Last September the plans of the vile Terry Jones to burn a Quran (Koran) sparked outrage around the world. Thankfully, he called them off after he received numerous death threats, and a message from God, according to him. At the time he said, "We will definitely not burn the Quran. Not today, not ever."
He lied, and went ahead and burned one last month in Florida. He got little attention for it here in the United States, but it did not go unnoticed overseas. It was, according to police in Afghanistan, the direct cause of a violent protest there that led to the deaths of 11 United Nations workers in Afghanistan on Friday.
Ever the coward, however, Jones has refused to take any responsibility for the blood on his hands. He told Nightline:
We wanted to raise awareness of this dangerous religion and dangerous element. I think [today's attack] proves that there is a radical element of Islam. We do not feel responsible, no.
Of course not. His actions may be protected under our constitution, but he can not be excused from at least partial responsibility for what happened. He may not have pulled the trigger, but he may as well have. The violent actions of those overseas can't be excused either, but Jones knew what would happen if he burned the holy book, and he did it anyway.
As Sen. John Kerry said, "An angry mob took out its rage on selfless public servants and innocent bystanders who had no connection to the desecration of a Quran by a radical figure in Florida."
Yes, there is freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country, but this is one of those times when we question the price of such freedom.
Jones finally got what he wanted. He burned a Koran; he's back in the headlines; and he's shown just how much evil religious beliefs can bring about in the world -- his own included. Wonder what message his god has for him about that?
Do you think Terry Jones is responsible for the violence in Afghanistan?
Image via Maks Karochkin/Flickr