Monday, June 18, 2018
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Apr 2

Written by: Diana West
Saturday, April 02, 2011 4:04 AM 

I shouldn't do this, at least not on the weekend, but I glanced at the NYT (which used to be called The Gray Lady) and saw this A1 headline:

"Afghans Avenge Koran Burning, Killing 12"

As someone who knows that the Koran, like Gone with the Wind or the Bible, is a book, an inaminate object, a thing, a bound bunch of printed material, I have a problem with the word "avenge." The dictionary tells us "avenge" means:

  • Inflict harm in return for (an injury or wrong done to oneself or another)
  • Inflict such harm on behalf of (oneself or someone else previously wronged or harmed)

A book going up in smoke harms no one.

The New York Times' use of "avenge" in a declarative headline shouts over the traditional, normal, rational, reflex Western reaction to this heinous event: namely, that it is one freakishly barbaric bunch of savages who can go to "religious" services and then mass to massacre 12 innocent people over a burnt book. The use of the word "avenge" insinuates the Islamic rationale -- no "disrepecting" the Koran or else (which is exactly what ISAF is proseletyzing to our troops) -- for the act.

If the Gray Lady didn't wear a burqa she would have written:

"Afghans Massacre 12 over Koran Burning."

Now everybody's doing it.

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