There has been a firestorm of coverage the past few days on Pastor Terry Jones and the Dove Outreach Center’s plans for a Koran burning on 9-11. As of right now it appears plans to torch the Muslim holy books has at least been suspended and possibly canceled. There have been grave warnings of potential violence if the Korans are reduced to ashes.
What hasn’t gotten much attention is specific threats of terror and the actual destruction and deaths caused by Muslim protesters around the world. And it may just be that the Florida pastor planned the Koran burning just to reveal to the world how vicious the reaction of Islamists would be around the world. I’m not sure the pastor, whose central message has always been that Islam is evil, ever even planned to actually burn a single book. Pastor Jones may have wanted to simply prove his main message of an evil Islam to the world. He may have tipped his hand on Friday when he told the press:
“We’re pointing the finger at the wrong person. I haven’t even done anything. I think it reveals … the violence in Islam. Just the mere mentioning of it, just the threat, causes them to kill people, to protest, to say they are going to kill the president. I think it is quite obvious that what we are saying is definitely, definitely true.” – Terry Jones
Jones was responding to violent protests in Afghanistan on Friday. In Western Afghanistan hundreds surrounded the NATO base there and soldiers had to defend the base. At least one civilian was killed and three were wounded. In Northern Afghanistan another NATO building was charged by angry Muslims and at least five protesters were wounded and three police officers were hurt. All of this violence took place after Terry Jones had announced the Koran burning was suspended. Fires also burned across the troubled nation but it wasn’t books being burnt, it was cars and buildings.
Afghanistan isn’t the only example of extreme violent reactions to the mere possibility of some small, so-called church burning a pile of holy books. In England some British Muslims have promised to burn U.S. flags outside the American embassy on 9-11. Thousands of protesters in Indonesia held signs promising Jihad if the Korans are burnt. In Pakistan, even after the Koran burning was suspended, hundreds of angry Muslims burned American flags, called for the hanging of Terry Jones, and shouted “death to America”.
Somehow I wonder if that kook Terry Jones is smiling behind closed doors telling folks: I told you so. A fifty person anti-Islam religious cult claiming to be a church has won the attention of the world. World leaders have contacted Jones and spoken to the media about the need for Jones to relent. And the reaction throughout many parts of the Muslim world has been violence and promises of more violence. And what does that violence do? For Jones, it proves he was right all along. The promise of burning books has led to not only threats of Jihad but actual killings, fires, and hatred.