Pastor Terry Jones, from the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida, recently announced plans to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. General David Petraeus warned that the planned Quran burning could “endanger American troops in Afghanistan and be used to incite violence around the world”. There have already been protests in Afghanistan and Indonesia.
Mayor Bloomberg, who has been defending the Ground Zero mosque, had this to say:
“In a strange way I’m here to defend his right to do that. I happen to think that it is distasteful. I don’t think he would like it if somebody burnt a book that in his religion he thinks is holy,” Mr. Bloomberg said during a news conference updating the public on the progress of rebuilding at the World Trade Center site.
“But the First Amendment protects everybody,” Mr. Bloomberg said, “and you can’t say that we’re going to apply the First Amendment to only those cases where we are in agreement.”
“I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths, from evangelical Christians to Jewish rabbis, as well as secular U.S. leaders and opinion-makers.”
Sarah Palin posted on Facebook, in part:
“Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.
I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire. If your ultimate point is to prove that the Christian teachings of mercy, justice, freedom, and equality provide the foundation on which our country stands, then your tactic to prove this point is totally counter-productive.”
But I believe that there is something that endangers Americans and American soldiers even more: certain passages that—when read literally—pit Muslims against Americans and the West.
I believe the Qurans are being burnt because we, as Muslims, haven’t dealt sincerely and intellectually with very serious issues that certain Quranic passages raise, particularly in the West. These include verses—when literally read—that say that disobedient wives can be beaten “lightly,” that Muslims can’t be friends with the Jews and the Christians, and that it’s OK to kill converts from Islam.
We, as Muslims, need to tear a few pages out of the Quran—symbolically, at least, by rejecting literal adherence to certain problematic verses.
A lot of arguments are being made, pro and con, on the issue.
In my opinion, burning the Quran because Islamic extremists attacked America on 9/11 is like burning bibles because Dr. Tiller was murdered, or an abortion clinic was bombed. It’s like burning the American flag because the USA went to war in Iraq. It’s like burning Ozzy Osbourne albums because John McCollum, a depressed teenager, shot himself in the head while listening to the song Suicide Solution. Or burning bibles or blaming all Catholics because some priests are pedophiles.
If you are ok with one, you should be ok with all of these forms of protest.
If you are against any of these, you should be against all of them.
Personally, I think it is a stupid idea. If the Pastor wants to protest he should burn photos of Osama Bin Laden, Osama’s fatwa and images of the terrorists who flew the planes.
Pastor Terry Jones would better serve his congregation and community by holding a fundraiser to raise money for the soldiers and their families who are at/went to war in Afghanistan.
Yes, he has a right to burn the Quran. And, as with the Ground Zero mosque, just because they have the *right*, it doesn’t make it just.
As for the argument that in doing so, they will be putting soldiers in harms way, I believe we can’t stop being *free* and give in to/live in fear of, threats of violence.
Not exercising our freedoms because of threats of violence from radical extremists means they win.
|Aldo Utama/AFP/Getty Images|
I have no doubt there will be violence. There was violence before this came about, there was violence over a cartoon drawing of Muhammad, and there will be violence after this protest. Whether they burn the Quran or not, there will be violence.**
Burning the Quran is not the answer, or the problem.
“Religions don’t kill people. People who distort religion to violent ends kill people.”
And personally, I’d like to think we are better than them.
Kind of ironic (idiotic) that they protest the burning of something they hold sacred by burning images of the American flag and President….
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told CNN that the discourse surrounding the center has become so politicized that moving it could strengthen the ability of extremists abroad to recruit and wage attacks against Americans, including troops fighting in the Middle East.
“But if you don’t do this right, anger will explode in the Muslim world,” he later said, predicting that the reaction could be more furious than the eruption of violence following the 2005 publication of Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Sound familiar? Isn’t this like extortion or blackmail or something? Like I said above, we can’t live controlled by the threat of violence, our actions dictated because of threats. Especially by people who stone women to death.
We shouldn’t burn the Quran because of the reasons above. Not because someone is threatening us with violence (and burning our flag).