By Anthony Posner
November 9, 2010
This quote from Heinrich Heine has been used as a justification for not burning books. At first glance, it appears to serve as a prescient insight into the Nazi book burnings, which ironically enough, included Heine's own publications.
However, since the fall of the Third Reich, a new form of totalitarianism has emerged (Islamofascism) which supports the burning of books like Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses", but violently condemns the burning of the Koran. This totalitarianism is essentially an attack on secular Western civilization, and those who collude in it from the side-lines, cleverly use Heine's dictum to support the PC Islamist view that nobody should burn their copy of their Koran.
It is crucial to understand that in modern secular democracies, the individual is at liberty to burn his own books. He is not at liberty, however, to burn his neighbour's books and he is certainly not at liberty to burn books in a public library. These are important distinctions. But the right to burn your own books does not contravene any law and should be given the full support of anybody who loves liberty. Ironically enough, support for this freedom is essential to a love of books because without it, Mullahs and other religious authorities will determine what you can and cannot read. Of course, one only has to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran to recognize this self-evident truth.
Moreover, as I have also stated on this blog, there is no evidence to suggest that The Nazis ever burnt Korans. The reason for this is quite simple.The Nazis did not wish to alienate their Muslim allies who supported the extermination of World Jewry. However, of course, if anybody can supply any evidence to suggest that The Nazis did burn Korans, they should post it on this blog.
In today's increasingly totalitarian climate, it takes some courage to even write the above blog. I await a fatwa. However, whilst people are being tortured and imprisoned in Iran, I will continue to use the freedom that some of us still have to express such ideas. I sincerely hope that others will be encouraged to do so.