All the world wonders after Islam, so it seems. As if the controversy over the mosque wasn’t enough, a pastor by the name of Terry Jones has become the personification of American hatred towards Islam. Jones, with his congregation, is planning to have a burn the Qur’an day on September 11–the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the pentagon and the world trade center. Though many religious leaders, the white house, and Gen. Petraeus have spoken out against this act, Jones seems unswayed and is determined to carry it out.
The most immediate impact of this decision is the danger that pastor Jones has placed himself and his congregation. The heavy weights of terrorism are probably applauding his decision because it supports their agenda–they would like the Muslim street to believe that Islam is at war with crusaders from the west. Therefore, I don’t believe that any retaliation would come from them. However, there is the possibility that there are some other minor elements in the terrorist movement that may be eager to avenge the Qur’an’s burning. Not to mention, the average peace loving Muslim would not be to fond of the idea, to say the least.
As a Christian pastor, Jones’ proposed action can be viewed by Jihadist as a mean of solidifying the reality that they claim to be living in. Since the Jihadist is in a holy war it would help if he had someone as active in the war as he is. Up to now, they have been locked in mortal combat with the American army. However, the American army doesn’t have a clear religious affiliation–though Christianity is projected unto it. Since Jones is providing that, the holy war seems more like a reality.
Jones shouldn’t be viewed as a lone ranger. He is a expressing the feeling of many Americans towards all things Islam. Americans may not be willing to admit it, but they have become extremely intolerant towards Islam. America has had negative experiences with religions before, however, their experience with radical Islam has push them to the point where a majority of them are willing to deny well-t0-d0 Muslims–at least to our knowledge–a place of worship because of location.
The public outcry against the burning of the Qur’an is not as loud as the building of the mosque near the WTC, even though the former is clearly worst. This suggests that the idea is somewhat comfortable to the minds of Americans. They are not as bothered with the rights of others as they are with issues that they view as directly affecting them. Well, they are mistaken in their analysis because this does directly affect them. If this kind of behavior persist, America will begin to look more and more like the chaotic middle east. In a way it would be reverting back to its pre-civil rights days, with a majority–though they didn’t promote the wrongs that were done–were indifferent towards what was taking place.
Indifference towards wrongs is a disease that weakens morals and solidifies bigotry. One may arrive at a place that they never intended to simply because of indifference. In a nation as diverse as America indifference towards the isolation and demonizing of a particular religious group should strike fear in the hearts of all religious institutions. If it could be done to one, it can be done to another. All that’s needed is a radical faction operating on its own agenda.
The religions of the world are systems that certain factions of humanity have adopted in their quest for God. Though I don’t believe that all roads lead to the same God, I do agree that it’s the same one they are looking for even though they may not know it. Therefore indifference towards the rights of others to search through their accepted mean says a lot about the system that a majority of us in north America have adopted. It’s hypocritical to tell Muslims about the Christian God when we stay silence while their Bible is treated in such a manner. Hate filled evangelism is the stuff of Nazis.
What should we do now? How about having a public outcry against the burning of the Qur’an. Then America will look more like what it claims to be, a place in which all religions are free from harassment even though they have dangerous factions. The sins of the few are not the sins of the majority.
- Pressure mounts against Koran burning (bbc.co.uk)
- Rabbi Arthur Waskow: Qur’an Burning: The 5 Steps that Brought Us to this Point and Why Religous Communties Must Resist (huffingtonpost.com)