To Burn or Not to Burn– The Qur’an in America
By David G. McAfee
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“The evil Muslim extremists hate our freedom, and the Qur’an is an instrument of terrorism.” These are the sentiments being echoed throughout the Bible Belt- and America as a whole. Since September 11, 2001, ignorance regarding Islam and its practices has taken a turn for the worse- spawning hate, discrimination, and intolerance among America’s Christian majority.
Pastor Terry Jones, the creator of “Burn a ‘Koran’ Day”, claims that that if Jesus Christ were alive today- that he would, himself, burn the Qur’an because of its “evil and violent nature”. To me, I see the ultimate irony in a radically religious individual burning hundreds of Holy books of the world’s second most popular religion. The claim that the writings of the Qur’an are violent is the icing on the cake of double standards when you refer to the Christian Bible, and see very similar bronze-age writing condoning rape, murder, and even mass genocide.
What does this man hope to accomplish? Jones claims that this mass book-burning is a mission from God and, short of a direct message from GOD, Pastor Terry Jones insists that nothing will stop his plans. Some condemn this event because of the potential backlash from offended Muslims (to be fair, Christians would be enormously offended to see a mass-burning of Bibles- or an image of Jesus being burned in effigy.) I, however, am less worried about backlash from Muslim populations, and more worried about where this might lead our nation if the Christian majority comes to condone such radically disrespectful acts of war against other religions. This act just furthers my original point (see A Brief Introduction to Christianity in America in Disproving Christianity: Refuting the World’s Most Followed Religion) that Christian fundamentalism leads to radicalism which has led to terrorism in the form the bombings of abortion clinics, formation of the Ku Klux Klan, and now a mass-burn of over two-hundred Holy Books of Islam.
I do not support the spread or dominance of Islam, or any other religion. But I do believe in respecting human beings… and to treat an entire people (estimated to be around 1.5 billion followers of Islam) as if they are “evil” and “proponents of the devil” (as described by Jones) based on the actions of a few extremists is ridiculous. If everybody did that to the 2.5 billion Christians, we would have to treat a third of the world as if they are akin to Hitler, the KKK, and the executors of the Crusades and other Holy Wars. If we learn anything from this controversy, it is that all religions can lead to a radical, extremist element in which people believe that they can do harm to others- and those acts will be justified by a supernatural creator.