Koran Burning Epitomizes Islamophobia In America?
Written by Paul I. Adujie
An obscure pastor of an equally obscure church in Florida is leading efforts to burn copies of the Koran throughout America and perhaps worldwide, on September 11, 2010. The charlatan who parades himself also as pastor of this tiny church of less than fifty members in Gainesville Florida, is the latest cannon fodder in latest upsurge in attacks, against Muslims in America.
Reverend Terry Jones, an evangelical, of Dove World Outreach center in Florida is reported by Gainesville Sun Newspapers to be a known rabble rouser who has in the past erected a billboard pronouncing Islam as religion of the devil. He was required by the local council sundry religious leaders in Florida to take down the profane and offensive billboard; the billboard occurred well before Terry Jones latest egregious prank!
This errant pastor is notorious for obnoxious, outrageous and provocative behaviors, even though he is surrounded by a progressive and liberal college community in Gainesville Florida. The good thing is, there are redemptions in all of these. Many Americans have, in public pronouncements condemned this flame throwing "man of god" this pastor's bigotry and prejudice has not met with approval or assistance.
General David Paetreus the military overall commander of American military mission in Afghanistan, have publicly decried and rebuked the pastor, saying that the pastor's silly pranks could inflame emotions and endanger American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Another renowned military man, Lt. Gen. Russell Honore rtd condemned the antics of pastor Terry Jones and described the pastor as stuck on stupid
This pastor Terry Jones claims to have direct links with God, but an American comedian Jay Leno actually joked that the pastor should actually be in God's blacklist or no call list! He has been getting attention by being outrageous.... Islam is of the devil billboard and kids with T-shirt proclaiming same
Jackie Levine a reporter with Gainesville Sun Newspapers reported that pastor Terry Jones has refused to be swayed by consequences or even death threats; he has been denied permit and local religious organizations are against this... it is frustrating and appalling
"We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it's causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times," Pastor Terry Jones told CNN's Rick Sanchez earlier this week.
"Jones wrote a book titled "Islam is of the Devil," and the church sells coffee mugs and shirts featuring the phrase."
Would a pizza shop or porn shop near Ground Zero does that erode the sacred nature of the hallow ground? Or Why did the federal government build a federal building on African Burial Ground near City Hall and 26 Federal Plaza on Broadway some fifteen years ago, despite entreaties by African Americans against it?
More and more Americans have been very vocal in denouncing pastor Jones, a United States State Department spokesperson, P. J. Crowley aptly described pastor as insignificant and of no consequence and as such, the pastor's views should not be mistaken as the stances of over 300 million Americans in the general populace. Another American, Professor Marc Lynch of George Washington University, commenting publicly, opined that the spate of Islamophobia in America is making things more difficult for America's relationships with nations with Muslims populations. This is particularly so, as America is battling to win hearts and minds to stem anger toward America, anger which have been exacerbated by American presence in Afghanistan, Iraq and military activities in Pakistan as well.
Various acts of violence, arson, bigotries, prejudices and emotional invectives have been directed against American Muslims as the have fasted during this Ramadan month Rick Lazio, a governorship aspirant in New York, former Speaker of American House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich and other Republican conservatives, who are usually beneficiaries of Evangelicals and the religiously pious right-wingers, are surprisingly careless and reckless with religious freedoms for American Muslims.
These political opportunists, have insisted that Islam and Muslims in America are at the verge of imposing Sharia legal system on the United States. The fact and the truth is, American courts already incorporates certain elements of Islamic laws into matters of family law, estates and trust issues in adjudications.
Pronouncements by the ilk of Gingrich and Lazio etc now make it difficult for anyone to dismiss increasing Islamophobia in America as a matter in the fringes or isolated to the emotionally loaded debates about a proposed Islamic Cultural Center on the block and lot number also now known as Park51
We have written about this pattern attacks against Islam Muslims several times, reporting that Islam and Muslims are under attack, pressures and even siege in America, there have been attacks across Ameica against Muslims in California, in Tennessee and also in New York City beyond the issue of Park51. The campaign against an Islamic Center blocks from Ground Zero is snippet, a mere camouflage by those with hidden agenda to besiege Islam and Muslims and generalize offensively against both.
Islamphobia in America is not limited to the debate about the proposed Islamic cultural center blocks from Ground Zero, it is taking place in far flung places throughout America. There was a recent arson against a mosque project in Tennessee, construction equipment were set on fire, expansion in California and elsewhere, have been similarly opposed in the most vehement and violent ways, all these, far from New York City Ground Zero emotional bigoted debate about the so-called proximity or too close for comfort, for some, to have a mosque.
Attacks against Islam and Muslims have become the new xenophobia in America, and perhaps throughout the world. After all, this practice of constantly presenting Islam and all Muslims as dangerous have raged in Europe in many nations of Europe as well.
Islam, Muslims are the issues, Ground Zero is merely a pretentious cover and camouflage for those bigots who are too chicken, too sissy and too pussy cat to come out and just say they are against Muslims and Islam.
Islamophobia is in the upsurge in America, there is no doubt about it. Some Americans who are unhappy about having someone such as Mr. Obama as president of the United States, have continue to insist that he is a Muslim, even though, Mr. Obama is the same man accused of being a member and follower of Reverend Wright church in Chicago for over twenty years
Allegations and accusations have resurfaced against President Obama, to the effect that he is a Muslim and a defender of Islamic radicals. The otherness of Mr. Obama has the subtexts of race, color, and bitterness of Republican Party and their Tea Party surrogates. The "otherness" of Mr. Obama continues to bother a segment of the American population, some continue to insist it has nothing to do with race!
President Obama of the United States, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City and President Jonathan of Nigeria, have made reassuring and comforting statements in defense of Islam and Muslims. President Jonathan made Nigeria proud, by taking a very public stand with a published statement in support of Islam and Muslims as he urged American authorities and the American people to ensure that Muslims and Islam have adequate protections and safeguards.
In a statement also published on his Facebook page, President Jonathan of Nigeria, a multicultural, multi-religious plural nation, he said the following: "It has been brought to my attention that Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach USA plans to burn copies of the Qur'an sometime in September this year. "
"I hereby urge authorities in the United States and men and women of goodwill around the world to prevail on Pastor Jones not to do anything that would assault the sensibilities ...of our Muslim brothers and sisters."
"This action can not be justified at anytime and certainly is doubly unjustified coming at the holy month of Ramadan. I would urge Pastor Jones to be mindful of the Golden Rule taught by Jesus Christ: Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you. To my Muslim brothers and sisters, I urge you to show restraint while we deal with this issue as we continue to build and strengthen our fortress for religious tolerance and continuing peaceful co-existence. "
A Reverend Richard Cizik is of the opinion that evangelicals, ultra conservatives are the principal drivers and that they are indeed, the ones pushing the spread of Islamophobia nationwide in America.
Our visit to Ground Zero and to the proposed and now controversial Islamic Cultural Center on Park51 revealed that many Americans are standing up to the bigots and those engaged in Islamophobia.
There were many Americans with placards proclaiming support for proposed project, while condemning the unfair and unreasonable critics of Islam and Muslims. All told, it is the case there are widespread irrational criticisms directed at Islam and Muslims throughout America. Expansions of existing mosques and the constructions of new mosques have been met with tidal waves of barrages of attack. Illogical and unreasonable attacks, motivated by political opportunism and bigotry.