The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

‘Burn a Koran Day’ Fan Page Stays Up, Grows, Despite Rules

By Alexander Zaitchik on August 4, 2010 - 7:40 am, Posted in Anti-Muslim

On July 22, Hatewatch reported the announcement of a provocative spectacle planned for Sept. 11 by Dove World Outreach Center, a twisted little ministry based in Gainesville, Fla. Just about everything you need to know about the event is contained in its title, “Burn a Koran Day”; everything else, including the back story to Dove World, can be found here.

At the time of our original post, the event’s Facebook page had several hundred fans. Now, nearly two weeks later, the page has more than 3,000 and is growing. Many of these — largely drawn from the United States and Poland — have added more than 2,000 images of graphic violence (committed both by and against Muslims) as well as crudely designed anti-Arab and anti-Muslim Photoshop jobs (including multiple versions of posters urging the nuking of Mecca).

Supporters of “Burn a Koran Day” are not the only participants on the site, however. Increasingly, opponents of the event are “trolling” the page and challenging the views on display. Some of these virtual protesters issue their challenge directly, such as those who post simply, “I LOVE BEING MUSLIM.” Others, however, have taken a more absurdist approach to mocking the event and those supporting it. Rebecca Bass, for example, has been a frequent visitor to the site, regularly posting trivia-like non-sequiturs such as, “Tiger Woods is the highest paid athlete. He makes around $80 million per year (or $219,000 per day).”

According to its own rules, however, this “debate,” such as it is, is not one Facebook should be continuing to host. According to the social networking site’s own “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” Article III, Section VII: “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” “Burn a Koran Day” easily meets more than one of these triggers for removal.

As the page continues to gain worldwide support for an event designed to breed and fuel hate, the question presents itself: Is anyone at Facebook at the controls?

  • thomas

    Thank you for adding this to HateWatch. I, and I presume without evidence that many more Users, have reported the page for Hate and Racist Speech and for violation of the FB Terms of Service numerous times. Evidently, Facebook could care less about this.

    I propose, and am seeking to viralize, a call to boycott Facebook as long as they allow such profound violations of their “Terms of Service” (what a joke) and their “Rights and Responsibilities” (see previous parenthetical).

  • J.T.

    >>>Unfortunately facebook has become a tool for hate disguised as “free speech.”

    Nothing is disguised as free speech. It is just free speech. Though I hardly would expect the SPLC or any of its supporters to really give a damn about it.

  • Marvin Fajkus

    this is AMERICA!!!!! shit, get a life if any of you
    think this guy doesn’t hold the constitutional right
    to do this. And get a backbone….you would all
    feel differently if YOUR loved ones were in the
    towers that day on 9/11. You know, you are ALL
    willing to slander this pastor for doing this now,
    hope your mouths are as willing and just as able
    to bitch and speak your peace on Nov.2nd.How
    would u like it if everybody told you what u can or
    can’t do in your back yard and you knew you had
    the right to do it? You’d be pissed. So get a life.
    If we had someone with a SACK and a BACKBONE in office now,we wouldn’t be going
    thru all the shit we’re in. SO tell me..you liking that
    “CHANGE” we were promised yet? Grow a set of BALLS like your ancestors had, hell at least
    they had better morals and values so you could
    have the life you now have in this country. remember….you live in the USA not in the middle east. If you feel so sorry for them, move ur ass on
    their side of the world and live like they live. All
    the foreighners are over here for ONE reason. To
    live a BETTER life from where they came from wherever it may be. You people keep giving in to
    there needs and demands,your kids and grandkids will be growing up in what USED to be
    the land of the free and the home of the brave.

  • Bafoofkit

    Burning a Koran is not a hate act. Just because you took a blank piece of paper and wrote some Arabic chicken scratch on it, does not make that paper sacred or protected. We already have established that taking a rag and printing on it red white an blue does not protect it from the elements or from people. Same goes for “holy books” . Our constitution protects us from our state sponsored religion, it also protects us from state sponsored religions of other countries.

