Is burning the Qur'an legal?

Jump to Last Post 1-15 of 15 discussions (27 posts)
  1. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    Is burning the Qur'an even legal, according to the Constitution? Is it covered under the 1st Amendment?

    The SCOTUS ruled 5-4 that burning a cross is not covered by the 1st Amendment. Sandra Day O'Connor wrote the majority opinion.

    Isn't burning the Qur'an a similar action?

    1. dutchman1951 profile image60
      dutchman1951posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      no were in this does it say anything about harmful action, it says the the "Government will make no law obstructing Religion, speech, press, or peaceable assembly. and it says nothing more?

      You are confusing legal right with common action. The burn would have to happen, then a suit filed and the Preacher would have to prove that burning the book was part of His religious practices. and or an exercise in Free speech  meaning he would have to show proof that each time he practiced his belief he burned a Koran as a common practice of that religion. and or he practices free speech by burning the book. Not just one isolated incident.

      The Only laws he would break is if he failed to get a Burn permit!!!!

      that's why O'Conner shot down the cross burning, because it was not practicing religion, or exercising freedom of speech, it was an act of physical burning.

      The Court considers 3 points when deciding a case.

      1. Laws on the Books that say specifically it is illegal or not
      2. Action of the party; is this common accepted practice and how long has that been that way
      3. What is the standard accepted practices of society.
      In other words do all other Churches of this Sect of religious belief practice the same.

      before it could even get that far, it would have to be proven
      that the Burn harmed an objecting party...physical, mental, monetary harm....

      once that's established the court will hear it, then and only then can you say it is legal or illegal....nothing like this is happening, it is hype and hostility.

      They have a right to exercise their beliefs, they are "Upheld" meaning allowed, but legal or not is not determined yet.

  2. Cagsil profile image71
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    Hey Habee,

    By all account burning a book is burning a book, regardless of what is in it. It's just another book, like any other.

    Burning a "cross" and the fact that it is still illegal is because there still exists racism. Burning "crosses" is related to hate crimes.

    It's not illegal to burn a bible. Therefore, it should not be illegal to burn any other religious book.

    Just my take on it.

    1. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The same argument can be used for the bible and the Quran.  The fadct that they might be meaningless to us does not mean that it is not a similar 'holy' symbol to others.  The ruling is unimportant in itself, it is the resoaning behind the ruling that applies I think ?

      1. Cagsil profile image71
        Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Actually, it cannot. Learn the difference between racism and what isn't racism.
        Symbol are to be burned, whenever deemed necessary in protest. That is specifically why the American flag can be burned, and isn't against the law. The right to protest against Government is every person's freedom of speech.
        The reason is racism fueled, not protesting.

        1. profile image0
          china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          and you don't think the hate campaign against Muslim is not racism ?  The fact that it is hidden under the slimy disuise of religion does not make it less racist - it just avoids the law.

  3. wilderness profile image95
    wildernessposted 13 years ago

    You make a good point, Habee.  About the only difference I can see is that Quran burning has not become an institution yet; it has not become the symbol of hate and threat that cross burning was.

    Perhaps if it does it will become unprotected as well.

  4. Flightkeeper profile image65
    Flightkeeperposted 13 years ago

    I wonder if it matter under what circumstances the cross is burnt?  If it is burnt as a form of hate speech then it shouldn't be covered under the 1st Amendment.  But if it was part of political speech?

    1. Cagsil profile image71
      Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Speech is speech, except when it crosses(no pun intended) racial boundaries. Then, it's deemed racism or hate.

      Religion is NOT a race. It's a form of culture. A way of thinking.

  5. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    So it's legal to hate Muslims but not blacks? I get what you're saying, Cags. I know "Muslim" isn't a race, but burning the Qur'an still seems like a hate crime to me.

    1. Cagsil profile image71
      Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I didn't say it was legal to hate Muslims but not blacks. And, I find your question misleading.
      You say you get what I'm saying, but do you? Your previous question would say you don't.
      That's because, you would be offended if someone burned a bible, because you believe in god, which you got from the bible.

      Then, burning a flag should be illegal by your standards. If not, then hypocrisy has you in it's grip.

      The book is a symbol, it's not about race.

      1. profile image52
        sharmekaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        whether muslim or black you should not say that it is legal you say freedom what freedom is when people are hating among each other and you should do more studying too
        muslim means you submit your will to god
        black is a color so in all actuality you burning your own people
        burning each others book fighting your own people it is hateful period we are people human being what religion separates us for no reason but mans craving to destroy this world
        she is not in hypocrisy u r
        study more boy

        1. profile image52
          sharmekaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          ohhh so you would follow that right of the 1st amendment to show hatred and destruction ummmmmmmmmm

        2. Cagsil profile image71
          Cagsilposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          You're too funny. Get a life.

