I have not yet finished typing the first sentence of a new article about the burning down of the Napoleonic Library of the Egyptian Scientific Institute in Cairo, and the news came of the burning of precious archaeological finds in a digging site near Afula in Israel. Irrespective of the exact affiliation of the lunatics who carried out this criminal act, ultra-orthodox or others, one thing is clear – they have no God.
Burning down libraries and other cultural assets is not a new phenomenon. The great library of Alexandria was destroyed in stages over several centuries by several villains. The Mongols destroyed the House of Wisdom library and other libraries when they conquered Baghdad in the 13th century. The Nazis were very fond of burning books, including Torah scrolls in synagogues, and in our time the burning of Koran books by extreme Christian pastors in America is only equalled by arson attacks on mosques by the ‘Price Tag’ rioters of the extreme Israeli right.
What is taking place here is not a war between religions or even cultures – this is a fundamental conflict of human values, a rift so deep that nothing could bridge it. On the one side stand those who believe in the freedom of the individual, in the enlightenment of thought, in non-violence, and on the other the extreme forces of darkness who will use all and any means to oppress and destroy anything, and anyone, who will not bow to their primitive and barbaric beliefs.
Thanks, David for sending me the relevant links.