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April 5, 2011

Stupid, Viscous Murders

Roy Meachum

A preacher threw a Quran on his Florida barbeque grill two weeks ago.


As a direct result, according to U.S. media, United Nations employees and five Afghanistan Muslims lost their lives and another 20 were wounded Thursday. In the country, officials and police informed news organizations that eight U.N. employees were killed and two more suffered beheading.


Terry Jones was talked out of committing the outrage last September; he heard from Washington’s highest authorities how his way of marking 9/11/2001 could almost certainly cost American lives. Burning Islam’s holy book would seriously sabotage the United States’ relations with other nations. The preacher received inordinate international publicity that went away when he relented.


On March 20, when spring was about to spring in, he lit up his grill and no one in the media paid attention. Obviously the government was looking elsewhere while supposedly watching him. To make sure his arrant, stupid deed was recorded; he made a videotape that caught him muttering that the Quran “actually burns good.” When faced with the Afghanistan murders, he termed the attack he instigated as a “tragic and criminal action.”


He received no support from the World Evangelical Alliance, one of the world’s largest faith organizations, headed by Geoff Tunicliffe; he was having emergency meetings with Christian and Muslim leaders. Gathered in Washington, The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and smaller groups denounced the killings. (Great Britain turned down a visa application when Terry Jones wanted to go there to protest Islam, according to The Washington Post.)


When a New York Times reporter caught up with him in Gainesville, the home of the University of Florida, the preacher pulled off what Southerners call “poormouth,” lamenting his loss of congregation, ruined financial condition and the threats to his life; three police cruisers hovered visibly nearby. He told her:


“People have tried to make us responsible for the people who are killed. It’s unfair and somewhat damaging. Did our action provoke them? Of course. Is it a provocation that should lead to death? When lawyers provoke me, when banks provoke me, when reporters provoke me, I can’t kill them. That would not fly.”


Pleading ignorance cannot excuse his crime. For weeks in the fall, the dangers of his proposed burning were explained over and over by the world’s important authorities. That he went through with it strongly suggests the wheels in his head are more than slightly out-of-sync. I know people in Frederick who sympathize with Terry Jones. At least he says he read part of the book he burned.


Local “experts” on Islam brag how they have never read the Quran. Complete lack of knowledge is part of their credentials. They resist all attempts to relieve their total ignorance about Muslims. In their own way they are guilty for the stupid, vicious murders as the Florida preacher.


God help them – and us!


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