Terry Jones a throwback fanatic from the flock of the Middle Ages Christian crusaders does it again. But this time the local administration preempted his insidious attempt by arresting him. His hatred for the Muslims around the world knows no bounds. Burning 3000 copies of the holy book of Muslims would have satiated his leaping animus against the second largest segment of the humanity on this planet earth.
“In April 2013 Jones announced plans for a Qur’an burning event to be held on September 11, 2013. The Police arrested Jones on September 11, 2013, before he could burn 2,998 Korans soaked with kerosene at a park in Polk County, Florida. He was charged with unlawfully conveying fuel and openly carrying a firearm”
In such previous Quran burning event on March 21, 2011, Jones with the help of some aides, held a mock trial of the Qur’an and set a copy on fire as a “punishment” for “crimes against humanity.”
He repeated his despicable act on “April 28, 2012, by burning a copy of the Qur’an, to protest the imprisonment of an Iranian-American Pastor, Saeed Abidine in Iran. Jones was fined $271 by Gainesville Fire Rescue for burning books without authorization.”
That a single fanatic Christian is up to a vicious goal what the entire Christianity in the present times would not want to do and that is to traumatize the Islamic countries by audaciously defiling their holy book.
Three times, Terry Jones the pastor of the non-denominational Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida singlehandedly, has placed the United States government in the most embarrassing and awkward position and exposing the Americans all over the world and to grave dangers to their lives. He has symbolized himself as the vanguard of those extremist elements that detest other religions especially Islam and the Muslims living in the Pluralistic society of the United States.
It is unbelievable that in 21st century an odd, isolated, unknown clergy has so much audacity to defy the American constitution, spite the Islamic world, and go ahead with an action that was patently outrageous and provocative, unchristian and un-American. After all Quran has been there all these centuries and yet what impelled a deranged pastor to rock the entire world with his insane obsession. The burning of Quran was aimed at expressing the hate and bigotry of the ultra- right Catholic Christians towards Islam.
During the previous Quran burning announcements by Terry Jones, the fervent imploring and the passionate requests and supplications of president Obama, the celebrated leaders of Jewish community and that of Christians, the serious concern of the Gen Petraeus and even the condemnation of Vatican Pope failed to convince Terry Jones to change his insidious plan. Should one call it an unbridled freedom of doing anything in the United States? However, Terry was not arrested on the charge of infringing the first amendment of the American constitution that guarantees freedom of practicing religions.
He was not pacified by any appeal until the secretary Defense called him and apprised him of the harmful ramifications to the American forces in Afghanistan. Robert Gates’ telephone call somehow persuaded the stubborn pastor to postpone his diabolic action on the condition that it was subject to the relocation of the Islamic center near ground zero to a new place. He has still kept the option of burning the holy book if that condition was not met.
I f this is not fanaticism or terrorism in board day light then how would someone define this most sinister act of an individual that would neither promote Christianity nor annihilate or erase the Muslims from the surface of the earth. Where do we draw a line between the most sought after terrorist Ben Laden and the present day lone Muslim basher? The American ethos and culture of religious freedom seems to be shredded by one individual who was deaf to the frantic calls of the entire world not to go ahead with his monstrous propensity. Muslims cannot respond by burning Bible because it is their sacred book also. Most of the substance especially pertaining to the ancient prophets is almost similar to what is presented in Quran.
The paramount question is: why this endemic and deep-seated hatred for Muslims in this country that is famed for its religious freedom and abounding tolerance. In the wake of this earth-shaking event, Terry has fired the first glaring salvo towards fomenting clash of religions. Would it be in order if the American government enacts such a law that would prohibit demonstration of such brazen bigotry about other religions? This is imperative because if someone denigrates or derides others’ religions then the law should move against such a person.
If tomorrow, some other individuals like Terry Jones also replay the same sordid episode then will it not foment the same crisis over and over again? What is going to happen to the sanctity of the American constitution and the American spirit of liberty, openness, and egalitarianism that the American society so grudgingly protects? This tendency of professing or demonstrating hatred against other faiths must be nipped in the bud, before it assumes endemic proportions. It would be a kind of poisonous proliferation posing a new threat every now and then for the minority communities in this America. It may also slight America as a bastion of human dignity and religious freedom. The writer is a senior journalist, former editor of Diplomatic Times and a former diplomat