Jump In The Fire

Burning a Qur’an after being found guilty in a “fair” trial sounds like something out of a Monty Python sketch; especially when a guy named Terry Jones is involved.

Unfortunately, the Terry Jones I mentioned isn’t the famed member of the Flying Circus, but the idiot pastor who wanted to burn the Islamic holy book last year in a publicity stunt while the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” nontroversy was raging and anti-mosque efforts were springing up all over the country.

Jones utilized anti-Muslim sentiment for the sole purpose of gaining notoriety for him and his fundamentalist Dove World Outreach Center. His original stunt – burning Qur’ans to commemorate 9/11 – was called off when Jones claimed he struck a deal with Imam Rauf of the Park51 center, although Rauf claimed he didn’t talk to him; more likely, Jones was satisfied with all the media attention.

Well, no one has heard anything from him since then, so he decided to break his promise and burn the holy book after “trying to give the Muslim world an opportunity to defend their book.” Jones didn’t explain how he communicated simultaneously with 1.3 billion people, or why those people even have to justify their faith in the first place – and to Terry Jones, of all people. It speaks to his character as an arrogant  media whore that utilizes base prejudice so he can build up his brand.

The good news is that the stunt may have failed – according to Agence France Presse, fewer than 30 people showed up. Still, for a fundamentalist Christian to condemn another for its crimes reeks of extreme hypocrisy, especially when considering what kind of system would govern if, according to the Guardian newspaper, he and his church were to get into power:

“When he arrived in Germany on what he called his ‘God-sent’ mission in 1982, charismatic bible fundamentalist Terry Jones came with a message of hope, promising to show his followers the ‘riches of the kingdom of God’.

Germany, he said, was ‘central’ to his plans to lead the ‘Christian awakening of Europe‘.

At prayer rallies that were used as recruitment drives, congregations dropped to their knees in worship or danced ecstatically in the aisles, so taken were they by him.

But when Jones left Cologne 26 years later it was as a disgraced preacher who was accused of running a sect-like community with an iron fist, forcing members to give him a percentage of their earnings, making them work for little or no money and causing the breakup of families and friendships. He also faked a title as ‘Doctor of Theology’, for which he was fined.”

Naturally, Christianity could be judged on the same standards as Jones did on Islam, from the Crusades and the Inquisition to the Nazi Holocaust, the Phalangist massacre of Muslims in Lebanon and Orthodox/Catholic massacres of Muslims in the Balkans – to name a few.

Given these crimes and the religious justification, I wonder what the appropriate punishment would be for the Bible if Jones’ standards were to be applied?

Update April 3, 2011:

I said that “The good news is that the stunt may have failed.” Unfortunately, it appears I’m wrong. According to the New York Times:

“Violent protests over the burning of a Koran in Florida flared Saturday for a second straight day, with young men rampaging through the streets of this southern capital city, flying Taliban flags and wielding sticks.

Nine people were killed and 81 wounded in the disturbances, all from bullet wounds, said Abdul Qayoum Pakhla, head of the provincial health department. Kandahar has long been the heartland of the Taliban insurgency but has been relatively quiet in recent months since a surge of additional American troops arrived here.

The protests here came a day after a mob overran the headquarters of the United Nations in Mazar-i-Sharif, killing 12 people, 7 of them international staff members. The top United Nations official in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, blamed Taliban infiltrators for the killings, saying the victims were deliberately murdered rather than killed by an out-of-control mob. The mob gathered after three mullahs at Friday Prayer urged action in response to the Koran burning by a pastor, Terry Jones, in Florida on March 20.”

The Mullahs who stirred up the mob that killed those people are fundamentalist scum that bear responsibility for their actions; the young Afghan men who were killed supported the Taliban, which need no explanation as to their ideology or their past when they ran Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. But none of this would’ve happened if it weren’t for the actions of one Terry Jones, the attention whore Christian fascist. As far as I’m concerned, he bears equal responsibility with his Afghani counterparts for what happened there, because that was what he wanted.

Good job, asshole. I hope this happens to you.

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