TERRY Jones, the two-bit pastor, whose bid to shoot into fame last year by announcing the burning of copies of the Holy Qur’an, but was deterred by the US government, has finally had his moment of “glory”. He ultimately committed his heinous crime last month and has been condemned by devout Muslims all over the world. After soaking the Qur’an in kerosene, an oven lighter was put to its pages. The book instantly caught fire. That act – which has provoked anger and revulsion across the world – came at the end of the latest surreal stunt by Jones in his mission to garner headlines and attention for his anti-Islamic beliefs. Even President Obama denounced the deplorable act without naming Reverend Jones, criticized the burning of a Quran as “intolerance and bigotry,” reports the BBC. Reverend Terry Jones is a pastor at the Dove World Outreach Centre at Gainesville, which has a congregation of not more than 30 faithful, yet by his abominable act, he has caused wilful hurt to millions of Muslims. What Mr. Jones, in his myopic vision did not realize was that his despicable action has not only caused the wrath of millions of Muslims all over the world but has endangered the lives of US combatants in Afghanistan and has already resulted in the deaths of a large number of people.
The protest rallies have been the fiercest in Afghanistan; two policemen were killed and more than 30 people were wounded in Kandahar, where demonstrators marched toward a U.N. office. More than 20 people have died in protests across Afghanistan, including seven U.N. staff members. The fundamentalist pastor has unwittingly, “reintegrated” Taliban — fighters who had formally laid down arms — although the insurgents have denied any role in the attack. Anger unleashed when protesters waved white Taliban flags, shouted “Death to America,” burned tires, smashed shops and vandalized a girls’ school returned to the city.Western political and military leaders, including the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, have condemned the Quran burning as well as the violence that followed, but their statements appear to have done little to placate anger across much of Afghan society. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who last week drew Afghan public attention to the burning, an event that initially gained little media coverage, has called on the U.S. Houses of Congress to join in the condemnation and prevent a repeat incident. He made the request at a meeting with U.S. ambassador Karl Eikenberry and General Petraeus, his office said in a statement.
The Taliban said in a statement that Afghans were still ready to give their lives to protest against an offence that it said the West was not taking seriously. “The U.S. government should have punished the perpetrators, but the American authorities and those in other countries not only did not have a serious reaction, but defended (the burning) to some extent in the name of freedom of religion and speech,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement. The notorious preacher who last month oversaw the burning of a copy of the Qur’an in his Florida church after a mock hearing said anyone blaming him for provoking the mob who killed UN workers was “only making a justification” for murder. Pastor Terry Jones, who remains unrepentant, insists that his actions bore no responsibility for the murders in Mazar-e-Sharif. “We find it very tragic any time that someone is murdered but we do not feel any responsibility for that,” he said. “It definitely does indicate that there is a very radical element of Islam. We’d like to see the president of the United States not only condemn these actions but to call on the UN for these people and Muslim-dominated countries to be held accountable.” He also said he may put the Prophet Muhammad on trial in his next “day of judgment”. He has put up signs in front of his church which say: “Islam is of the Devil”. If Terry Jones is not taken to task, he will cause more deaths including US servicemen in Afghanistan. – Dailymailnews