when I worked with a black muslim who was a follower of Warith Dean Mohammed. I still have the Koran that co-worker gave me. I also have another one I purchased on my own (Everyman). And yes, I have read the Koran cover to cover. I remain unconvinced and unimpressed.

And yet – burn a book? Is that the right call Reverend Hitler? My personal library is over 3000 volumes and contains the aforementioned two Korans. I would no sooner burn them than I would burn my oldest book published in 1568 (not kidding). Reverend Whoever down there in Florida is obviously a little man and has nothing to contribute to the discussion of religion in the Public Square. He ought to be ignored.

This brings me to my issue with General Petraeus. I understand that in Afghanistan there have been riots over the FL buffoon. However, when a man of General Petraeus’s stature deigns to notice such a buffoon, then the buffoon has won. Yes, the buffoon has the right to burn the Koran under our system, but like the mosque near Ground Zero, which has the right to be built, it shouldn’t. The right and the right thing to do are here identical.

I encourage thinking Christians and Jews to read the Koran as I have done. I’ll bet that the vast majority of those who do so will see it for what it is – bad poetry and worse theology. But even the risk that some may be convinced, can never justify the burning of such a book. For to do so lends it a mystique, nay a majesty, it simply does not deserve. Books – be they the Koran or the Bible or pulp fiction – should stand on their own. To say they must be burned gives them persuasion without the necessity of reading them. And General Petraeus, great man though I believe him to be, should not lower himself to comment on a so-called Christian who would stoop to book-burning.

Update: Michael Zebulon over at American Thinker agrees.

Written by martinipundit

September 8, 2010 at 1:53 am

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