Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Planned Burning of Korans

It is with great anger and disappointment that I write this. A pastor in Florida and his small congregation are planning to burn a great number of Korans.
Several American officials, including the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and General Petraeus have warned him that this is not only reckless, but dangerous. Rev. Terry Jones continues to say that while he has considered it and he and his congregation have prayed about it, they believe this to be the right course.
While I believe they have every right to do this - just as I have the right to go out and have a bible bonfire - I find this to be offensive, stupid, and wrong.
If he had said that this was their constitutional right, I would still be angry and upset, but I would have little to say on the matter, since it truly is their right - just as the people of New York City have the right to build a Muslim Outreach Center complete with mosque, three blocks or closer to Ground Zero.
We have a right, in this country, to do anything we like, say anything we like, as long as it does not create a "clear and present danger."
But what Jones quoted was not his country's promises, but those of his religious leader. And in that sense, he is quite wrong.
He told ABC News that he believes God wants him to do this. And I cannot think of anything less true.
The God that he follows was described by Jesus Christ, whose beliefs and ideals spoke of peace and kindness, not violence.
By citing Jesus and God as his reasoning, he has in fact, proven himself incorrect. Jesus would not condemn another religion - especially not a religion so similar to the one he founded.
Islam is not by nature a violent, evil, or wrong religion, any more than Christianity or Judaism is. It is extremists that make headlines, and extremists who misread their religion and use it to cause harm. Do we burn Torahs and Bibles to protest Israel's continuation of its violence with Pakistan, or to protest the use of the Bible to justify killing doctors? No.
And while Jones is within his rights to burn these books, I sincerely hope that he realizes how insulting, unnecessary, and violent the act he is planning is.
The thought of burning a book - any book - is repulsive to me. And I wonder what Jones would say if I burned an American flag in front of him. Is that not also my right? And while I would cause fury among those I disagree with - Tea Partiers, for instance - I would also anger people who have nothing to do with what I would protest - like veterans. The burning of the Koran is the exact same case. And in this particular instance, it will only serve to increase the motives and self-righteousness of Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists. Muslims do not deserve this slight, and it will prove no points - only harden the belief that America is anti-Islam.

1 comment:

  1. That's a really excellent point, Tala, I'm glad that you brought that up. I've been hearing all about this on the news and other media, and am particularily angry at Steve Malsberg for his way of describing the situation. I understand that he's a loose cannon when it comes to the media. In my mind, he's like a rabid dog, attacking everything that comes close to him. I find your take on this issue refreshing, quite believable, and justified. Way to go, girl.