Islam · USA

Why England responded different than the USA to the burning of the Quran?

In less than a month, two men burned Muslims’ holy book, the Quran. The first is Florida pastor Terry Jones who threat to burn a Quran and retreated after American officials talked him out of it. But he did it any way on March 20th, 2011. No one knew of what he did and even when the world knew, except for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Muslims didn’t care much. And I think the reason is because Arabs were busy with much bigger problems of toppling governments. The second man is a British National Party candidate for the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections. A video clip of Sion Owens shows him soaking the Qur’an in kerosene and setting fire to it.

Muslims have all the right to be angry of such act but they should not be violent about it. Besides, we always end up with more Muslims being killed because of this violent respond.

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Florida pastor Terry Jones burned a copy of the Qur’an. [Guardian]

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Sion Owens, a British National Party candidate, sets fire to the Quran in his garden. [Guardian]

 

Anyway Muslims response is not the subject here it is England’s respond. They dealt with the burning of the Quran different than the USA, they arrested Owens. This made me think why England did that?

  • Isn’t what Owns did fall under freedom of speech?
  • Does England respect culture and religion more than the USA? Or is England afraid of some local Muslims retaliation?
  • Was England’s response out of wisdom or out of fear?
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11 thoughts on “Why England responded different than the USA to the burning of the Quran?

  1. Precisely! You anticipated a post I am preparing on Jones. Thanks for juxtaposing with Owens. The short answer is different hate speech laws. I will link your post when I post mine! Nice to find someone with simpatico thinking! 😀

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  2. Always a pleasure to see you here 🙂
    I am not very familiar with the hate speech laws in both countries. But still why in the US burning a Quran is not considered a hate speech while, for example, painting a wall on our campus with the N-word graffiti or throwing cotton balls in front of the Black Cultural Center made the police department investigates a hate crime?
    http://jaraad.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/freedom-of-expression-gone-wrong/
    But in this post I was more curious to know about England’s reaction not USA. Thanks for the answer it might just about be about laws nothing more.

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    1. Anyway…

      Isn’t what Owns did fall under freedom of speech?

      Yes. If it’s not, then the UK needs to get its laws into compliance with the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      Was England’s response out of wisdom or out of fear?

      Neither. It’s called “pandering” 🙂

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  3. No country has better protections for the rights of individuals than the US. And England doesn’t even have a constitution, which means as far as I can tell they just make it up as they go along depending on what kind of political statement they want to make, and which way the wind is blowing 🙂

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    1. I am not sure about individuals rights in general but when it comes to religion I think you are right the US has better protection of rights laws compared to Europe.
      And regarding your second comment why not say they are smart and more flexible to changes. Going along where the wind blows is not always a bad thing, isn’t it? I know this issue is debatable but sometimes we need to adapt to changes. I think Chiara’s comment below explains the difference between the US and UK law regarding hate speech.

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  4. بعتقد المسألة مختلفة يمكن بسبب الصراع الأمريكي البريطاني مش لعيون العرب!
    في الفترة الأخيرة وبعد الثورات المتتالية حست بريطانيا وأمريكا إنها عم تخسر تأييد الشعوب فبتحاول تستدرك قدر الإمكان..
    يمكن بريطانيا عملت هيك لتحكي لشعوب العرب إحنا نصيركم .. وكمان ما بدها شوشرة وكراهية إضافية من الشعوب العربية.. يمكن هاد السبب!

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    1. صحيح كلامك انهم ما بدهم شوشره بس لازم يكون في قانون يذكر انه لا يجوز احراق المقدسات والا ما سجنوه. لأنه اذا ما في هيك قانون ما بحقلهم انهم يسجنوه

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  5. In the US speech is only hate speech if there is direct incitement to violence, or a threat of imminent harm to someone or some group. In Canada and the UK, and most other Western countries, speech that is discriminatory against specific groups or against individuals on grounds that go against universal human rights is hate speech.

    Despite its claims of equality for all, in the US some are more equal than others. And, some discriminations are more allowed than others. “National security” is one common excuse. And simply failing to see the problem, describing the target as over sensitive, not used to “our” ways, blah blah blah.

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    1. “In Canada and the UK, and most other Western countries, speech that is discriminatory against specific groups or against individuals on grounds that go against universal human rights is hate speech. ”
      I see.
      I don’t remember which countries republished the controversial Danish cartoons but if any of these Western European countries have this law then some newspapers broke the country’s law when they republished the cartoons, no?
      Maybe we can read about this in the post you are writing about Jones 🙂

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