A Florida pastor caused a ruckus late last summer when he declared that he would be burning a pile of Korans to mark the ninth anniversary of the Islamic terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001. The controversial Terry Jones backed down on his plan ... for several months at least.
Last month the preacher set fire to the religious book of Islam, which went remarkably unnoticed by the U.S. press. Thank goodness for that -- the last thing attention-seekers need is more attention to fuel the craziness.
Unfortunately, word got out in Afghanistan, and the incident supposedly sparked a terrorist attack that resulted in the death of at least 11 people, seven of whom were U.N. staffers and guards.
Being quite the argumentative bunch (democracy rocks!), we Americans hopped on this story to decide whether or not Terry Jones has blood on his hands for the deaths in Afghanistan. He may be a jerk, but he’s not a murderer. The radical Islamic terrorists are murderers.
Terry Jones and his colleague Wayne Sapp showed poor judgment with their mock trial over another religion’s holy book and its subsequent death by kerosene fire, and I understand why followers of that religion would be grievously upset over the incident. However, this is not cause to go kill anyone, let alone people that had nothing to do with the incident or even the country in which the act occurred. (The U.N. workers killed were from Norway, Nepal, Romania, and Sweden.)
Religion is mocked all the time and for a variety of reasons. Would the American Atheists have blood on their hands if a group of Christians had murdered innocent people in protest over their offensive ‘Christmas is a Myth’ billboard? No! Just because Group A offends Group B, Group B does not have any reason or excuse to blame Group A when it blows up Group C.
We humans have control over our own actions. Terrorists aren’t less capable of managing their thoughts, words, and deeds than anyone else on the planet -- they just happen to choose evil. Placing any blame whatsoever on one nutty man in Florida is insulting to terrorists who act on their own free will to murder ‘infidels’ because they believe they’ll be rewarded with 72 virgins in the afterlife.
Terry Jones made a bad decision and a book got burned. Some terrorists in Afghanistan made a bad decision and innocent people died. It hardly seems fair to compare the two.
Image via Maks Karochin/flickr