It was a few weeks back that I first learned from an article in the National Catholic Register of Dr. Terry Jones and his Dove World Outreach Center and their plan to burn a copy of the Qur'an this upcoming September 11th. Since reading this article, I have been of two minds as to what the proper response should be.
From news reports, it appears that Dr. Jones is not a popular man. His Qur'an burning day is being criticized by not just thousands of Muslims in Indonesia but seemingly everyone else from the Vatican to, so-called, "prominent Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in the U.S." to Attorny General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Even Angelina Jolie is upset over the "Koran-Burning Plan".
Dr.Jones is, however, determined to go ahead as scheduled even in the face of fierce condemnation. On his website, Jones gives 15 reasons why the book should be burned (10 plus 5). To my mind, two of his more convincing arguments are that the truth about the nature of Islam needs to be exposed and the world must be forced into action.
The two main arguments against the burning are along the lines of Clinton's argument that burning the Qur'an is a "disrespectful, disgraceful act" and General David Petraeus' belief that the book burning will endanger U.S. troops in Muslim countries.
Naturally, one cannot help but compare this with the uproar over the proposed building of the Mosque near Ground Zero. Those calling for Muslims to be sensitive towards the feelings of those who had family die in the September 11th terrorist attack and those who are calling for Christians to be sensitive toward Muslims and the Qur'an don't appear to be the same group of people. Those who are advocating for the Muslims' Constitutional Right to put up a place of worship where ever they want are not advocating for Dr. Jones Constitutional Right of Freedom of Speech.
Years ago, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) gave away copies of the Qur'an in an attempt to improve Islam's image in America. I requested a copy and did my best to plow through the rather dull and monotonous work. In the end, I decided that I did not want a copy of the book in my house. Falling prey to "political correctness", I was, for a time, unsure of what I should do with my copy. Would simply tossing the book in the trash be disrespectful and disgraceful? One particularly hard core Protestant I know suggested that I burn the book and put a video of the burning on my blog. I finally decided that unceremoniously throwing the book into the dumpster was the proper method of disposing of it. The book is not worthy of my respect (notice, I do not refer to it as the Holy Qur'an), but discretion being the better part of valor, I did not wish to call down Jihadists upon my head.