The Burning of the Quran – Blessing in Disguise?

The title is meant to grab your attention, the content is meant to question your perception, and intial reaction.

1) US church defiant despite condemnation of Koran burning (BBC)
2) Petraeus: Koran burning plan will endanger US troops (BBC)

The chain letter that has been circulating for years has finally come true to fruition; a group has congregated and taken it as their holy mission to mark the passing of the 9th anniversary of the tragic September 11th attacks by burning several copies of the Quran stating, “We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam.”

The man in charge is Pastor Terry Jones (monkey on the right with the Hulk Hogan/ Gunslinger tache) who, despite having a congregation of just 50, has gained worldwide notoriety, sparking demonstrations in Afghanistan and Indonesia. He is both adamant and steadfast in his quest to burn several hundred copies of the Quran on saturday evening.
Author of a book entitled Islam is of the Devil, the Pastor has said that it was “time for America to quit apologising for our actions and bowing to kings”.
Here is a photo from the BBC of protestors of the planned burning of the Quran doing what? Burning an effigy (representation) of the Pastor. Does that not strike as contradictory and hypocritical? You protest the burning of the Quran by burning an effigy of the man responsible, along with Old Glory?
Are they angry? Yes. Do they have a right to be angry? Yes. Will the Pastors actions further degenerate the already strained ties between the West and Islam? Possibly, but it depends on the reaction, on both sides.
As with any fool who seeks attention, the more attention you give them, the happier they become. The reactions; the justified, undeniable angered reactions of the millions upon millions of Muslims from around the world; their protests, their adamancy, serves merely to fuel the fire of this neanderthal.

However, their pleas, their anger, their protests, are in vain, and falling on deaf ears. No matter what we say or do, no matter how many people say it, no matter how many petitions are signed or emails forwarded, the crazed lune will follow through with his plan, and burn those copies of the Quran.

We have a saying in Arabic, used when dealing with a stubborn child, an infant, “when a dog barks pay it no attention”. The more we react to his lunacy, the more importance we give him.

Why not, for example, choose to focus on the fact that the following bodies and people are as disgusted as we are by the Pastors proposed actions:

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen blasted the plans, telling reporters that burning Korans violated the Nato alliance’s “values”.

Gen David Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, said on Monday that the action could cause problems “not just in Kabul, but everywhere in the world”.
–  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned Pastor Jones – “I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths,” she said.

The Vatican and The Obama Administration have also expressed concern over the plan.

– An interfaith group of Evangelical, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim leaders meeting in Washington on Tuesday condemned the proposals as a violation of American values and the Bible.

We are the ones being victimised now. The world is showing sympathy, and not scrutiny.

When we as Muslims wish to discard a piece of paper bearing one of the ninety nine names of Allah, what do we do? One option is to burn it. So, if we strip the actions of the Pastor down to their quintessential elements, and ignoring the cult of hate he hopes to breed, we are left with one of the most accepted methods of discarding Islamic texts. For one second, let us believe that the good Pastor has found several hundred copies of the Quran that were misprinted, and has taken it upon himself to discard them properly, the equivalent of watching this scene unfold, if it were to be broadcasted to an international audience, and hitting Mute.

What could happen, what will happen, is that someone will post the video onto youtube, it will instantly garner millions of views and hits, and millions of ignorant, idiotic, hate-filled comments from both sides. These are not the chosen representatives of both sides.

He (the Pastor) could have chosen one of a myriad of methods to taunt Muslims all over the world, to desecrate the Quran, yet he chose a bonfire. Why not turn the other cheek and see it for what it could be, and not what it blatantly is? As we did as children, let us play “Make Believe”.

Make no mistake, I too am insulted by his proposed actions. The Quran teaches, unbeknownst to those who have not read it, to respect the other Celestial religions, and their texts, The Torah and The Bible. It even goes to mention that tears well in the eyes of Priests [Al-Ma’eda – 83]  (the word used is  قسيسين ورهبان which translates literally to priests [قسيس as they are called in Arabic] and monks (رهبان), a generalisation for religious figures) who hear and are reminded of verses from the Quran, them being of different faith! It also teaches to not keep company with those who insult Islam. Which is what we are doing now, we are keeping the Pastor company, and further fueling his disgusting antics.

The more attention we give him, the more motivated he feels. If we were to say, turn our backs to this raving lunatic, ignore his ridiculous plight and idiotic reasons, we come off the better. Who knows, this may even be the catalyst that pushes forward the building of the Islamic center at Ground Zero, Obama will be held accountable, whether he is or is not, for this lunatics actions. He will not be able to back-pedal on his words this time, and must make a monumental gesture in good faith to appease the billions that have been insulted and aggravated by the Pastors actions.

Let not the actions of one fool represent that of a Nation in its entirety. That works both ways, for Muslims given the present circumstances, and the West, they also need to understand that the majority of elements in Islam CONDEMN what has happened on September 11, 2001. The actions and speeches of the radicals, the extremists, do not represent that of the entire Nation.

Earlier this year, an opinion poll found that 53% of Americans view Islam unfavourably, with only 42% viewing the religion favourably. It is our responsibility to re-educate Americans, one at a time if need be, of the true meaning of Islam (peace) and Muslim (peaceful).

BTW world, it is not Koran (كورأن) with a K, it is Quran (قرأن) with a Q. The first is nonsensical, and could mean spherical, the latter is the proper English translation. Emphasis on the Q/K sound.

Just sayin’.

Update:
Religious leaders have openly condemned plans by a Florida church to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday.

The statement follows the widespread condemnation of plans made by Pastor Terry Jones to burn copies of the Koran on the 9/11 anniversary.

The leaders – including Dr Ingrid Mattson, President of The Islamic Society of North America, Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington and Rabbi David Saperstein from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism – issued a statement condemning the church’s actions during a ‘clergy summit’ to discuss the controversy over plans to build a mosque close to where the Twin Towers once stood in New York.

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