According to Reverend Terry Jones September 11th will be known as “International Burn a Koran Day.” Jones, an Evangelical Christian Minister, claims that he and his congregation are permitted to burn the Koran under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A more detailed article concerning the situation can be found here.
I will say flat out that I believe this “International Koran Burning Day” is a mistake. Though many Americans feel anger towards Muslims, burning the Koran will just make things worse. It will undo any progress that has been made in making peace with Islamic terrorist organizations. Fighting fire with fire is not always best. America must “be the bigger man” so to speak. This is not only the job of the United States Government, but also of its citizens. Choosing not to participate in an anti-Islam event does not mean a person is a coward; it means that they are conscious of the risks doing such a thing may pose to themselves and others. The man leading this movement needs to reevaluate his position and think about how he may bring harm to others.
By proclaiming this holiday Rev. Jones is putting himself and his congregation at a great personal risk. Anyone who does not believe this just has to look at Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. In 2006 Muslims became outraged when Westergaard depicted the Prophet Mohammad in a cartoon. This led to Westergaard receiving numerous death threats and the torching of Danish offices in Damascus and Beirut. This could happen to Rev. Jones and his congregation. Unfortunately it could also happen to innocent Americans who had nothing to do with the burning of the Koran.
Apart from Rev. Jones and his congregation the group of Americans most likely to suffer the retaliation of Islam are those Americans who are currently abroad. The troops in the Middle East, embassy workers in many Islamic countries worldwide, and even normal Americans traveling in Islamic countries will all be in danger.
So the question is, “Considering the danger of Islamic retaliation, is burning the Koran really worth it?” That is up to the citizens of the United States and of the world. There will be those who choose to participate and those who won’t. I will choose the latter.