Pastor needlessly spurs violence after burning of Muslim holy book

Credit: Juan Fernandez/Art Staff Credit: Juan Fernandez/Art Staff
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Terry Jones, a fundamentalist pastor in Florida, burned the Qur’an on March 20. He staged a mock trial for the holy book, in which it was found guilty of what he described as crimes against humanity. Members of a “jury” heard arguments from both a prosecutor and a defender before they sentenced it to death by execution. The entire group then burned the Qur’an, executing it for its “crimes.”

Jones, along with his group of extremists, is an idiot.

Originally, Jones was going to burn the Qur’an last Sept. 11 as a protest against the terrorist attacks. This garnered a huge backlash of anger and dissent, as well as media attention — what Jones probably wanted most. However, because of the controversy, he decided against it and didn’t go through with his plan.And yet, despite a promise to be rational months ago, Jones burned the holy book. The act went unnoticed in the United States for the most part, but it ignited protests in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to United Nations officials, thousands of protesters overran the compound of the United Nations in a northern Afghan city and killed at least 12 people. The protesters sought revenge, and when they didn’t immediately get any, innocent bystanders paid the price.

Jones and his troupe of fundamentalist evangelicals’ thoughtless actions had dire consequences. His stupid mock trial led to the death of at least 12 people. He preaches the word of God and demands that people live in the way of the Lord, yet he purposefully creates situations knowing full well that people will get hurt as a result. As an adult, Jones should be aware that his actions will have consequences; the more severe the action, the worse the consequence. Despite this logic, Jones still burned a whole religion’s holy book. He disgraced the religion and practically spit in all Muslims’ faces.

“It is not that we burn the Qur’an with some type of vindictive motive,” Jones said in an attempt to rationalize his actions. “We do not even burn it with great pleasure or any pleasure at all. We burn it because we feel a deep obligation to stay with the court system of America. The court system of America does not allow convicted criminals to go free. And that is why we feel obligated to do this.”
He does not understand that he cannot take the law into his own hands; he cannot dole out punishment and justice against what he deems to be “crimes.” He has no right to make that kind of judgment call.

He needs to understand that he doesn’t have the right to mess with something sacred to entire nations. Muslims are just as religiously devout to the Qur’an as he is to the Bible. His hypocrisy astounds me. He claims to be a devoted man of God, yet he condemns those who, in my opinion, worship the same God.Instead of burning their holy book, he should try to reach out to Muslims and strive to understand the subtle nuances between his religion and their religion. He needs to work on bridging gaps instead of promoting religious factionalism.