  • MrsCaptJack

    I reported the site too, Ruslan. And I posted a comment that all my friends (some of whom are Muslim) should report it as well.

    I will add as a general comment that I’ve spent a lot of time in Muslim communities. I’ve never had one person try to convert me or tell me that my beliefs are false or that I’m going to hell. All of them, except one, believes that we worship the same God and that we all call God by a different name. I have plenty of so called Christian folks harassing me at my apartment every Friday and Saturday morning telling me I’m going to hell though.

  • Ruslan Amikhanov

    I have reported the site numerous times, but thus far nothing has been done. This is interesting because Facebook actually shut down a site dedicated to some political prisoner(I think he was one of the Cuban 5 IIRC), yet this page is allowed to stay up. Tells us a lot about the management of Facebook.

  • Tracker10

    Well, I’ve done all I can to report this facebook page. I think I reported about 40 of the ugly posts and photos there. Hope it helps.

  • GENA

    freedom of religion, religion for all

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Oh good, we hit the motherload!!!

    “Where the hell are all you supposedly do-gooders at, when men of the muslim faith use the Qur’an as an owners manuel for how to make their women act the way they want, to cut off women’s noses’s, burry them up to their shoulders then stone them to death.”

    First of all I don’t know what version of the Quran you’ve been reading, but none of those things are in there.

    “How about some facts: While Muslims account for less than 6% of the Dutch population, Muslim women constitute 60% of those seeking refuge in battered women shelters.”

    Facts? Or nonsense peddled by Islamophobic sources with a well-established history of propagating myths about Islam in Europe? Here’s a real fact about your civilized Europeans: Women trafficking from Eastern Europe, literal slavery, is alive and well in Holland, as well as the rest of Europe. Women are literally a commodity to be traded. This does not make the actions of backward Muslim men right, but can you not see why many Muslims find it hypocritical that the liberal west condemns them for their treatment of women?

    ” Those are facts my little leftist liberal’s, and it can be directly contributed to the Qur’an.”

    1. Not a liberal.
    2. They really can’t be attributed to the Quran, though the Quran, like any religious book, does contain backward ideas and enshrines inequality. It does have a lot less hate and genocide than the Bible though.

    “How bout this, straight from the book you people are defending: The Qur’an mandates: “The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them (with) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you from obedience to Allah . . . .” (24:2). Yet some how, the men forget to read the part about them being flogged too.”

    Actually in most Muslim countries adulterers end up getting divorced. Yes there is inequality in the practice of Islam but your own citation debunks itself- whatever you might think of the punishment, the Quran mandates it for both men and women, so you cannot blame the inequality on the Quran. You also forgot the part right after that, where it says both the man and women can repent and be spared such punishment.

    “As an organization that believes in helping the oppressed, and stopping violence, how can you condone, and defend a book full of directions on how to commit violence, and even condone as the words of their god. Instead of showing a picture with 3 or 4 dumbass rednecks dressed as white racists, that all share one brain and couldn’t organize a lemonade stand much less be a threat to anyone, start going after the real hatemongers, the ones that follow the Qur’an, the ones that say they won’t be happy till all jews and all non-muslims are wiped off the face of the earth.”

    Simple- most Muslims don’t act that way.

    “But no, that would discriminate against the few that don’t share that view, never mind that most right wing christian groups do more to help feed the needy than any other group, the fact that most don’t believe in socialism, makes them rightwing hategroups in your org. eye’s.”

    Many Muslims don’t believe in socialism either. Religious fundamentalists of any stripe are by definition right-wingers.

    “One last thing, I did some research and saw that not to long ago an anti-war group had a burn the American flag day on facebook, and upon checking your org., you didn’t print one neg. remark over that.”

    Many people who burn the American flag do not hate American people; in fact a great deal of flag-burners are American. They are usually against American policies.

    ” Are you gonna say, that to a lot of vets who have fought for your right to exist, they don’t feel just as strongly for that flag that has been wrapped around their dead buddies, as some people do for that manual for women slavery called the Qur’an, then you are dead wrong, and it’s time for your org. to close up shop.”

