Thursday, September 9, 2010

Why Burning the Quran is Stupid

So here we are, nine years after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Sadly, many in the West -- especially in America -- haven't learned a thing. There are people like Reverend Terry Jones, who staged a supposed international burning of the Quran. This is being internationally condemned, by people of all faiths, and political stripes (though in Emperor Harper's case it's probably with his fingers crossed behind his back). While I have some faith that the majority of Americans and Christians still have enough decency to be revolted by this, the sad truth is that this lunatic's supporters are vocal and have no intention of backing down.

The irony and hypocrisy of this is nothing short of astonishing. We all know how Christian fundamentalists -- like their Muslim counterparts -- have the little habit of totally ignoring what their own holy books say, but this takes the cake. Jesus clearly said, among other things, to forgive and love your enemies -- not piss them off even further. Speaking of which, I guess the right wing doesn't really support the troops and homeland as much as they insist the rest of us do, because it doesn't take a genius to see that this is going to give Al Qaeda and the Taliban even more reason to kill Westerners. If the more fanatical Muslims out there got so mad over a racist cartoon of Muhammed (or putting him in a bear suit on South Park), how do you figure they're going to react to some gun-toting hick in Florida wanting to burn their holy book? Or let me put that another way: how would these same righteous Christians react, if anyone called for an International Burn the Bible Day? I know this is a hard concept for these xenophobic douchebags to get, but Christianity is not the only faith in the universe, and it is very likely not the one true faith.

Which leads me to the real scope of this problem. Mr. Jones -- yet another minister I will refuse to call by title -- may only have 50 parishoners, but there are definitely a lot of other vocal and influential conservatives out there who agree with him (and not just because this guy is a supporter of Fred Phelps). Between this and the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, tons of conservative pundits are calling for everything from the expulsion of Muslims, to actually attacking this community centre if it ever gets built (by the way I'd just like to remind everyone that in the real world, this centre is about as much of a mosque, as a YMCA is a church). It's sadly getting very common in the States for innocent people to be beaten up, stabbed, and left for dead, just for being Muslim. It's even very easy to find remarks on Facebook, YouTube, and God only knows how many blogs, to the effect that every last Muslim should be wiped out, just because they have the nerve to breathe the same air as the righteous Christian folk.

Hey wait a second, where have we heard all of this before? A certain race is expendable, even spawned of the devil; we must take back the land from the minorities and unbelievers; we must smash their homes, businesses and places of worship; we must burn their books; we must destroy the whole people; only we are the master race... Geez, does anyone else remember when it really was silly to compare the Christian Right to the Nazis?

Here's the final reason this is not only ironic and hypocritical, but just plain stupid: all of this is being done on the anniversary of 9/11, to supposedly defend the honour of the people who were killed that day. Far be it for me to presume what the dead thinks, but doesn't it seem a bit dumb, to "defend" victims of religious intolerance and violence, with even more religious intolerance and violence? What exactly makes it so horrible for Osama bin Laden to call for a holy war, but so acceptable for Terry Jones and his ilk to do the same thing? If Jesus does exist, and there is any truth whatsoever to The Gospel, I can guarantee that He is weeping for what is being done in His name, yet again.

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