On September 11th, 2010, a Gainsville, Florida church will burn copies of the Quran in a hate fest aimed at garnering attention for their small, never heard of before congregation. The Dove World Outreach Center has ignored pleas by none other than General David Petraeus to refrain from the book burning ceremony due to the danger it could cause for American troops abroad.
No one outside of a five mile radius of the church had ever heard of Terry Jones or his hate machine churning in the Florida heat until his internet announcement and claims that the Quranis the book of the devil. Suddenly catapulted to international fame with his church's intended Quran burning, riots have already taken place in Indonesia, with thousands of Muslims protesting outside the U.S. embassy. Yesterday, hundreds of outraged Afghans staged a protest that began to turn ugly as the protesters hurled stones at a passing U.S. convoy. It was the leaders of the protest who calmed things down before the situation got out of hand.
Petraeus, NATO Commander for all forces in Afghanistan, has condemned the book burning, saying, "I am very concerned by the potential repercussions of the possible Quran burning. Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday. Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."
Muslims the world over believe that the Quran is the word of God, much like many Christians who believe the Bible to be God's literal writings. Imagine the furor and the uproar were a Muslim group to announce a Bible burning ceremony!
But herein lies the problem with groups such as Terry Jones' Dove World Outreach Center. Small minded and hate filled people seeking to ignite the flames of discontent, and to distract from the real issues at hand, have forever used baiting of others as a means to draw in supporters and of course, money. From the 'God hates fags' morons who had the gall to prance around the graves of dead American soldiers with signs reading 'God loves dead soldiers' and the Focus on the Family baby selling operation, to those in Florida who could care less if they put fellow citizens in harm's way as long as they gain attention for their cause, there have always been those who wish to stir things up and this time, it's stir things up with the Muslim community just before the fall elections.
But what could be a wonderful opportunity for the Muslim world to show everyone that they can't be marginalized, can't be baited and stand tall in the face of frothing at the mouth fools from the other side of the planet, can just as easily turn into a violent confrontation, with riots and killings and God knows what else.
What is needed now is for cooler heads in the Muslim community to prevail upon their followers to protest if they must, but better still, to just ignore groups like Terry Jones' so called church. feeding into their hatred emboldens them, and gives them that which they crave more than anything. Attention. Had there been no protests at all, who would have even known these wingnuts were planning this event in the first place? Surely, Muslims the world over who know anything at all about the American majority, know that we despise those who wish to go after any minority group here at home or abroad. That being said, why not just turn your backs and go about your daily lives without so much as a sideways glance at these purely political staged events designed to draw attention away from the fact that the Republicants have no plan for America other than further enriching the rich?
Understanding the mentality behind these types of non events that get ginned up by the media is but a first step to understanding how to stop them in their tracks. By ignoring them. Completely ignoring them. By gritting your teeth and looking the other way, they will have no audience to inflame, no followers to send them money, and will disappear like the flash fire they are intended to be. Set one group against the other, and sit back and laugh as the dollars fall from the sky from other far right nutbags.
Don't give them their moment in the sun. Let them burn all the books they want. It means absolutely nothing in the greater scheme of things, and once we all understand that it's done to sow hatred of others and to further divide and conquer, the easier it will become to shove these idiots aside. Because burning books and hate speech can never take away from anyone's religion, the glory and the hope all religious people have for the afterlife and the peace and goodwill most religious folks have for life on earth.