The burning of books is an uncivil and distasteful act no matter where and under what circumstances. The senseless destruction of Egypt's precious ancient archives and historic texts in the Alexandria Library was one of these barbaric acts. Arab-Muslims committed this atrocity in and around the year 685 A.D., immediately after their invasion of Egypt. Many centuries' worth of pre-Islamic Egyptian and Coptic information was eradicated, leaving great gaps in history and causing many unanswered questions concerning Coptic links to Egypt's past.
Historically, Muslims have been guilty of horrendous sacrilege -- destroying priceless and irreplaceable sacred texts, places of worship, and revered icons of religions and cultures (including their own). In the year 1197, Muslims sacked the Nalanda Monastic University, the ancient center of higher learning in India. The multi-story building burned for three months when they set fire to it, presumably for the great library's lacking a copy of the Quran.
Ten years ago in early 2001, Muslims destroyed ancient Buddha statues in the Bamiyan region of Afghanistan -- an act which erased more than a thousand years of cultural heritage. On April 20, 2011, just a few months after Pastor Terry Jones announced his intention to burn a single copy of the Quran in Florida, an Arabic-language broadcast on Shia TV showed a video of three mosques and Qurans set ablaze by Muslims in Bahrain. The Muslim world never condemned these actions.
According to Muslim belief, the original Quran was written in Heaven at the time of creation and now sits at the throne of Allah, sealed and incorruptible. Therefore, in reality, no one can ever taint or destroy the Quran. The fearless Colorado resident Ann Barnhardt caught on to something like this when she pointed out in her video that a single copy of the Quran is merely the ink and paper among millions of copies around the world. Apparently, a copy of the Quran -- which, remember, Muslims accept as sealed in heaven and therefore indestructible -- is still of greater value than the life of a non-Muslim.
So what was the difference between the Bahrain Qurans and the Florida Quran? Perhaps it has something to do with suppressing Western opinions. In accordance with the agenda to subordinate the West to Islam, crying out in outrage furthers short- and long-term goals. In essence, the Muslim faith is the "best" religion and must therefore dominate every nation on earth, each with a government informed by the laws of Allah. Unfortunately, moderate Muslims around the world who call for secular government and separation of mosque and state -- not unlike those who rose up and revolted against the Mubarak regime in Egypt -- are not winning this debate within the house of Islam. As of yet, moderate Muslims and orthodox Muslims are not even holding a discourse.
Back to the Quran: interestingly, both Quran-burning and murder are rooted in the very origin of the sacred text of the Mushaf (Quran). In the first four centuries of Hegira (after Muhammad immigrated to Medina), many different versions of the one and only sacred text handed down from Allah by the angel Gabriel were written and used. According to the Islamic Encyclopedia, as many as eleven authors had competing claims to the one original text.
Having reached a total of thirty-one versions of the same divinely given Quran, one author named Osman Ebn Affan took it upon himself to burn all the written Qurans except his own version, which came to be the official Quran as we know it today. Having taken matters into his own hands to settle the conflict and confusion over authenticity, Osman was later murdered by Muhammad Ebn Abu Bakr El Sedeek for burning the books of Allah. The fact remains that the Quran Muslims use today was arbitrarily chosen for the sake of expedience and, strictly speaking, may not comprise the unique and complete verses given by Allah via his angel. However, most importantly, Islam accepts it as genuine.
Another important fact is that the Quran is not known and never has been known as the Holy Quran in Islamic countries. In the Arabic language, which is the Quran's official language and the language of the heavenly original, Muslims refer to the Quran as the Quran Karem (meaning generous, kind, and gracious). The Bible, however, does in fact have the word "Holy" in its title. The fact that the Bible's title is mimicked by Quran advocates in America is significant: it contributes to the narrative adopted by the friendly American that Islamic culture is very much like our own Judeo-Christian one and suggests a desire for parity among religions. In reality, however, dominance by Islam is the goal.
Similarly, to hear our Muslim neighbors say to us that their children will attend "Sunday School" for their Islamic religious studies, which I have heard numerous times, simply makes no sense at all. The Arabic term "El Kutab" means a Muslim religious school for the study of the Quran. It would be difficult to imagine a Muslim applying the Christian term "Sunday School" to religious school for the study of the Quran in a country like Egypt. The targeted use of language belonging to the religious practice of the Infidel is a characteristic tactic to ingratiate Islamic culture to America. All in all, the appearance of Islam in America as "just like us" is manufactured; it intentionally distorts the real face of Islam. This is nothing less than stealth jihad.
A gullible and vulnerable America needs an immediate education from the proper sources (such as Egyptian Copts) about the psychological warfare of Islam so we can combat the lies now being spoon-fed to us in our churches, schools, neighborhoods, universities, and media. Let's lift the gag order of self-censorship and fear and begin to talk freely about the character and reality of Islam in America.
Ashraf Ramelah is the founder and president of Voice of the Copts. He spoke on these issues in his address earlier this year to the National Christian Broadcasters convention in Nashville, TN at the request of Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ.