Wednesday, September 08, 2010

US church defiant despite condemnation of Koran burning.

I have spoken before about Pastor Terry Jones and his plans to celebrate a Burn a Koran Day on the anniversary of 9-11.

Protest at what he is planning to do has reached levels which even this self promoting charlatan could never have foreseen.

The top US commander in Afghanistan warned troops' lives would be in danger if the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida went ahead.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the church's plan was "disrespectful and disgraceful".

Muslim countries and Nato have also hit out at the move.

And the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, called the idea "idiotic and dangerous".

The notion that the US is actually at war with Islam must be music to bin Laden's ears. This is what he has been saying since the war on terror began. And now, he has Pastor Jones and the mobs objecting to the Park 51 mosque all sending that message to the Muslim world, all repeating the very thing which he hopes will aid him in his recruiting drive for al Qaeda.

I'm sure that's not what they have in mind with their protests, but when General Petraeus warns that you are risking causing problems, "not just in Kabul, but everywhere in the world", one would hope that Jones and others would listen and, perhaps, desist from such an act of utter lunacy.

"It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems," he said in a statement.

The Vatican, the Obama administration and Nato have also expressed concern over the plan.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that "any type of activity like that that puts our troops in harm's way would be a concern".

Now, obviously Jones is in a different league from the people protesting the Park 51 mosque, but they are both sending the same dangerous message.

They are both implying that the war on terror is no longer simply a war against al Qaeda, it is now a war against Islam.

An interfaith group of evangelical, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim leaders meeting in Washington on Tuesday condemned the proposals as a violation of American values and the Bible.

"I have heard many Muslim Americans say they have never felt this anxious or this insecure in America since directly after 11 September," said Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America.

The vilification of one group of people based simply on their faith already has horrendous historical precedents, which only makes what Pastor Jones and his church are planning to do all the more disgusting.

But he is only the most extreme face of this Muslim bashing trend currently sweeping the United States. Palin and Gingrich, by calling on "Peace-seeking Muslims" to prove that they are "Peace seeking" by giving up their First Amendment rights, are on a very similar path.

Jones is simply sending the very same message in a much more obvious way. Islam is the enemy and the rules which apply to all Americans must be suspended when it comes to Muslims. Or rather, they should voluntarily give up their rights in order to show that they are not extremist.

It's shameful.


Howard Dean on why Palin, Gingrich etc., aren't backing Petraeus's call for this obscene act to be cancelled.
"We thought that Fox worked for the Republican Party, now we know that Fox really runs the Republican Party"
Click here for full article.


cantueso said...

However, it is a pity that Petraeus mentions only the possible retaliation and not the right of Islam to be free of persecution in the US.

Now you can already see those book burning sectarians say that the US army is afraid of the Muslims.

Kel said...

Of course, Petraeus is attempting to frame the debate in a language which the American right understands. So he emphasises the threat to US troops rather than the right of Islam to be free from persecution.

I suppose he also does so because he is responsible for those troops, so that is his main area of concern.

Steel Phoenix said...

I'm not sure Islam has the right to be free from persecution in the US. It mostly just has the right to be free from persecution by the government and certain other entities specified by things like the Civil Rights Act. If I went out and burned a Koran, I'd be in more trouble for the fire hazard than for the nature of the book. I really don't see the point though, as I don't see any way this would improve anything.

I'm not too worried about retaliation, though there may be some. There is a large but minority group of both Christians who believe all Muslims are abominations, and Muslims who believe all Christians are abominations. The rest of us are just shaking our heads. Neither 9/11 or the Koran burning will spark randomly targeted attacks by those outside these groups.

I do think religions should be held somewhat accountable for the actions of their followers. It's an ideology; a choice. If it condones terrible acts, or even just looks the other way, then I have no more problem discriminating against its ideology than you would against that of FOX News.

Anonymous said...

Burning the Koran, while not particularly constructive or sensitive in my opinion, is a first amendment right in the same way that burning the US flag or any other offensive yet protected speech is.

So what's the difference between burning the Christian Bible and the Koran? Well, if you burn some Bibles you're probably not going to get hundreds of thousands of fanatics pouring into the streets promising violence and chanting "Death to Whomever". I'm also pretty sure representatives of the Catholic Church aren't going to issue a fatwa calling for the death of the holy pyromaniac(s) in question. I could be wrong though.

Anonymous said...

The notion that the US is actually at war with Islam must be music to bin Laden's ears.

I wouldn't be surprised if a good portion of the Islamic world has already felt for some time that the west is at war with Islam (and it is the west, not just the US), so I'm not sure this particular event is going to push anyone over the edge who wasn't already there.

So given this same large portion of the Islamic world who presumably already thinks we are at war with Islam in general, is there really much of anything we are going to be able to do to convince them otherwise if they already hold this opinion? And if that's the case, then quite frankly, who cares.

While I think this guy in Florida is an idiot and not doing any good with this offensive act, excuse me if I'm not also quite a bit tired about worrying about the Islamic world's sensibilities and feelings. I doubt they spend much effort worrying about out delicate feelings. Hell, we certainly don't waste any time worrying about upsetting any other religion in this country at the expense of first amendments speech so what makes Islam so special? The real reason for the outcry to get this crackpot to not burn Korans is mainly because we know there are significant numbers of the followers of Mohammad who like to blow shit up at the slightest provocation.

Lisa said...

x( His behavior is disgusting and shall NOT be the voice for any TRUE CHRISTIAN anywhere. x( I wish they would stop calling this man a Christian.

Steel Phoenix said...

We spend lots of time worrying about the sensibilities of Christians in this country. Christians just don't notice because it is ingrained in their psyche that those things we consider indecent actually are in some broader than Christian sense. They've gone from chopping the genitalia off of African art to blurring Bart Simpson's butt when he moons people, but it's the same old game. Concepts like the indecency of nudity, blasphemy, and the dirtyness of sexuality are all cultural and heavily biased by Christians. Every time I put pants on in the morning, I'm doing it because I'm trying not to offend the Christians.

Lisa highlights a central problem of religion. Who decides whether you are Christian or not Lisa?

Kel said...

I am left wondering what Terry Jones thinks will be the reaction to what he does?

He is surely doing it to make some point and must have considered the possible reaction to what he is proposing.

He states that he thinks Islam is evil. Does he hope that the reaction of Muslims will prove this point? If this is the case, then it could be argued that he is clearly hoping to incite violence.

And I agree with SP that, contrary to the argument made by anonymous, Christians in the US are constantly insisting that others do nothing which offends their sensibilities. So, it is fanciful to argue that Muslims are asking for "special" treatment when they ask that their religious beliefs be respected.

Anonymous said...

Nowhere have I made any such argument that Christians are or aren't demanding anything. Nor do we where pants because of so-called Christian sensibilities but because you'll get arrested going out in public without them.

Certainly Christians, like Muslims, Jews, Aetheists and everyone else voice opposition to things they don't agree with. That's called free speech. But as a cursory examination of the bumper stickers in the parking lot showed tins morning, nobody is particularly nervous about free speech that upsets Christians. Nor should they.

This whole outcry is more because people expect there will be a violent reaction. That's what's so ridiculous about this whole thing. We've got some small time idiot with limited followers undertaking a provocative act that while offensive is still protected speech, and we've got every US religious leader and politician bending over backwards to condemn the obviously condemnable. Why? Because every time someone draws a cartoon, writes a book, or makes a statement that offends delicate Muslim sensibilities we have to worry about people dying. Why do you think that is?

Kel said...

Because every time someone draws a cartoon, writes a book, or makes a statement that offends delicate Muslim sensibilities we have to worry about people dying. Why do you think that is?

Ah, so Muslims have "delicate" sensibilities? So, the blame lies with them rather than with the person providing the provocation?

You seem to want to blame everyone other than the offensive and idiotic pastor.