Someone who goes by the handle “peave” seem to have left a rather interesting comment:
Mr u need a bit metal treatment okay,,we dont purposefully go and disrepair or disuse their “holy”sites…when a lady does,which she does with the Quran ,then she has done the act in order to hurt muslims…. and obviously u cannot control every one so that lady who posted that pic will have to bear the consequences as well okay.sick people like u, are trying equivocate two different acts as similar.shame on u .
There are two issues, one simple, and one complex. The simple one is that adherents to every major religion is part of a tradition which has engaged in acts of blasphemy and destruction against objects sacred to another religion. The practice is probably an ancient human norm, the statues of Marduk were torn down and dragged away by the Assyrians after their conquest of Babylon. In a more banal manner, the temples of pagans were torn down by Christians, and churches were put up their place, while the churches and temples of Christians and Hindus gave way to the mosques of Muslims. Again, the very simple point lost on the stupid is this: one person’s act of piety is another person’s act of blasphemy. This is why speaking about blasphemy or the sacred without properly admitting in a multicultural context the radical inter-subjectivity of the terms is bound to be confusing.
This gets to the second point. When Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs (and to a lesser extent Christians) complain that acts of blasphemy are meant to “hurt” individuals (.e., Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, etc.), they often don’t understand that the relationship of a religion and an individual varies. For example, people who have been subjected to physical and emotional abuse by clerics, and religious institutions, have a great deal of anger at those individuals and the institution as a whole. So, for example many feminists who attack religion approach the institution from a position of deep rage and anger, often justified rage and anger. Asserting that these individuals are out to hurt Muslims/Hindus/Sikhs/Catholics, etc., misses the point that they don’t view Islam/Hinduism/Sikhism/Catholicism in the say way that believers do. What is up for believers may be down for them, what is sacred, uplifting, the very stuff of life, might very well be a warped and abominable system of beliefs which have wrought only suffering upon the protester.
My own personal attitude is that it’s best to avoid too reductive a take on religion. We shouldn’t generalize from individual to everyone. But, we need to understand that individuals will have their own perspective. A Muslim should naturally be free to testify to the singular beauty of their religion. That is their liberty. But that Muslims should understand that that testifying does hurt some people, those who have been abused by Islam or Muslims in the past. Similarly, others should be free to post a picture of the Koran which they have taken a shit upon to show the world what they think of the Muslim religion. That viewpoint is just as real, and just as authentic.
Of course I don’t expect commenters like the one above to understand. Barbarians such as those that live in Pakistan, where non-Muslims live with the same liberty as Jews in 1930s Germany, aren’t going to understand the details of liberty as it has now come to be understood in the West. But what has been won over the past few centuries is a precious thing, and we should at least make a show of preserving it against the savages swarming at the gates. Note that the savage’s implicit warning that the blasphemer will have to bear the consequences if harm comes to her would not have been unheard of in 17th century Britain.