That the Koran is a book worthy of mass extermination by means of fire cannot be credibly denied by any Christian who takes his faith seriously. I've defended the burning of books many times in the past, and have often made the point that Catholics have no business condemning the burning of books in principle (although specific cases might be condemned on prudential grounds). Indeed, the Church solemnly applauds the destruction of harmful books:
The Church has always taken action to destroy the plague of bad books. This was true even in apostolic times for we read that the apostles themselves burned a large number of books. It may be enough to consult the laws of the fifth Council of the Lateran on this matter and the Constitution which Leo X published afterwards lest "that which has been discovered advantageous for the increase of the faith and the spread of useful arts be converted to the contrary use and work harm for the salvation of the faithful." This also was of great concern to the fathers of Trent, who applied a remedy against this great evil by publishing that wholesome decree concerning the Index of books which contain false doctrine. "We must fight valiantly," Clement XIII says in an encyclical letter about the banning of bad books, "as much as the matter itself demands and must exterminate the deadly poison of so many books; for never will the material for error be withdrawn, unless the criminal sources of depravity perish in flames." Thus it is evident that this Holy See has always striven, throughout the ages, to condemn and to remove suspect and harmful books. The teaching of those who reject the censure of books as too heavy and onerous a burden causes immense harm to the Catholic people and to this See. They are even so depraved as to affirm that it is contrary to the principles of law, and they deny the Church the right to decree and to maintain it.
Steve Kellmeyer offers an interesting perspective on Koran-burning in light of technological developments and the present conflict with Islam:
In short, the burning of a Koran makes you a soldier in the current war. Just as the Internet has made burning books old hat, so Islam has made travel to the Army recruitment center unnecessary. In this war, you don't have to pass a government physical or train in a government boot camp to become a combatant. Just burn a Koran, and you're in.
In fact, you don't even need to do that. Simply being a living, breathing non-Muslim makes you a combatant. In this sense, there is a real logical consistency, a real and positive motivation for burning a Koran. Muslims have already demonstrated that every non-Muslim is a target, that civilian casualties are not only not to be avoided, civilian casualties are to be encouraged.
So, when a civilian burns the Koran, he or she is not just saying, "The Koran is a blasphemous book", rather, he or she is saying, "I realize that you recognize me as an enemy combatant. I realize that you consider me worthy of nothing but enslavement and slaughter unless I convert to Islam. I refuse to convert."
In other words, to burn the Koran is simply to acknowledge the fact that Islam has declared war on Christians and has forced us into the role of combatants, however reluctantly on our part. That's a refreshing perspective in light of the West's shameful and ongoing capitulation to world Islam. Our headlong rush into dhimmitude, though motivated in large part by the criminal intentions of western elites bent on destroying the last vestiges of Christian culture, is also abetted by the naive complicity of many who would otherwise be our friends. In this latter group we may count those Christians whose sincere compassion for Muslims, as persons, blinds them to the dangerous reality of Islam itself; those who are motivated by a legitimate concern for the safety and well-being of Christians in Muslim lands; and a fair number whose abject fear of the Muslim scimitar in the West overrides their common sense.
But when a dhimmi like Archbishop Saldanha of Pakistan calls for the arrest and imprisonment of Koran-burners in the West - as if he could do otherwise without risking his life and the lives of his people - his plea ought to be given no more consideration than the videotaped confession of any other tortured, terrified hostage kneeling with a Mohammedan blade at his throat. At best, such men live under the daily threat of Islamist terror and must measure their every word with extreme scrutiny. At worst, though, Christians who have lived for centuries in Muslim lands have adopted a religious version of the Stockholm syndrome, whereby they habitually identify more with their captors, desperate to preserve the meagre tolerance that has been extended to them, hating their captors' enemies and making nice with their captors' friends, often taking refuge in an ideological pan-Arabism in the hopes that it compensates for their status as infidels. In Iraq and probably other countries, Catholic schools are permitted to operate only insofar as they are open to Muslim students and willing to instruct them in the tenets of Islam. How the Church justifies this arrangement morally and theologically, I have no idea, but such is the pathetic state of Christianity in the cruel despotisms of the Islamic world.
Would you burn the Koran if you knew there were a strong possibility that Muslims would respond by killing Christians in other countries? Perhaps not. But what if, by the act of burning the Koran, you helped shed light on the true nature of Islam and the impossibility of pacifying Mohammedan rage? In the long run, burning the Koran would save lives and, what is more important, would save souls, because in so doing you would help the West shake off its illusions and emerge from the ideological stupor that is, at bottom, responsible for exposing multitudes to the diabolical influence of Islamism and the terrors of Mohammedan violence. There is no question of consequentialism because Koran-burning, having the potential to be highly meritorious, is not an intrinsically immoral act.
I don't know whether Terry Jones' burning of the Koran will be a catalyst for positive change on this level. He has more certainty about the ultimate outcome than I do. But it is at least a possibility that, one day, we may owe Pastor Jones a debt of gratitude. He manifestly does not deserve the almost universal contempt he has been receiving from every quarter, and we who share with him an understanding of the mortal threat that Islam presents to our civilization ought to come to his defense.
In other news, a priest in Finland is reported to face defrocking and civil charges for inciting racial hatred. Why? Because he publicly referred to a terrorist as, well, a terrorist. This is our future, too, if we fail to confront Islam with courage and integrity, if we fail to understand that the triumph of Islam is inextricably linked to Western apostasy.