Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Exactly right on the Quran burning and response

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This post by Gretchen Koch is exactly right. I was hoping someone would make the points that she does:

Remember Terry Jones? Not the guy from Monty Python, but the Florida pastor who threatened to burn copies of the Qur’an last August in response to the building of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center a few blocks away from where the World Trade Center used to stand? And the president actually got on television to ask him not to do it? And Jones responded that he wouldn’t, not ever?

He finally got around to burning a Qur’an about a week ago. Well, another pastor actually did it but Jones “supervised,” during a mock trial of the text in which it was apparently found guilty. And nobody much cared…until some angry mullahs in Afghanistan encouraged a crowd of 20,000 Muslims to “avenge” the burning. Which they did yesterday, by attacking a United Nations compound in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, killing at least twelve people, none of whom were American. Seven of them were United Nations workers from European countries, and five were Afghani. The crowd had attacked the United Nations building because they had been unable to find any Americans on which to vent their anger.

Mr. Jones, the Florida pastor, caused an international uproar by threatening to burn the Koran last year on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Among others, the overall commander of forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David H. Petraeus, had warned at that time that such an action could provoke violence in Afghanistan and could endanger American troops. Mr. Jones subsequently promised not to burn a Koran, but he nonetheless presided over a mock trial and then the burning of the Koran at his small church in Gainesville, Fla., on March 20, with only 30 worshipers attending.

The act drew little response worldwide, but provoked angry condemnation in this region, where it was reported in the local media and where anti-American sentiment already runs high. Last week, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan condemned the burning in an address before Parliament, and President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Thursday called on the United States to bring those responsible for the Koran burning to justice.

A prominent Afghan cleric, Mullah Qyamudin Kashaf, the acting head of the influential Ulema Council of Afghanistan and a Karzai appointee, also called for American authorities to arrest and try Mr. Jones in the Koran burning.

The Ulema Council recently met to discuss the Koran burning, Mullah Kashaf said in a telephone interview. “We expressed our deep concerns about this act, and we were expecting the violence that we are witnessing now,” he said. “Unless they try him and give him the highest possible punishment, we will witness violence and protests not only in Afghanistan but in the entire world.”

Mr. Jones was unrepentant. “We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities,” he said in a statement. “Islam is not a religion of peace. It is time that we call these people to accountability.”

Do I need to list off all of the absurd elements in this situation? Maybe I do:

  1. Both sides were blaming enormous groups for the actions of individuals. In Jones’ case it was the entirety of Islam for the acts of some terrorists; in the mob’s case it was the entirety of America for the acts of a small congregation of loony Americans. And in the mob’s case they not only decided to punish the group as a whole, but couldn’t even be bothered to make sure that the people they attacked were even members of it or that the property they destroyed was owned by members of it.
  2. Had the three mullahs in Mazari-i-Sharif not encouraged people to take to the streets and commit murder, they almost certainly would not have done so. Just as with the Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad, none of this destruction would have happened had it not been for mullahs stirring up the anger of Muslims.
  3. And yet, . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 April 2011 at 11:18 am

Posted in Daily life, Religion

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