When it comes to the Muslim religion, a lot of people in America have animosity and hatred toward the teachings of the Koran. The Koran is the holy book of the Muslim faith and often promotes extremist ideologies and violence. After the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, people have felt growing anger toward the Muslim religion, and this year it seems to have come to a climax.
According to Fox News, General David Petraeus has warned Florida pastor Terry Jones that his plan to burn Korans in commemoration of the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, could endanger U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. Petraeus’ concerns about Jones and his church’s activities stem from the fact that burning the Koran is a major offense to the Islamic community. He is very concerned that extremists in Afghanistan and around the world will use the burning of the Koran to incite violence. The burning of the Koran could also create more animosity between the Middle East and America.
The planned Koran-burning is similar to the recent Wikileaks incident involving secret documents about the War in Afghanistan. I believe the Wikileaks incident exacerbated tensions between American troops and residents of the Middle East because it put troops and civilians in danger. According to the Washington Post, over 90,000 documents were released about the War in Afghanistan, including the names of people in the Middle East who had helped the American troops. Other documents included information about government resources used during the War in Afghanistan and information about funding of the programs. The Wikileaks documents were released for the American people, but they are clearly putting American troops in danger while serving our country. These documents contain a lot of information about who is informing our government and cause a great risk to the people of the Middle East who cooperated with America. The documents made residents of the Middle East scared to talk to American troops, which only exacerbated the tensions.
I think the American military endeavors in the Middle East will be affected minimally if Jones burns copies of the Koran. If Pastor Jones goes through on his promise to burn copies of the Muslim holy book Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, then that is his right and choice as an American. Even though it is considered a major offense to the Islamic religion, the extremists in the Middle East are often seen burning the American flag. I am not for the burning of the Koran completely, but it seems like there is a double standard going on. Some people might consider it hate speech, but I consider the burning of the Koran freedom of speech.
Many people are upset with the Muslim religion right now, especially considering the upcoming anniversary of the terror attacks. The American military’s endeavors will not be affected that much because people will realize that we have a right to do this, even if it is in poor taste. American troops witness people in the Middle East burning the American flag, and yet we are still fighting the war and trying to help people. There will be some obvious backlash from the incident and it might make our military vulnerable to attacks by extremists, but we should be able to withstand it. The American troops understand the animosity and know that we are over there fighting for the right for all people to express their feelings freely. The military aspect is nothing to be that concerned with, although it does not mean there is no risk involved. It might make people in the Middle East hate us even more and hate our military, but most of them hate us anyway. I do think that it could put American troops at risk if there are extremists around because they are willing to do whatever they can to destroy America.
Fox News Staff, “Pastor Says Church Not Deterred by Petraeus Warning on Koran Burning”, Fox News
Walter Pincus, “Wikileaks’ Afghanistan War Log vs. the Pentagon Papers”, The Washington Post