    Vets might be offended by flag burners, though I would suggest they would be far more offended by someone who claimed they fought for a flag, or that their buddies died for a piece of cloth. People don’t die for flags.

    “I know this won’t stay on your comment page long, as I have not followed along as a sheep to your condemnation, but maybe a few will see the truth before you have a chance to pull it.”

    Stick around and you might be surprised.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Reported it, several times.

  • KenM

    Where the hell are all you supposedly do-gooders at, when men of the muslim faith use the Qur’an as an owners manuel for how to make their women act the way they want, to cut off women’s noses’s, burry them up to their shoulders then stone them to death. How about some facts: While Muslims account for less than 6% of the Dutch population, Muslim women constitute 60% of those seeking refuge in battered women shelters. Those are facts my little leftist liberal’s, and it can be directly contributed to the Qur’an.
    How bout this, straight from the book you people are defending: The Qur’an mandates: “The adulteress and the adulterer, flog each of them (with) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you from obedience to Allah . . . .” (24:2). Yet some how, the men forget to read the part about them being flogged too. As an organization that believes in helping the oppressed, and stopping violence, how can you condone, and defend a book full of directions on how to commit violence, and even condone as the words of their god. Instead of showing a picture with 3 or 4 dumbass rednecks dressed as white racists, that all share one brain and couldn’t organize a lemonade stand much less be a threat to anyone, start going after the real hatemongers, the ones that follow the Qur’an, the ones that say they won’t be happy till all jews and all non-muslims are wiped off the face of the earth.
    But no, that would discriminate against the few that don’t share that view, never mind that most right wing christian groups do more to help feed the needy than any other group, the fact that most don’t believe in socialism, makes them rightwing hategroups in your org. eye’s.
    One last thing, I did some research and saw that not to long ago an anti-war group had a burn the American flag day on facebook, and upon checking your org., you didn’t print one neg. remark over that. Are you gonna say, that to a lot of vets who have fought for your right to exist, they don’t feel just as strongly for that flag that has been wrapped around their dead buddies, as some people do for that manual for women slavery called the Qur’an, then you are dead wrong, and it’s time for your org. to close up shop.
    I know this won’t stay on your comment page long, as I have not followed along as a sheep to your condemnation, but maybe a few will see the truth before you have a chance to pull it.

  • http://beliefnet.com/debrincon Debra Rincon Lopez

    I don’t condone hate by anyone for any reason? God say’s in the bible to treat all people equal. Not to judge on your own. His rules are the only rules to be followed by all. Who think’s that they are above God himself will pay for their mistakes and they will have to live with this forever. It won’t be forgiven when you consciously break a Commandment especially on the grounds of Hate, Don’t blame all Muslims for the doing’s of a few people who weren’t true followers of ISLAM.

  • Mikie

    Thanks SPLC for the imfo …. Just added the page ….

  • Rachel

    This is unquestionably a form of hate speech and incitement. If you go to the International burn a Koran page on Facebook and scroll down to the bottom left of the page, you can hit the ‘Report’ link and report it as such. Probably more effective at getting Facebook’s attention that just joining one of the several ‘anti’ groups that have been set up in response. Report the page, and send a message to your facebook friends to do the same. As a Jew, I am horrified by this church’s campaign – we’ve seen enough Torah and holy book burnings over the centuries to know the evils of such behavior.

  • Mark Grantham

    An extremist is an extremist! I am very afraid of anyone who feels their church/religion is the only one. My question is: Has anyone traveled to a muslim country? Has anyone met a believer in Islam? The muslim faith says that Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed are all of the same God, they are good. I lived in Syria, was surrounded by believers in a different faith, and came to understand this faith.
    I am a believer in modern American Quakerism. It allows people to believe what they want to believe. I firmly believe in “loving my neighbor”. Being different is not bad, it should be celebrated!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    I might also point out that you may find churches in the following Islamic lands and countries, among others:

    Tatarstan
    Egypt
    Jordan
    Turkey
    Indonesia
    Malaysia
    Uzbekistan
    Kazakhstan
    Bosnia
    Albania
    Iraq

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Lou, be honest, have you ever read the Koran? Of course not. And clearly you DO hate the other as you say, which is evident from your posts here.

