Monday, April 4, 2011

Quran Burning Highlights American Extremism

As we have seen from the majority of the mainstream media coverage and commentary, the controversial burning of the Quran by a fundamentalist preacher reminded the world that in America we have the right to hate, but to what advantage does one gain by being hateful?

The Rev. Terry Jones, the leader of the World Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla.,  burned a Quran as part of a videotaped mock trial of Islam on March 20, triggering for the past three days deadly protests and widespread condemnation of the act.

The highly respected U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petreaeus called the burning of the Quran "hateful, extremely disrespectful and enormously intolerant."

The Quran-burning was part of an elaborate stunt trial in which the Islamic holy book was put on trial by the members of Jones' fringe fundamentalist Christian sect. It was meant to anger Islam, and with the help of Islamic fundmentalists, like the Taliban, Jones succeeded.

“It was intended to stir the pot; if you don’t shake the boat, everyone will stay in their complacency,” Jones said in an interview with The New York Times.

Jones has received death threats and his enemies are said to have have put a million-dollar bounty on his life. “I don’t right now feel personally afraid,” Jones told the newspaper. “But we are armed.”

Many people also blame Afghan President Hamid Karzai for fanning the flames by calling attention to it in remarks a few days later, apparently inciting a riot that led thousands of protesters Friday to overrun a United Nations compound in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 12 people.

Congress is pondering whether it can take action that would punish Jones, but in reality there is not much that can be done, short of abolishing the first amendment to the constitution.  It was a truly strange happening for someone who purports to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, especially during Lent.

1 comment:

  1. Qur'an Burning Highlights American Extremism?

    While I think it is inappropriate to burn anyone's Holy Book, couldn't the title be more appropriately titled "Muslim extremist kill over destruction of one Radical Christians actions?"

    Most Christians I know wouldn't dare burn a book that means a great deal to another faith. Additionally, Muslims think the English version of the Qur’an is an abomination that is in error. The Qur’an is emphasized to be read in Arabic.