If this plan can spark anger in me, inevitably it will cause anger amongst Muslims
So yesterday was the 9th anniversary of 9/11. Like most tragic events, remembrance usually takes place in the form of a period of silence and worldwide or national acknowledgement. More recently, it’s even remembered by the mass sending of BlackBerry broadcasts, of which I received many yesterday but none did I pass on. First reason being, I do not broadcast, no matter the content or purpose. Two, I’m disgusted at the way in which Terry Jones, Pastor of a small US church, planned to mark the day.
I was actually drying my nails when I heard something about 9/11 and Quran. The radio was low and I had to strain my ears against the buzz of the shop to hear and when I did, I was absolutely appalled. “International Burn A Quran Day”. Excuse me?
The first thing that came to mind is this man obviously isn’t thinking about the consequences. Islam is not a religion fuelled by violence but we do have to accept that there are fundamentalists who display extremist behaviour. If this plan can spark anger in me, who is not even a Muslim and others, then it is inevitable it will cause anger amongst Muslims and in the case of extremists, the consequences could prove deadly, quite literally, for America. By burning the Quran on 9/11 surely it’s just an open invitation for a repeat of such an attack. The fear of this happening was demonstrated by the call of the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, to the Pastor of The Dove World Outreach Centre. Gates urged Jones to reconsider his plans.
This risk is very important however what really angered me most is the fact that it is symbolically the burning of lives. Religion is not routine, it’s a way of life. The way of life lived by approximately 1/5 of the world’s population. The Quran is the guide by which Muslims live their day-to-day lives. To burn this, to me, is to burn the lives of the 1 billion plus Muslims. Mass murder on an epic scale. To the Facebook page “International Burn A Quran Day” and it’s 1,600 fans along with the statements of The Dove World Outreach Centre that “Islam is of the devil”… I don’t even have words that can accurately depict the depth of my disgust and dismay.
Just the plan alone sparked international reproach and protests. The Quran burnings didn’t go ahead though. Jones saw the fact that the organisers of the New York Islamic Centre had agreed to move the location of the building as a sign from God, not to go ahead with the Quran burning. Although, it was said that those behind the Islamic Cultural Centre denied ever speaking to the local Imam or Terry Jones. Mr. Jones then stated that as a result he was not cancelling the event but “suspending it”.
The location of the Islamic Cultural Centre was bound to cause some controversy. It is planned that it will be built at a site just two blocks from the former World Trade Centre. However what people are failing to realise or understand is that it is not a Mosque, it is a ‘Cultural Centre’ which has been said will include prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and others. It seems this is not being completely listened to, Feisal Abdul Rauf described the place as that of “unification and healing”.