Last week in Afghanistan, several Muslim men killed several UN workers because a "pastor" in Florida (Terry Jones) decided to put the Q'uran on trial and burn a copy of it. It's a situation that saddens me deeply and frankly makes me angry and frustrated.
Terry Jones is just the other side of the coin of the Imams that he hates so much. Yes, he's within his constitutional rights to burn anything he owns. If he wants to go out and buy a copy of a Q'uran or 1,000 copies of the Q'uran and burn them all, that's his right. But, just because you have the right to do something doesn't make it the compassionate thing to do, the right thing to do or even a smart thing to do. Mr. Jones knew that burning that Q'uran would inflame passions in the Muslim world and he burned it knowing it would put people's lives in jeopardy. In a very real sense, he deserves a share of the blame for the subsequent deaths that occurred.
On the other side, we have the Imams (Muslim preachers) in Afghanistan who use religious intolerance such as Mr. Jones' to inflame a people who are like dried timber just waiting for a spark. The Afghan people live in a failed state with foreign fighters (us) in there every day. They are largely an illiterate people- with the men having a literacy rate of less than 50%. Most of the men there, if they had a Q'uran, couldn't read it. All they know about the Q'uran is what they are told, and some Imams take advantage of that fact. These men are told that the United States hates Islam and that we are there on another crusade to wipe out their religion. They were told that not one Q'uran was burned but multiple Q'urans. I'm not excusing their actions. The bear the responsibility for being inhuman enough to think it's fair retribution to kill an innocent person (people) in response to someone several thousand miles away burning a book. I look at them and wonder how they can get so incensed over a book being burned in the name of one religion (Christianity). Yet, they have no problem with a 14 year old girl who was raped by a cousin being charge with adultery and whipped to death in the name of their own religion.
So, one the one hand, we have a "Pastor", a man of the cloth, who burns a book knowing full well it might lead to deaths. But, he does it anyway to prove his point that Islam is dangerous. On the other hand, we have a mob who thinks the life of innocent people is just punishment for an insult to their God- Allah the merciful. Allah the compassionate. Allah who says:
“…if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.” Q'uran 5:32
I'm sorry. I can't think of a better way to say it. "A plague on both your houses."