The racist and Christian supremacist views of those on the far right that have fueled birthers' claims that President Obama is a secret Muslim and been the basis of the recent protests of the proposed Islamic Center in southern Manhattan have escalated to a new level, putting military personal and U.S. citizens' safety at risk.
Image via Associated Press/Yahoo News
In Gainesville, Fla., a pastor's plan to hold a public burning of Qurans to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has already set off angry protests from Afghanistan to Indonesia and elicited a formal response from the U.S. Embassy condemning the plan. Now, the book burning has another high-profile foe: Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of American forces fighting in that country.
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort," Petraeus told The Wall Street Journal. "It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
Terry Jones, the pastor at Dove World Outreach Center, told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that his church has declared Sept. 11 as "International Burn a Quran Day," and added that he hoped the burning of the Muslim religion's holy text "will be as it is intended, as a warning."
The Quran, according to Jones, is "evil" because it espouses something other than the Christian biblical truth and incites radical, violent behavior among Muslims. "It's hard for people to believe, but we actually feel this is a message that we have been called to bring forth," he said last week. "And because of that, we do not feel like we can back down."
This intolerant and hateful Christian, who dresses himself up as "reverend," will have blood on his hands: every soldier and innocent person killed or injured in response to his Quran burning.
Crazy people, like Jones, give our nation a bad name, just as crazy Muslim fundamentalists like Bin Laden give Islam a bad name. Mainstream Christians and Muslims must stand up to these crazies and discredit them, before they bring about the apocalypse they so desire.
Jones' plan is already inspiring violence in Afghanistan. He's also been condemned by the U.S. government and military. Boston.com reports:
Hundreds of Afghans shouted anti-American slogans and called for President Obama’s death at a rally yesterday to denounce an American church’s plans to burn the Islamic holy book to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The crowd in Kabul, numbering as many as 500, chanted “long live Islam’’ and “death to America.’’ The protesters listened to fiery speeches from members of Parliament, provincial council deputies, and Islamic clerics, who criticized the United States and demanded the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country.
“We know this is not just the decision of a church. It is the decision of the president and the entire United States,’’ said Abdul Shakoor, 18, a high school student who said he joined the protest in Kabul after hearing about the Koran burning.
The US Embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning Dove World Outreach Center’s plans, saying Washington was “deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.’’
Today, General David Petraeus, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, warned that the church’s threat could endanger US troops in the country and Americans worldwide. Images of the burning of the holy book “would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence,’’ Petraeus wrote in an e-mail.