Religious Hypocrisy

The other day, President Obama apologized for the US Army’s burning Qurans that were used to send messages to prisoners. As Newt Gingrich points out, the United States received no apology for the killing of two American soldiers in response to this act. The Afghan soldier who killed the Americans had been trained and equipped by the United States.  

While there are clearly better ways to dispose of such material, this radical reaction to the burning is completely imbalanced. In 2009, the US army burned Bibles that had been sent to Afghanistan because the Bibles violated an Army policy which prohibits proselyting. In this case as well, the Bibles should have been disposed of in a better manner, but the double standard exists. Where was the outcry over that incident? Did the United States apologize to Christians for it? No.

To make this issue even more polarizing, NATO is promising to bring soldiers responsible for the burnings to trial.

“I can’t imagine we would ever do this,” says Clare Lopez, a senior fellow with the Center for Security Policy, “what would we charge them with? Are we going to try Americans for crimes committed under Shariah law? I cannot believe our government would go that far.”

Is the Koran a more sacred document than the Bible? Why would the Bible-burning soldiers face no consequences? In no way do I think that either should face charges, but the hypocrisy is too blatant to ignore.

Both instances show a lack of respect for a Holy Text but the disparate reactions to each raise serious concerns about the double standard about respect for each religion.

 

-William R.F. Duncan