Terry Jones vs. Islam by Tomáš Buš

05/10/2010 10:21

A pastor of a small church in Gainesville announces that he is going to publicly burn multiple copies of the Koran on the ninth anniversary of September 11. All of a sudden, the story explodes and makes headlines around the world. From U.S politicians to Muslims all over the world, everybody is outraged by the pastor’s plot and incessantly rambles about what a great act of intolerance is being committed in the famous Florida college town. Violent protests sprout across the Muslim world, from Afghanistan to India, leaving many people dead. When one reads news reports about the whole matter, it seems as if Terry Jones’s plot was the most abhorrent and intolerant conspiracy of the year. It is completely understandable that the Muslim community is deeply upset by Terry Jones’s threats. The Koran is a holy book to Muslims and thus, the public burning of the book greatly incenses the followers of Islam. However, in my opinion, this whole incident reeks of tremendous hypocrisy.

On the one hand, Muslims around the world are deeply enraged when someone offends their faith, but where are the protesters when radical Islamists commit violent actions in the name of Allah?  I haven’t read any stories about crowds of angry Muslims protesting against Chechen terrorists when they held a school in Beslan hostage, which resulted in 334 civilians being killed (186 of them children). Neither were there protests in the Muslim world when a group of extremists used jihad “holy war” to justify the massacres in the Moscow metro this year (resulting in 40 people dead and over a hundred injured), or the bombings in London in 2005 (leaving 52 people killed, 700 injured), not to mention other incidents where Islamic extremists were involved in crimes against innocent civilians. Is it not a much greater crime to twist the words of the Koran to butcher innocent people than to burn it? The Danish cartoons satirizing Muhammad in 2005 also caused large discontent in the Muslim world, with thousands of Muslims around the world demanding that the cartoonist be killed for disrespecting Islam. Why doesn’t the Muslim community demand the same for the members of Islamic terrorist organizations that engage in violence against innocent people, not shying away even from butchering children? The Koran may be a holy book to a billion people, but a human life is more valuable than all the religious books in the world. There are dozens of Christian satires out there, one song called “What if god smoked cannabis” by Weird Al Yankovich, which is a parody of the Christian song “What if god was one of us” by Joan Osbourne. Yet, there have been no violent demonstrations led by angry Christians so far. No public death threats and no effigies of Weird Al Yankovich burned, as there have been of Barack Obama in response to Terry Jones’s threat to burn the Koran. If the song had been changed to satirize Allah, the Muslim world would have gone ballistics! There would have been churches set ablaze, threats to blow up people, effigies burning all over Kabul, a pandemonium of the highest degree!

Muslims always complain about the intolerance of the West and its disrespect towards Islam, yet religious freedom is nowhere as limited as it is in the Muslim world. In our civilization, Muslims have the right to publicly practice their religion and build mosques where they see fit. Can Christians build churches in Mecca or Medina and broadcast sermons over the radio? Definitely not. Anyone publicly promoting Christianity over in the Saudi kingdom would be in serious trouble. The same goes for Taliban controlled parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where Christian missionaries would be publicly executed just for having a faith different from Islam. On the other hand, radical Muslims can even spread their extremist views in public and get away with it. I was watching one YouTube video with one Muslim individual in England commenting on the London 2005 bombings. He claimed that there were no innocent people killed in the attacks, since the victims of the bombings did not believe in Allah and thus they could not be regarded as innocent people. In other words, this individual publicly stated that there’s nothing wrong with blowing up people as long as they are not Muslims! Imagine if someone stated on Saudi television that Palestinians deserved to die in the Gaza blockade and the preceding Israeli air strikes since they did not follow Jehovah. Not even the biggest neo-con fanatic in Tel-Aviv would dare to make such a statement out loud in Riyadh. Yet, Muslim radicals are free to express their violent and hateful ideology in the West. Nevertheless, we are still the intolerant ones who oppress the Muslim community. 

Some Muslims dare to say that they only kill people in retaliation for the actions of their government. Well, bluntly said, only an idiot with an IQ of 37 can claim that since their nation was bombed by a “country A”, they have the right to come to a city in the “country A” and massacre children in a local elementary school with AK-47’s. That would be like saying that Theodore Robert Bundy, one of the most notorious serial killers in the history of the world, was not a bad person because he just tortured and killed dozens of women as a result of being greatly deceived by his mother during his childhood and rejected by a girl he was into. Did Ted Bundy also go to paradise for martyrdom? Now, Muslims will say the majority of their followers are moderates. Well, I’ll tell them this -- there no organizations in the West that venerate Ted Bundy as a hero fighting against injustice. Yet, Muslim extremists that butcher innocent civilians have a large number of fans worldwide. Instead of dwelling on Terry Jones, they should think about why their religion, when compared to other confessions, seems to have a slight proclivity towards violence.

The conflict between Terry Jones and Islam clearly highlights the hypocrisy of the Muslim community. A pastor in a small, scarcely known church in Gainesville, Fl declares that he is going to burn copies of the Koran to make a statement about the dangers of Islam on the anniversary of September 11. All of a sudden, the Muslim world starts burning effigies of Barack Obama, attacking Christian schools; basically, unintentionally giving succour to Terry Jones in demonstrating that Islam is deleterious to Western civilization. If Muslims want more respect from the West, they should open up their eyes and speak out against the injustices committed in their own backyard with the same ardent zeal that they displayed while demonstrating against Terry Jones. Violent demonstrations, arson, and bullying of innocent people in retaliation will only diminish whatever little respect the West has left for them.



Terry Jones vs. Islam

Date: 20/04/2011

By: Diamondraw

Subject: Terry Jones vs. the Muslims

Some of what you say is acceptable. Muslims could protest against extremists, I don't think it would help any, though. As for the case in Beslan, there were contradicting statements, some ppl said that one of the terrorists in the hostage taking began acting weird, and the others with him were reacting to that as if "what is he doing, or saying?". I can't say I know where that "evidence" is now, but there are some who say they've seen it or heard about it. With the Soviets, I wouldn't doubt they might try to do something like that. I don't think their government cares about it's own people and might use children as a weapon, if need be in the Chechen war. They care more about how the world perceives their handling of the war, than about people's lives.

Why do Christians, or secularists feel they have to try and anger Muslims? If Terry Jones hadn't burned the Qur'an (that's what I was told by friends, that he didn't go through with it after all) would his life have had less meaning to him? What was the real point of the stunt?

What is the real point of any of it? Insulting Islam, Muslims, their holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, why bother? Are those people's lives richer as a result of all their inward hate and outward displays of so-called "freedom"? I think they have to free themselves from the burden of HATE.

Date: 07/11/2010

By: Julianna

Subject: complex issue

Still, this does not justifies Terry Jones' deeds. As a priest he should have promoted tolerance and forgiveness and not creating and rising tension. I guess he knew pretty well that his actions will cause a series of serious Islam threats. I would be also careful with the generalization of Islam. The Islam itself is very complex and has different branches due to the schism after Muhammad's death. Nowadays the Sunni, the more radical and extremist group, make up 80-85% of the believers, and the Shi'ites, who are considered the "right" Muslims by most of the Western countries, only 10-15%. And yes, you are right. They should sweep on their own thresholds first.

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