September 9, 2010
I don’t suppose that I could add anything to what has already been said about Reverend Terry Jones intends to do on the upcoming 9th anniversary of the atrocities of 9-11.
I am of course referring to the intended ‘Burn a Quran Day’ activities which have been condemned by President Obama, various American religious leaders, The Vatican and the European Union to name a few.
However, watching these events unfold and anticpating what is going to happen – I must say that I feel sad and not angry, because for me, the Quran has already been burnt, along time ago!
The way I see it, what Jones intends to do is merely burn a book in its physical definition. In fact, I don’t even think he genuinely hates Islam or even knows much about it anyway.
I say this because I truly think that he is just another person on the ‘Islamophobia Milking’ bandwagon.
Nevertheless, let us not fool ourselves; he might not know or care much about Islam but he certainly knows what he is doing, after all he is a salesman!
Ladies and gentlemen, this is all a PR extravaganza – the world is his theatre (thanks to satellite television, internet and globalization) and we are all his audience.
Come on! Do you seriously think that he believes that burning a copy of the Quran will end ‘Islamic Radicalism’? or that he actually cares if radicalism increases as a result of his actions?
I genuinely believe that Jones is only after creating publicity for his otherwise unheard-of ‘Dove World Outreach Center’, which reportedly has only 50 followers. Of course, more followers and donations will follow with more publicity.
One thing is for sure, the man certainly knows how to put on one ‘hell’ of a show (No religious pun intended!), he picked the right time (9-11 anniversary), place (in front of his church) and an activity which will certainly make headline news (book burning and Christianity are old acquaintances as we all know, add a bit if Islamic radicalism and you got a front page story!)
However, I am not writing these lines with an ‘I GOTCHA!’ attitude, as I think Jones’s motives are pretty obvious. I am actually writing to say that I am not surprised that Rev. Jones feels at ease with burning the Holy Book of Muslims.
Let us face the facts – to many people, Islam has become a mockery and a subject to fear, thanks to those who preach hate and those who ignorantly believe them. But more importantly, thanks to the actions or inactions, of us Muslims.
This is why I believe that the Quran has been already burnt.
Muslims have lost much of the respect we once dictated not by the throw-weight of our arsenal, but by our magnificent achievements in arts, science, medicine and other fields of study of which almost nothing remains today.
That is not to say that military might, and more importantly military strategy, is not vital — however, even the most advanced Muslim countries on this front are way behind their Western counterparts.
Diplomaticaly, we have failed on so many issues, especially the Palestinian one.
Even when it came to the legitimate resistance of an occupation which any self-respecting person would naturally resort to, we allowed it be labelled as ‘terrorism’ by resorting to non-Islamic methods of targeting civilians ourselves.
On another occasion, in the Balkans, we stood there and did nothing and if it wasn’t for the American and NATO’s interference, Muslims would have been annihilated in that area.
More importantly, we allowed extremists to ‘hijack’ our religion and did no serious effort to take it back to the tolerant, moderate and loving religion it is.
So the question is, why wouldn’t Rev. Jones burn a Quran? Who is going to stop him? Whereas he might yield to internal American pressures (such as explaining that his actions would impose a threat on US troops abroad), I seriously doubt there is anything any Muslim can do to stop him.
Of course, some Muslims might see killing him as a legitimate solution. However, the question is – is it really? While it will surely shut him up, I wonder if taking the life of one man will end a whole wave of anti-Islamic rhetoric that has concurred people’s lives in the West?
This is like the idiotic belief that killing Osama Bin Laden will end Al Qaeda (Which isn’t an organization I may add, but an ideology). Killing him will not solve the issue; it will just get rid of one of its result. I truly believe that we must look at the reasons behind the actions of the likes of Bin Laden and Jones (without giving them justification, of course!) .
Rev. Jones has the right to feel angry, has the right to hate those who committed the 9-11 attacks – but I would have assumed, as a man of faith, that he should be slightly wiser than Bin Laden, who decided to punish ALL Americans for what he believed were wrongful foreign policies by their Government (and some people say he just wanted to hurt the Saudi-American relations).
The Quran is the Holy Book of ALL Muslims – Rev. Jones knows this and by going forward with his plan, he is no different than Osama Bin Laden in my view.
I would also like to stress here that while I deeply condemn the atrocities of 9-11 and honestly do think that nothing in the world could justify the killing of innocent people, I would be ignorant to disregard the political factors and gains which were capitalized on by the George W. Bush Administration following that horrific day.
Yes, I know that if 9-11 didn’t happen – we most likely would have seen a different decade so far.
However, I am talking in particular about the shameful depiction of Islam which was popularized by the previous administration, paving the way to the hatred we are witnessing today.
I lean to the view that Professor Shibley Telhami of the University of Maryland mentioned in a recent Foreign Policy article. He argues that following 9-11, Israel feared that the US might conclude that this horrific attack should be blamed on the U.S support for Israel. (Which even if is partly true, doesn’t legitimize the killing of civilians, I may add).
Of course, the emergent interpretation by the Bush administration was that ‘they hate us for our values’ Telhami explains that this framing is now being unravelled by the Obama administration as it seeks to reach out to Muslims.
This despicable and untrue interpretation by the Bush Administration has caused us Muslims much harm; be it in the shape of hate crimes, waging illegitimate wars on Muslim countries or making life more difficult for 2 billions followers of this faith.
The truth is Muslims don’t hate Americans for its values; as our Quran (the one Rev. Jones want to burn) also calls for equality, truth and justice – just like the American way!