Koran Burning: Copy Cats, Hypocrisy, and Replacement Texts

According to Military.com, the small, controversial Westboro Baptist Church has joined the criticism of the planned Koran burnings in Florida, but not for the reason everyone else is.  Their reason?

They did it first.  And no one noticed.

It’s that in 2008 she and her father’s Topeka flock set fire to a Quran in plain view on a Washington, D.C., street and nobody seemed to care…

Westboro has even said if Jones doesn’t burn the Koran, they will.  Elsewhere, there is an increasing chorus of “hypocrisy” accusations against US officials.  The US government previously said it burned Bibles in Afghanistan; even at that time, there was a sense that

“if it had been the Quran, this never would have happened.”

Other news agencies picked up on the “unusual” criticism provided by General David Petraeus of an American citizen exercising his rights; from the Washington Times:

While it’s possible the Koran-burning event could make the fight more difficult in Afghanistan, as the general claimed, it’s not the place for members of the military to use their positions of responsibility to intervene in American domestic political issues.

Petraeus defended his public stance:

It is highly unusual for a uniformed officer to express a public opinion on any political matter, and Petraeus said he would not “get into a debate about First Amendment rights — I’ll leave that to others…”

“I believe I have an obligation to provide an assessment of the likely effects [of] an action in the United States by a fellow American citizen on the safety of those that I’m privileged to lead and those with whom I’m privileged to work,” he said.

Interestingly, it appears he provided that obligatory “assessment” publicly to the media, rather than privately to the civilian military leadership.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister is apparently the first public official to take the next logical step after verbal criticism; he has asked Interpol to prevent the church from carrying out the burning.

In other news, CAIR has said they will buy Korans to replace those burned by the church:

Also, the national Council on American-Islamic Relations will hold a news conference today in Washington to announce it will provide 200,000 copies of the Quran to replace the 200 expected to be burned by Jones’ church.