It’s about 89°F at 1335. I’m sitting at a picnic table between the military science building and the fine arts studios on ETSU campus. The air is humid and promises to become more so. But there’s an occasional breeze that comes and goes, bringing with it construction noises, distant traffic noises, conversations, and bluegrass banjo. The ambient light conditions suck as far as using my notebook computer at this table. I’ve cranked up the screen brightness and tried to block some of the light with my backpack.
Pastor weighing plans to burn Qurans amid U.S. warnings
By the CNN Wire Staff
September 7, 2010 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT
In Gainesville Florida a church, led by a fundamentalist Christian preacher is about to commit mass idiocy. They plan to burn an unknown number of copies of the Quran on 11 September. They also, I have read in multiple sources, are going to burn at least one copy of the Talmud. They are doing this to convince some of the 1+ billion Muslims who populate the world that the Quran is an evil item, a tool of the devil. The morning news on CNN broadcast a segment of a live interview with the leader of this group of hate mongers. Watching him answer the interviewer’s questions was highly suggestive of what a similar interview with bin Laden would be like. He simply refused to hear any indication or suggestion that his planned course of action might be wrong in any manner. It was horribly frustrating for the interviewer, who was trying to provide him a platform to address the complaints and concerns being voiced by rational Americans and by Muslims in other parts of the world. Instead of offering intelligent discussion, he threw up a constant line of boiler plate evangelism, fundamentalist Christianity,
And dark ages stupidity.
Excerpted from CNN this morning:
"The burning is not only an insult to the holy Quran, but an insult to Islam and Muslims around the world," said Muhammad Ismail, a spokesman for the hard-line Indonesian Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir.”
Jones said his congregation is well-aware that the action is offensive. "We realize that this action would indeed offend people, offend the Muslims. I am offended when they burn the flag. I am offended when they burn the Bible. But we feel that the message that we are trying to send is much more important than people being offended."
Jones said Muslims are welcomed in the United States, if they observe the Constitution and don't try to impose Sharia law, or Muslim law. The message, he said, is directed toward the "radical element of Islam."
"Our message is very clear," he said. "It is not to the moderate Muslim. Our message is not a message of hate. Our message is a message of warning to the radical element of Islam, and I think what we see right now around the globe provides exactly what we're talking about," he said.
Watching this segment was painful. The hatred for Islam is unmerited. A church population is being led to commit an act that should be hateful to all American citizens by a leader who is seemingly proud of his own ignorance about the Quran and the religion it belongs to. While I have concerns about how Muslims meld their religion with societies and cultures that are not predominantly Muslim, I have read the book and recognize that it has some beauty in its language. I don’t believe the book itself to be evil, harmful, or in any way demonic in origin. But then, unlike these 50 or so people in Florida and their long distance supporters, I’m not living in the 21st century with my brain stuck in the Dark Ages. I’m not waiting for the “rapture’ even though I could use some new cassette decks and a good equalizer. I figure if the “rapture” does happen, there will be some leftover hardware for the asking. Come to think of it, “post-rapture shopping should be really good. All the born again, supposedly born-again, and other forgiven won’t be there to stand in the express lanes with 13 items.
Back to Florida- I don’t understand how anyone can expect burning the holy books of another’s faith is going to cause them to line up to join yours. The Inquisition didn’t achieve any real success, nor did the Nazis. Both of those hateful and hate-filled groups burned a lot of books. Lots of illiterate protestant preachers burned a lot of 45 RPM records but rock-and – roll is still around today. There’s even a hall of fame. The only museum for book burners is at that “museum” in Kentucky that depicts the co-existence of humans and dinosaurs. Perhaps they’ll put a wax stature of Terry Jones there next to the photo of Sarah Palin riding her dinosaur.
The commanding general for the theater has asked the idiots not to burn any books. They’re “praying about it.” I think an appropriate action would be to publish their church’s address and that of their idiot-leader. He claims Islam is barbaric. He claims Islam is violent in nature. Perhaps he needs a closer acquaintance with the book of Islam and perhaps with a few Moslems. I wonder how he’d enjoy being read to, from the Quran, no-stop, for several days, using a loud-hailer. I’m sure he would support using that means of “education” to convert Muslims. I’m willing to read for an hour.