    Also, since when did Saudi Arabia’s brand of Islam determine the standard for all Muslims? Wahhabism is not endorsed by any Sunni or Shia school of jurisprudence.

  • lucy1886

    Lou seems a little……..um……one-sided. There was Billy Graham blessing US pilots whose bombs dropped from the sky killed millions in Indochina. And there was George Bush, using the term “crusade” and “wink-wink” building support for his war in Iraq by playing on Christian versus Muslim attitudes in the USA, while desperately looking for a hundred different reasons to appeal to the American people. And I do agree it is more about ethnicity/race than religion, which is the cover. Oh yeah, and Yugoslavia–the Christians had a good time with that one! And Hitler DID use Christianity when it suited him, even as he also sometimes attacked churches. We are not just talking about the Inquistion of hundreds of years ago……….violence justified by religion (usually really in service to politics and economic gain)………..goes on today, and Christians do it too. Let’s see, wasn’t it the Irish who actually really developed car-bombs into a major weapon? Not too many Muslims in Ireland…or Northern Ireland.

  • Sam Molloy

    No, I haven’t read it either. I understand a lot of it is shared with our Old Testament and I’ve been told it says Jesus “appeared to have died and came back”.
    I happen to believe He actually did.
    Anybody in a civilized country can believe anything they want as long as it doesn’t include harming people who believe otherwise.

  • Lou Stouch

    Snorlax, we are talking about the here and now – not the Inquisition. Yes, plenty of violence in the Old Testament, which was reformed by the New, no? They dont preach at my church to hate “the other”, which is exactly what is happening in lots of mosques. Google it, you might learn something.

    Islam needs to be reformed, but the moderates are afraid they will lose their heads – literally – for moving on it.

    When there are churches in Saudi Arabia – or when new churches can be built in any moslem country – then we can build mosques. Tit for tat, life – and jihad – works both ways.

  • http://ethecofem.com April

    OTOH, though, this particular instance is based on ignorance and hate for for brown folks, using a religion they don’t understand as a convenient, but woefully incorrect, scapegoat. Read Reza Aslan’s No god but God for a fantastic historical account of Islam, written accessibly and in a very engaging manner.

  • http://ethecofem.com April

    Burning Qarans is certainly distasteful, but really, getting up in arms about burning so-called sacred texts is rather silly. Agreed with above commenter- people have every right in the world to non-violently express their opposition to religion. All of them, and any of them, however they wish.

  • Snorlax

    Lou should read some more history before assuming that Moslems are the only people who can act like bad guys.

    The history of the New World is replete with Christians being bad. From Columbus onward, Christians enslaved native “Indians” and when they started dying off, they brought in more slaves from Africa.

    Conversion to Christianity was brutal and it did not lift the native Americans or Africans from slavery. It did force them to stop speaking their native tongues and stop worshiping in their own ways.

    If you think the Muslims were bad, you should read up on how bad the Conquistadors were. Bloody murder.

  • Snorlax

    Lou obviously hasn’t read the Old Testament.

    Or any of Paul’s books in the New Testament.

    The Koran has nothing on the Bible for hate speech.

    The Bible is full of violence and hatred too.

    And if you’re going to claim Muslims kill infidels, what about the Inquisition? That went on for 400 years and claimed a million lives.

    There’s plenty of good in both religions, but you tend to look at the dark side of things, don’t you.

  • Charles Austin

    Burning a book does no harm to anyone. I myself run El Paso’s Atheist Website which I call Burn the Bible Association. The web address is http://www.burnthebibleassociation.com. But I also support organizations like you, the ACLU and American Atheist and urge people to express themselves and to think before they act. Many ex -moslems like ex-christians and ex-religious of any kind have right reason to complain about religious experience and the right to be heard. I haven’t visited this site but would hope that the web master would try to keep ifrom being needlessly hateful. You can’t hate God he/she/it doesn’t exist.

