- Heinrich Heine
Throughout history, violence against people has frequently been preceded by violence against books and the ideas which they contain. In 213 BC, the Chinese emperor of the time ordered books to be burned, and not long afterwards, scholars to be buried alive. When early Christians started burning books, it wasn't too long before they were burning people at the stake. And, of course, the Nazis took this to a whole new level, as did the Communists under Stalin.
So, when Islamists or any other freedom-hating group starts piling books on the fire, either literally or figuratively, we have a choice to make. Are we going to stand by and watch the conflagration helplessly or are we going to try to stop it, if only to prevent what will surely come next.