Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jones Burns Qur'an, Obama Burns Jones, Karzai Burns Everyone...

This is the story that just won't die, unlike the innocent victims of Muslim rage and poor self-control!

Should Pastor Terry Jones be charged with the riots, murders, and beheadings, that are STILL taking place in the wake of his Qur'an burning?

Newsweek's Joe Klein says that Jones is just as bad as the 9/11 hijackers.  That's how ridiculous this discussion has become: destroying a book, a person's personal property, is just as bad as immolating >3,000 human beings.

Underneath all of this is, of course, the feeling that Muslims are not in control of their baser instincts and have somehow missed the big boat called Civilization.  Only the so-called islamophobes are saying that EVERYONE should be held accountable for their actions. Holding Jones accountable has already happened in that he has a tiny little congregation that no one--except non-critical thinkers in south Asia--takes seriously.

But holding the rioting individuals accountable for murder is unthinkable because, as our leadership seems to feel but won't say, that would be the same as holding wild hyenas morally accountable for killing a wildebeest. Violence is in their nature and they can't help it. So, let's work very hard to feed the hyenas so they don't go after the wildebeests--ie, the rest of us.

That's actually pretty insulting, but that's how the politically correct roll these days.

Rev. Terry Jones had been threatening to burn the Qur'an for months, and backed down from his original plan under public pressure, including input from Obama. What made him feel compelled to re-stage the event and actually carry out his threat? I have no idea. (Well, no, I do: free publicity.) Nonetheless, he held a "trial" for the Qur'an, doused a Qur'an in kerosene and then lit it up in front of a crowd of about 30 people at his independent Florida church, then posted a video on youtube.

This second effort to descrate the Qur'an almost missed the radar. News organizations tacitly agreed that the incident would be downplayed, because of previous experiences with Muslim violence--often in response to rumors. Afghanistan's President Karzai was the first person who broke rank and talked about this on the radio, which was then picked up as the theme for that Friday's mosque sermons.

Karzai is not well-liked and is barely hanging onto power. It makes sense that deflecting attention with this issue buys him time, even though the people who put him into power (the US and our allies) are thrown under the bus by this.
For that reason, I think we should cut him loose.

We should pull out all our people, and all our money, and let Afghanistan reap what Afghanistan has sown, which in addition to opium poppies, is illiteracy, poverty and famine. If there is any sort of Afghan leadership that can rally the people and move the country from the 6th Century into the 21st, let them have at it. But Afghanistan, "The Graveyard of Empires", has resisted interference from outsiders for generations. I say, give the Afghan people what they want.
The definition of insanity is hitting yourself in the head with a hammer and expecting a different result each time. We need to recognize our lunacy and move on.

But as for Terry Jones, let's all take a deep breath and try to put this in perspective.

Only about thirty people attended the stunt....about the same number of people in the average high school history classroom. Jones doesn't have a large number of congregants, nor is his church affiliated with any larger Christian organization. It is a rogue church, not endorsed or supported by any denominational association. In fact, those associations have condemned the Qur'an desecration not only because it was disrespectful of another religion but also because of what they see as the deadly effects of the action.

But who actually intiated those deadly effects? Enraged Muslims.Jones's point was to show the rest of the world that Islam is an intolerant and violent religion. He has done so.

Obama addressed this issue and said that , "The desecration of any holy text, including the Koran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry...However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity. No religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act...."
Obama says that "no religion tolerates the slaughter of innocent people..(etc.)" (Well, that's what he's reading from his Teleprompter.)

I would have liked to have heard Obama, for once, stick up for the Constitution. I know it's a lot to ask, and I have given up hope of ever seeing this happen, but what he SHOULD have said was, "What Rev. Jones did in burning the Qur'an was deplorable, and I certainly do not approve of this. However, he was totally within his rights to do so. As a fellow American citizen, I support his right to make a statement as long as he is not breaking any laws."

And he also should have pointed out the inconvenient fact that it was the imams in the mosques in Afghanistan who incited these riots.

So obviously at least one religion not only tolerates the slaughter of innocents, it encourages such bloodshed.

People in rural Afghanistan are very poor and often cannot read or write. They don't have much infrastructure, so they aren't surfing the net. They would have remained oblivious to the entire issue if they did not attend Friday prayers. Karzai should not have given the imams this idea for their sermon topic, and the imams should not have incited violence. But if the mosques had been attended by adherents of a "peaceful, tolerant religion," nothing would have happened.

Instead, the imams advocating death and mayhem were actually preaching to the choir.
We should be able to say this, but we have to keep repeating, "Islam is the religion of peace."

Just as the number of Jones's congregants is tiny and not representative of Americans, Christians, or both, we also should keep in mind that the number of Muslims who are truly up in arms over this is relatively small. (Probably in the thousands, including areas outside Afghanistan.)

It is interesting that world opinion is almost entirely against Jones's action. Not only Muslims, but non-Muslims are horrified, appalled, ouraged, etc. The head of the UN is angry with Jones. (Wow. I bet that scares him.)

Yet Muslims sticking up for Jones's right to free speech? I don't hear anyone speaking out. While many of these leaders insist there is no compulsion in religion, etc., they still seem to feel that the religion of the Qur'an should be given special status.  .

But let's not point this out! Joe Klein might think that mentioning such a contradiction would be the same as the London or Bali attacks.

 

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