Islam Must Turn the Other Cheek
This is by Nolan Finley from the Detroit News:
How absurd is it that the deranged pastor of a tiny Florida church can make the entire world hold its breath just by threatening to burn a book?
The Rev. Terry Jones of the Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville is a hate-filled nut, for sure. But nothing he's done or vowed to do in offering what can only be viewed rationally as a minor insult to Islam merits the paranoia in the West about a worldwide wave of bloodshed at the hands of offended radicals.
Jones was implored not to carry out his promise to burn a copy of the Quran by, among others, the United Nations, the pope, Gen.general David Petraeus and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
His back-and-forth deliberating was covered as if it was another Bay of Pigs stand-off and this scruffy preacher had his finger on the button.
Come on. Jones should have been entirely ignored. He's not an official of our government, nor is he a national leader in any fashion. He's an obscure redneck, or at least he was until the cameras showed up at his 50-member church.
That Jones captured so much attention is an indication of what the West is up against in its effort to coexist with Islam.
Yeah, I know -- all Muslims aren't mayhem makers. But the lunatic fringe is apparently wide enough to trigger an extreme overreaction from our nation's top offices to a silly little publicity stunt.
If Muslim sensibilities are so tender they can't ignore the bizarre rants of an insignificant American fanatic then this is a culture with a serious anger management issue, and one the West can't help with.
There's no way to head-off every potential slight to Islam. Last time it was Danish cartoons, this time it's a Pentecostal pew jumper who lays down his snakes to strike a match.
Tomorrow, an atheist in Italy may name his dog Mohammad, or a biker in Australia will have a likeness of the prophet tattooed on his backside.
The only answer is for Islam to grow up. Religion invites antagonism; get used to it.
Using the destruction of a book as an excuse to rampage is unacceptable and immature. A Quran, like a Bible, is a physical thing. What makes both books holy are the ideas and inspiration they contain, not the pages and ink. The religion won't be broken by taunts, or by bonfires.
Burning a Quran in the Florida swamps doesn't weaken the foundation of Islam any more than burning an American flag in Pakistan dents our nation's underpinnings, or coating an icon of the Virgin Mary with elephant poop, like that "artist" once did in Cincinnati, undermines Christianity.
Grown-ups shrug off such affronts for the ignorance they are, and move on. They don't go nuts, as the radicals did after the cartoon episode.
We've had the mantra "Islam is a religion of peace" drilled into us for the past nine years. But Muslims still have some work to do to make that case. Peaceful religions aren't so easily provoked to violence. Religions of peace turn the other cheek.
What more is there to say?
Labels: Detroit News, islam, Koran, Muslims, Nolan Finley, religion