Statement re intent to burn Qur'an

Chaplains Gail McCabe and Mary Beaty have endorsed the following statement by the Ontario Humanist Society:

The Ontario Humanist Society notes the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) has condemned a planned public burning of the Qur'an by a Florida church on the 9th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 attacks. IHEU is the world union of more than 100 Humanist, rationalist, secular, ethical culture, atheist and freethought organizations in more than 40 countries.

With regard to the announcement by churches in the United States that they intend to burn copies of the Qur'an, The Ontario Humanist Society also condemns the intention of anyone to burn, deface, or destroy books, artifacts, or any other works of art, religion, philosophy or expression.

 "Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings". -- Heinrich Heine: Almansor: A Tragedy (1823)
Wisdom comes from open minds, and open books. In a global world of many people and cultures, we should call for understanding, communication, respect and cooperation between peoples. We should learn from each other, listen to each other, and teach each other, from many sources and diverse inspirations.  Burning or destroying books is a regressive and provocative act of cultural violence, and an attack on freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of conscience. Such actions promote violence instead of dialogue, intolerance instead of tolerance.We regret and condemn any such action in the spirit of humanity.

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