Why the outrage in Afghanistan over one Florida pastor's burning of a copy of the Quran? Isn't it a form of idolatry in both Christian and Islamic faith to worship objects and symbols? What does it say about the state of faith when the medium corrupts the message?

Radical Islamic groups seem especially prone to exalting symbolism over other moral strictures — such as protecting the innocent and acting justly. Perversely, they seem to find it highly immoral for women to be seen uncovered in public — but not immoral to ruthlessly kill innocent men, women and children in brutal terror attacks.

What does it portend about America’s deepening commitments in the Middle East when it must deal with both partners and adversaries for whom death is preferable to a perceived dishonor?