Jones Humiliates U.S.
By Judy Yoo '14

Terry Jones, an extremist pastor from Florida, attracted a lot of attention from the media for his plan to burn 200 copies of the Qur’an on Sept. 11. While the idea of book burning began as an inappropriate suggestion on a Facebook page, Jones’ suggestion fostered great opposition internationally. Starting as an obscure preacher of a small congregation of 50 — the Dove World Outreach Center — Jones has recently become a juicy topic in the media worldwide. His planned rally was to coincide with the anniversary of al Qaeda’s terrorist attacks on 9/11 and is a fiery response to the recent Ground Zero mosque controversy. His ideas are provocative, but his recent work shows they are not altogether surprising.

In the past, he wrote the book “Islam is of the Devil,” in which he calls Islam an evil religion akin to the devil. Jones believes, according to Politics Daily’s David Gibson, that Islam is threatening to take over the United States and that there must be a clear message to ensure American superiority, or else America will have to pay.

It is true that Jones’ beliefs could have been fostered by the ongoing conflicts between the America and the Islamic people: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the exhausting Iraq War. But how will burning a bunch of sacred religious texts ameliorate the tensions between these two? His plans are, without a doubt, exaggerated and dangerous. They ring with the assumption that the Christian religion is best and that there is no need to even tolerate any differences in religious practices. However, the act of burning itself is a bold statement that shouts complete destruction. The destruction of the sacred book will symbolize an attack upon an entire religion, and there will be no turning back.

On Sept. 9, Terry Jones wavered in his plans to burn the Qur’an because of his temporary belief that there will be changes to the location of the Ground Zero Mosque. Hours later, when he was notified by Islamic leader Imama Muhammad Musri that this was not the case, Jones declared his plans postponed.

With every statement, Jones is endangering America. While he may believe his statement will boldly confirm America’s power, his actions are more likely to harm American soldiers overseas and civilians at home. Already, large protests have broken out over the past week in Kabul, Afghanistan and Jakarta, Indonesia. Government administrations and world leaders have strongly denounced Jones for his treacherous plan. The Obama administration is working hard to end Jones’ campaign, and Sarah Palin has voiced that such an act on Jones’ part will only feed a fire. Many leaders agree that the burning of this religious text will infuriate followers of Islam everywhere and worsen already-tattered diplomatic relations.

With all that said, I wonder if ignoring this guy may be a more effective approach. Plenty of articles have been published about Jones, and he continues to receive unrestrained media attention. Recently on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” President Obama sharply criticized and called his action a “stunt” and “fuel for al Qaeda.” If media coverage is stemmed and Jones’ plans are silently ended by the government, the world may stop paying attention to this obscure preacher of a small church.

If Jones’ plans are not foiled, it will be a huge insult to America. America is a country founded by Christian forefathers. One of the most fundamental commandments of the Bible teaches us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” In addition to that, we uphold, with pride, the U.S. Constitution as a promise of religious freedom. Now, Terry Jones, both a U.S. citizen and a Christian, is planning to burn the Qur’an. This act, if fulfilled, will be far from heroic. Instead, it will be an act of bigotry.

Issue 02, Submitted 2010-09-20 20:16:56