FANATICISM, bigotry and violent extremism are not restricted to any one creed or ethnic group but, unfortunately, are spread across the globe. Those Western states who arrogantly claim to be tolerant, ‘liberal’ (whatever that means) and ‘secular’ are in reality as beset by these flaws as those they accuse in this context. We have seen the bigotry and intolerance reflected in parts of Europe that have targeted Muslims by banning veils and burqas and have made it difficult for Muslims to build mosques.
But nowhere has the violent extremism against Muslims been more crudely expressed than in parts of the USA, with Muslim-looking people simply beaten up or identified as potential threats on airplanes and so on. Now the ultimate sign of hatred and bigotry is being undertaken by a Church in Gainesville, Florida where Pastor Jones of the Dove World Outreach Centre has decided to mark the ninth anniversary of 9/11 as International Burn a Quran Day to be commemorated by the burning of the Holy Quran. In earlier centuries Americans burnt suspected witches in Salem and later on African Americans were burnt by the racist Ku Klux Klan and now following this notorious American tradition, Christian pastors are seeking to burn the Muslim Holy Quran.
Of course, saner voices have condemned this coming action and the City of Gainesville has denied a permit to Pastor Jones but he has stuck to his guns. Meanwhile General Petraeus has declared that such an action will threaten the lives of US soldiers in Afghanistan – which is a limited sense of what may be triggered in response. But at the end of the day the US government is not prepared to act decisively to prevent this volatile and abusive act. The ignorance of Pastor Jones is reflected in his diatribe against Muslims whom he accuses, amongst other things, of “burning the Bible”. Now if he was a little better educated he would have realised that Muslims may be guilty of many condemnable acts, but they neither blaspheme against Jesus nor burn the Bible.
But this shows once again how the Americans have their own equivalent of the illiterate extremist “preachers” they so readily condemn in Muslim states! – Nation