An Aussie lawyer has given a whole new meaning to the phrase Holy Smoke.
Brisbane-based Alex Stewart posted a video on YouTube entitled ‘Bible or Koran – which burns best?’ in which he appeared to rip a page out of a copy of the Bible and then a copy from the Koran – before rolling them up and smoking them.
The 12-minute clip showed Stewart inhaling deeply from one of the roll-ups before blowing out the smoke and sighing: ‘Holy’ although adding that it was a “little bit papery”.
Stewart, who according to reports is an atheist, said in the video: “With respect to books like the Bible and the Koran, whatever, just get over it.”
He insisted that the video was a joke.
“If you’re gonna get upset about a book then you’re taking life far too seriously,” he added.
The footage, which followed US paster Terry Jones threatening to burn Islamist books, was posted over the weekend.
Stewart’s video has since been deleted from YouTube but is available to view through other websites.
Queensland University of Technology, where Stewart works, seemed to be fuming over the YouTube clip.
The university’s vice-chancellor professor Peter Coaldrake issued a statement on the QUT website, stating: “QUT does not condone the destruction of any religious artefacts. This was a personal view and action expressed in the person’s own time.
“The staff member is not an academic and does not work in an academic faculty. He does not associate himself with QUT in the clip. QUT is tolerant of all religions and welcomes staff and students from many countries to our university and regularly celebrates their cultures and religions.”
He added that the “staff member” was on leave and QUT was looking into the matter.
Not that TechEye would ever condone burning books or, worse still, smoking, but we were glad to see there wasn’t any religious discrimination involved in the experiment. The point, as Alex highlighted at the end of the footage, is that if someone disrespects your beliefs it’s not worth getting upset about – “it’s not like you lose your belief”.