  • Lou Stouch

    Have any of you posters ever read the koran? Obviously not.

    The Koran is full of hate speech. In fact, a statistical analysis determined that 62% of the koran – 62% mind you – is one long diatribe about and against the Unbeliever. Thats you and me, people.

    Christianity poses the Golden Rule – do unto others. Islam has no Golden Rule. Quite the opposite, in fact. It is estimated that muslims kill on the order of 150,000 infidels per annum worldwide.

    In summary, the Holy koran is anything but. And the sooner people read it and feel the hate, the better off we all will be.

    Hatewatch my ass. You people need to read it yourselves.

  • GENA

    First Amendment Freedom of Religion
    America is freedom of Religion
    America is Agnostic
    America is Buddhist
    America is Christian
    America is Hindu
    America is Islamic
    America is Jewish
    America is Pantheist
    America is Taoist
    America is other

  • american wetback

    i have two cheeks. you can only slap one, my left hook is coming right after that and i will stomp a racist into the ground. i will be no better than them but i will be extremely satisfied. facism should be met with force when there are no more alternatives. and i believe the majority of these people are naturally born cowards.

  • ruben

    the burning of the koran is dispicable! as is the burning of the bible in many muslim countries!….i wonder if the extremists on both sides realize that christians,jews and muslims worship the SAME GOD!!….i am tired of the right wing extremists of all these religions saying that they are speaking on behalf of god!….let us all worship god as we wish and let him judge us when it is time.

  • Regina 1959

    I read the article about this so-called religious group. They are a hate group for sure. Facebook should take their page off, as they are violating the rules that Facebook has in place. These so-called religious nuts are not religious, just insane. We do have freedom of religion, from religion here too if one so chooses.

  • Patricia

    Do unto others…..just saying….

  • GENA

    Ah Religion the Slippery Slope! How many? How many Qur’ans is it going to take to burn burn? Lets see a thousand Qu’rans at ten dollars each! well go ahead make some muslim rich!

  • Sara Colebrook

    I think all the uneducated people of this country who believe all this whouii need a shot of virtue and morality. Christ said, Love them who despitfully use you and persecute you, give to them that ask of thee, if he ask for your coat give him your cloke also. If he slaps the right cheek give him the left. Take some lessons from the scriptures folks, Our country would be a whole lot better off.

  • Helen

    Catherine, You can scroll down the facebook page of the group and on the left hand side, just above the obvious ‘share’ button, is a less obvious ‘Report This Page’ link. Click on that.

  • Jane

    It’s heartening to see there are 2.5 times the number of members at ‘In protest of ‘International Burn the Koran Day’”, plus 4 other smaller groups against it.

  • Catherine

    How do we report this on facebook? This is outrageous!

  • Rosalind

    Mwahaha…. somebody names got mentioned!
    Rebecca Bass! XDD

  • Kelly

    Please go to the Facebook page and report it for racist/hate speech, then ask all your FB friends to do the same. If enough people report it, they should take it down!

  • Keith Rasmussen

    Yes they cried fire to many times in a crowed movie theater for me. Any where there is hate speech it must be recognized as such but do not shut them down expose them for who they are. Facebook should police better but lets let the person block and report. This will take the wind out of their sails. They can not use the excuse that the liberal, or conservative media and semi official government functionaries are conspiring to keep them from getting their word. Let their own hate shut them down. If they don’t and continue in a criminal manner fully prosecute.

  • Bethany Bracken

    This is horrible, and should not be allowed on facebook. It promotes violence and hate.

  • csc

    Is anyone at the the facebook controls? The answer is no. Unfortunately facebook has become a tool for hate disguised as “free speech.”

  • pixie

    The Koran has the story of venerated St Anne, Mother Mary, birth of Jesus & his teachings. They don’t even know what they are burning.

  • Ian

    I’m no fan of the book either, but this seems a bit too Nuremberg-esque for my tastes.