Is desecrating a book in protest ever justified?

Sweden Quran burning: Protesters storm embassy in Baghdad Salwan Momika, said to be an Iraqi living in Sweden, set fire to a copy of Islam's holy book outside Stockholm's central mosque on Wednesday.

BBC, June 29, 2023

Police intervened at a Toronto-area school board (Peel) meeting on Wednesday evening after members in the audience shouted anti-Muslim rhetoric, tore pages from a Koran and stepped on the religious text.

The events at the Peel District School Board forced Ontario's Liberal government to issue a statement on Thursday that it supported the district's move to provide religious accommodation to its students. At issue is the school board providing space for Muslim students to pray as a group every Friday. Critics argue a secular school system should not accommodate religion.

But boards are legally required to provide religious accommodation, when it's requested. Some school boards in the Greater Toronto Area, for example, have allowed students to be exempted based on religious beliefs from classes, including music and art, but only as a last resort and after failing to reach a compromise with parents.

Globe and Mail, March 23, 2017

Momika believes that the Koran has such a negative impact on the world that it should be banned. It is definitely an adults-only book, and exposing children and young people to its teachings in our ostensibly secular public school system should not be facilitated; the reason that some people at a school board meeting in Toronto tore pages from the book and stomped on them to make that point.

Every year the University of Ottawa, the Capital's largest, is host to Islam Awareness Week. At this event, anyone can pick up a free copy of the Saudi funded translation of the Koran. Its free distribution, courtesy of Saudi subsidies, has made it the most widely read and quoted edition of the Koran on the planet.

From the beginning, the Hilali and Muhsin Khan translation reads more like a supremacist Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian polemic…

Professor Khaleel Mohammed, Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University on the Saudi Koran

The Koran would have the community of believers, because of what it asserts is their superiority in faith, rule the universe and purge it of undesirables, i.e., unbelievers. In 1925 a man published a book in which he made the same claim for his community based on its alleged racial superiority.

Bavaria has maintained a ban on the publication of the 1925 supremacist polemic even after the author's copyright expired in 2016. Banning books such as Mein Kampf and the Koran is not the answer; but, neither is preventing people from burning them in effigy, or trampling their pages under foot, especially to protest children being deliberately exposed to their supremacist doctrine and invitation to genocide.

Bernard Payeur

The Escalating Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Kids