Christian Taliban leader Terry Jones burned in effigy in Afghanistan
This Saturday on the ninth anniversary of 9/11, members of a small Muslim hating Christian group, ironically called Dove World Outreach Church, plan to burn a pile of Qu’rans to demonstrate their hatred of Islam.
It’s not like we haven’t been down this road before. Five years ago reports of Qu’rans being desecrated in Guantanomo, pissed on, torn up, and flushed down toilets, spread like wildfire across the Muslim world. Dozens died as a result:
On May 10 and continuing the following week, many violent anti-American protests took place, and in some areas these turned into deadly riots. In Afghanistan, demonstrations that began in the eastern provinces and spread to Kabul were reported to have caused at least seventeen deaths. The United Nations, as a precautionary measure, withdrew all its foreign staff from Jalalabad, where two of its guest houses were attacked, government buildings and shops were targeted, and the offices of two international aid groups were destroyed. Demonstrations also took place in Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan and Indonesia, leading to the death of at least 15 people…
Shehzad Tanweer, who participated in the 7 July 2005 London bombing, may have had his ideology reinforced by allegations of Qur’an abuse. His cousin Mohammad Saleem noted that “Incidents like desecration of the Koran have always been in his mind.“
Bad enough. But the prospect of actual filmed evidence of Americans burning Qu’rans at this critical junction of the war in Afghanistan has the top US and NATO military commander concerned. General David Petraeus has issued a written statement, as reported by CNN:
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Monday criticized a Florida church’s plan to burn copies of the Quran on September 11, warning the demonstration “could cause significant problems” for American troops overseas.
“It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan,” Gen. David Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday.
In a statement on its website, the Dove World Outreach Center said it plans to burn Qurans “to warn about the teaching and ideology of Islam, which we do hate as it is hateful.” Its pastor, Terry Jones, has written a book entitled “Islam is of the Devil,” and the church sells coffee mugs and shirts featuring the phrase. But the church says its animus is not aimed at individual Muslims.
As Prof Juan Cole notes, Jones and his flock of doves are acting just like Al Qaeda:
It isn’t only Petraeus who is petrified by the way this auto-da-fe could spin out of control. The Catholic cardinal in Mumbai, India and an archbishop in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, have condemned the stunt, as well. Likewise, Christian leaders in Indonesia have jointly protested the Gainesville church’s plans. Terry Jones, the Dove pastor, appears to want to prove Muslims are intolerant by provoking them to attack ‘Christians’ over the burning of their scripture. I.e., he thinks just like al-Qaeda, which wanted to provoke Christians to attack Muslims so as to demonstrate Christian imperialism. If what you want to do is spread hate and produce dead bodies, that is easy. Sowing rancor and harvesting corpses is no harder than piling up garbage Producing love and tolerance and unity across ethnic and religious boundaries is what is hard, and it is very, very hard. The most difficult thing in the world, like balancing a pyramid on its nose. Which is why we honor the Gandhis and the Martin Luther Kings, who strive toward it on a large scale. What is worrisome is that technology is magnifying the power of tiny fringe hate groups to shape the world.
Anticipating the reaction of Muslims watching Americans burning Qu’rans, Usama bin Laden and the Taliban must be busy setting up job fairs all over the Islamic world. Recruiters and operators are standing by.