          1. profile image52
            sharmekaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            no u get a life you funny if u think spending time burning a qur'an is right and fun hate is the motivation so apparently thats your life

  6. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    Even if I didn't believe in God, I would still see burning the Qur'an as a hate-motivated action. Muslims hold the book holy, and it is symbolic to them. I've never understood hatred toward an entire group because of the actions of a few of its members. I'm not saying that you do this, Cags - just trying to explain my position. I need to do some more research on the 1st Amendment.

  7. Doug Hughes profile image61
    Doug Hughesposted 13 years ago

    A very inteesting question.

    I think every member of the Supreme Court would LIKE to prevent the burning of any religion's holy book. But I think that they would not go down the road of limiting free speech, no matter how vile.

    The difference between burning ANY book and burning a cross is that for a black person, the burning cross is an act of violence, or intimidation - with the promise of violence.

    I don't think anyonce could make the case that  some 50-memeber church in Bumflock, Florida are making a real threat of violence against any Muslim. (You could make the case that they are trying to incite violence, but not commit violence.)

  8. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    Hi, Doug. I'm reading about the limitations on free speech. Two principles can be applied: the "harm principle" and the "offense principle." I think the "offense principle" is pretty subjective. What one person finds "offending," another might not.

    1. profile image0
      china manposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      The problem is that the harm will come elsewhere from the act, there is a good argument from the guys who are exposed to daily death and injury that even the 'airing' of the intent will cause them harm.

  9. raisingme profile image79
    raisingmeposted 13 years ago

    I was just wondering.  In the US is hate mongering illegal.  We have freedom of speech but we are not free to incite people to hatred, it is considered a criminal act.

  10. VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image59
    VENUGOPAL SIVAGNAposted 13 years ago

    Is burning the Quran legal?  The world "legal" is very amusing. There are different laws in different countries. Your law does not apply to those who are buring the quran. And their law never applied to others.. that is why those criminal terrorists destroyed the twin towers.. Is it legal? 

    We should not think only we can air our worries and hardships. Think for a moment. When the twin towers and pentagon were hit and were burning, I was in another corner of the world... but did not turn off the tv till the end.  Our family members from different places contacted each other and watched with horror the heinous crime of terrorists as if we were near those towers. Then how will you imagine the condition of those affected.... the American people.... the American President George Bush? 

    In analysing international events, we should not use the word "legal and illegal", as the world is not one country.

  11. VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image59
    VENUGOPAL SIVAGNAposted 13 years ago

    The burning of Quran will bring nothing more than hatred and hardship to Americans. If Quran is burnt, they can have another copy of the book. But what will you do with the hatred earned?  The twin towers were destroyed by terrorists and not by religious people, eventhough they may have abetted, aided and funded the carnage. Response to anything should be equal and fitting. If they have burnt the Bible, you are right in burning the Quran.... But they have not done like that. So, the AMERICANS SHOULD STOP THAT churchman from doing any mockery. He will burn it and go to hide inside the church. But who will face the backlash?

    The US government of that day had taken an appropriate stand. That has not seen its end. So, it is needless to create another controversy.

  12. skitterdude profile image56
    skitterdudeposted 13 years ago

    Sure it's legal. Is it morally right? That's another issue completely. I personally don't think stirring up the pot like that -- and by an organization that supposedly promotes love -- is the right move to make...

    1. raisingme profile image79
      raisingmeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you for answering my question skitterdue.  I was referring to laws within the US.  Each country has it's own laws of course.  Here it is illegal and is prosecuted as a hate crime.  In other areas we are much more lenient than the US.  So had this incident occurred in Canada it would have been quashed very quickly.  I understand that in the US it is considered to be freedom of speech so between that and the press running it was bound to get a little ugly.  My great concern would be for the young men and women that have already put themselves in harms way on our collective behalf in carrying out their duties in our collective armed forces.  It is a shame that the press sees fit to add fuel to embers in such a way as to fan them into full blown flames.

  13. habee profile image92
    habeeposted 13 years ago

    Even with the 1st Amendment, there are limits and restrictions.

  14. kaizan28 profile image84
    kaizan28posted 13 years ago

    Muslims Memorise the quran to keep it authentic, and accurate, is it not in their hearts the quran is kept? which can't be burnt?  What about if i'm reading the quran on my iphone? and i want to burn my iphone?

  15. Evan G Rogers profile image60
    Evan G Rogersposted 13 years ago

    Here is the correct answer, my good sir.

    It is ILLEGAL for the CONGRESS of these United States to outlaw the burning of the qur'an.

    But it is NOT illegal for a STATE to outlaw it.

    So - it IS legal to burn the Qur'an, so long as your state has not outlawed it.

    Which state do you live in? Check their constitution. I know that New York's Constitution would make it Legal to burn the book, they have a "freedom of religion" clause in their constitution.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)