According to news reports, at least 11 UN workers have been killed in Afghanistan by a band of thugs protesting Pastor Terry Jones’s recent Koran burning. Two of the victims have reportedly been beheaded.
This is an appalling tragedy. And it’s made worse by those who pathetically try to excuse the actions of murderers by placing the blame on the shoulders of others.
“Eleven people lost their lives so Terry Jones could burn a Koran and feed the 24/7 news monster,” wrote NBC reporter Luke Russert on Twitter.
The problem is where that line of thinking leads. If Jones is responsible for these murders, then Jyllands-Posten is responsible for the deadly Mohammad cartoon protests back in 2006. And Salman Rushdie is to blame for the rioting and fatalities that greeted the release of his Satanic Verses in 1989.
No, 11 people didn’t lose their lives so that Jones could burn a Koran. They lost their lives because some religious fanatics – driven by a twisted, feverish ideology – decided to murder them. And by failing to hold the true culprits responsible, we invite attacks on our freedom of expression – not just the freedom to burn a Koran, but to write, say, or do anything that offends their fragile sensibilities in the future.