A planned burning of the Koran, Islam’s Holy Book, by a Florida church is raising the hackles of Muslims worldwide and is prompting concerns of the ramifications and fallout for U.S. troops in Afghanistan by General David Petraeus, the top coalition commander in Afghanistan.
A Facebook page has been dedicated to International Burn a Koran Day which according to the page, with its prominent Islam of the Devil banner, will be held at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida on September 11 to remember the victims of the 9/11 attack and to stand against the evils of Islam. As of Tuesday afternoon, the page has over nine thousand people who like it.
The church that is planning this event is the Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida. The non-denominational church is pastured by Terry Jones, a former hotel manager hosts their own website filled with Islamaphobic diatribes and links to Terry Jones’ Braveheart Show where Jones says he is challenging Christianity to stop pulling punches. The site of the fifty member family church also has links to Terry Jones’ blog where you can read about reasons to burn the Koran and why Islam is cursed.
While supporters and even detractors defend Terry Jones and the Dove World Outreach Center under the cloak of the First Amendment, he has crossed the line and a little church in Florida and its inconsequential pastor has ignited a world firestorm of Anti-American protests. Hundreds have already staged anti-America rallies in Afghanistan and thousands in Indonesia have taken to the streets denouncing the planned burning.
Mr. Jones and company need to realize first and foremost that with the rights and freedoms that Americans enjoy comes with a price and are had at great cost and sacrifice. We all know the cost, American troops in far-off lands willing to sacrifice their time, efforts and even their lives so some penny-ante, self proclaimed preacher can incite riots and, as General Petraeus and the White House pointed out, put the troops in harm’s way, even more so then they usually have to face. The thoughtlessness of such words and actions by a citizen of the United States is mind boggling.
The thought of having this Koran burning on 9/11, a day held in reverence by most Americans, is reprehensible. This is a slap in the face of the thousands that died in attack by extremists, planned by extremists. Men just like Terry Jones, so hateful and myopic that they cannot see the folly and farce in their own words and actions. Does anyone really think that an action such as this would anyway honor the brave 343 of FDNY? Do you think as those firefighters were going through the towers, concerned about the safety and welfare of their fellow man, they were concerned about whether the people they were helping were Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, white, black, Arab?
There concern that day was to help people in trouble. People. Not race, creed or belief.
America is and should be a beacon of tolerance and hope for the world. Are we extremists? Is this the face we want to show the world? America is what it is, a sum of its parts, a melting pot, warts and all. After all Pastor Jones, what would Jesus do?