It is odd that burning a Koran has gained so much national attention. If I were to burn The Little Red Book no one would care or show up, except maybe a few hippies (nothing that a couple bottles of soap could not handle). But if I were to burn the Koran, pure pandemonium would ensue. Beheadings, bombings, and riots in the streets would be commonplace.
There is nothing inherently wrong with burning processed wood, aka books, although sometimes burning books is less than ideal. When the orthodox Christians sought to erase Gnostic and anti-Christian thought they tragically burned most of those works out of existence. Both historical and theological memories were erased forever from the collective memories of humankind. When the Nazis sought to burn books, their goal was to limit their people’s access to those books. In these cases, it is not burning the book that is wrong but the motivation behind it.
Burning the Koran is a little different of a story: the Koran will still be universally available and the burning would more likely increase Koran book sales than decrease it.
I happen to own a Koran and the first thing I noticed is how disjointed and incoherent it is. If it were not so fervently protected by Muslims, I know of a few English teachers who might burn it for just readability alone. The content is another thing. This is a book written by one man who claims he had visions, engaged in a bunch of violence, and had all sorts of wives (David Koresh, anyone?). This does not seem like a very solid foundation for a religion to me. When you couple that fact with the widespread acceptance in Islam of the fanatics who blow minor insults out of proportion and kill people, one is left with the feeling that Islam is a very dangerous delusion.
The burning the Koran is more of a symbolic act meant to say that the god of Islam is false and that the Religion of Peace is not so peaceful. The Islamists might blow it out of proportion and kill people, but those burning the Koran are not culpable for those deaths. After all, rapes victims who dress provocatively are not culpable for their own rapes.
On a side note: I wonder how Muslims would react to people deleting a digital copy of the Koran?