Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pastor and Church Plans to Burn Koran


Pastor Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, plans to burn the Koran, the Muslim holy book, on September 11, 2010.

The rumors of this plan to burn the Koran --considered a major offense in the Islamic community-- has already sparked protests in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Indonesia. General David Petraeus has warned that any plans to burn the Koran would jeopardize U.S. military efforts, and he said further "images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan -- and around the world -- to inflame public opinion and incite violence. Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."

So here is my take on this, in the form of an open letter to Pastor Jones and his church members.

To Pastor Terry Jones and members of Dove World Outreach Center,

On September 11, 2010, you plan to “protest” radical Islam and the terror attacks of 9/11 by burning the Koran.

I have to agree with General Petraeus‘ statement that this would only serve to put our soldiers and civilians in jeopardy. This can only lead to more violence, more death, and more mistrust on all sides concerned.

As Christians we must remember that any act of violence, bloodshed, or hatred committed in God’s name is to take God’s name in vain. Whether those acts are committed by Muslims, Christians, or anyone else, it is taking God’s name in vain and is blasphemy in the first degree.

God is a God of love not hate. Throughout the Holy Scriptures we see the love of God, and especially in the actions of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Nowhere in any of the four Gospels or in any of the other books of the New Testament does Jesus Christ or any of the Apostles speak of, or encourage hatred or the killing of others. In fact we are told time and again to love and not hate as in 1 John 2: 9 - 11--He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother, abideth in the light, and there is no scandal in him. But he that hateth his brother, is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth; because the darkness hath blinded his eyes.

This act of burning the Koran actually is pouring gasoline on an already burning fire, and will only lead to an increase in the number of recruits to the army of radical Islam. Pastor Jones, you stated that America must stand up, and you asked, “how long are we going to be controlled by radical Islam?”

Pastor Jones, you already are being controlled and manipulated by radical Islam. You can rest assured that radical Islam has an “ear” to events and happenings in this country. You can also rest assured that they will make sure that there are more protests to come, and more violence, especially if the burning takes place. Radical Islam has already attempted, and in some cases has succeeded in convincing Muslims that the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan are not wars against radical Islam, but are wars against Islam in general. They preach that America and all Christians seek to destroy Islam, and that the wars are those ideals being carried out. The action of burning the Koran will only serve to prove them right. So, they hope that you do burn the Koran. It would truly be to their benefit.

I recall several years ago a conversation I had with a young woman from Saudi Arabia. She told me about a “movie made in America that shows American soldiers desecrating a mosque and the Koran”. She told me it was very popular in America and that the movie goers stood up and cheered the desecrations. I told her I had never heard of such a movie and asked her the title. She couldn’t remember the name of the movie but assured me she had seen it.

I doubt the existence of such a movie, and I really do not think she had actually seen it. I think that she and others had been told there was such a movie and were ready and willing to believe it, because they are convinced that America and all Christians are bent on the destruction of Islam.

Also, please do keep in mind that in many of the Islamic countries there are minority populations of Christians living in those countries. They include the Palestinian Territory, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Jordan just to name a few.

In many of these countries there have been riots, murders, persecutions, wars, and oppression of Christians by Muslims. There is an intense hatred, and suspicion of Christians and Christianity. To the Islamic radicals, the terms “American” and “Christian” are synonymous with “infidel“ and “enemy”. It is the “infidel”, the “enemy” that radical Islam claims to be fighting against. Burning the Koran will increase those Christians suffering many times over.

Muslims who have not taken part in any of the violence, in any of the propaganda, or in any steps of hatred against America and Christians, will be inclined to do so if Dove World Outreach Center proceeds with plans to burn copies of the Koran.

We know that the main stream media won’t be able to control itself and will cover your Koran burning event. That coverage will only serve to be a recruiting poster for radical Islam. Many Muslims who have been quiet and peaceful will no longer be so.

Let me give you and your members an example of the kind of company you are in with burning the Koran. That company is, Nazi Germany.

On May 10, 1933, across Germany in 34 university towns, occurred the planned burning of books called "Action Against the Un-German Spirit". This burning of books was excused by the German students who organized it, as a literary purge or "cleansing" by fire. This was one of the many beginnings of the madness that was Nazi Germany.

Among the works burned were the writings of the nineteenth century German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine. He had written in his play of 1820-1821 a famous warning: "Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people".

People will burn. In roadside bombings, suicide bombings, direct attacks, murders, assassinations, and persecutions.

You stated that you and the 50 members of your church have received death threats and are taking them seriously. You say that if something happened, it would not be your fault. You also said, “we will not be responsible. We are only reacting to the violence that is already there in that religion.”

If you do carry out the burning of the Koran, are you and your members prepared for the responsibility of your irresponsibility? For it is your actions in carrying out this plan that will show to the world your irresponsibility to God, to your fellow Americans, and to your fellow Christians.

Are you prepared for the responsibility and the possibility of hundreds, and maybe even thousands of deaths and injuries?

I pray to God you aren’t prepared for that responsibility and stop this plan to burn the Koran now.

ADDENDUM
The Vatican has issued the following statement regarding the plans to burn the Koran. Below is taken from the Vatican Information Service News for 09/08/2010:

COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING "KORAN BURNING DAY"

VATICAN CITY, 8 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue today released an English-language communique describing its "great concern at the news of the proposed 'Koran Burning Day' on the occasion of the anniversary of the 11 September tragic terrorist attacks in 2001 which resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and considerable material damage.

  "These deplorable acts of violence, in fact, cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community. Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection. We are speaking about the respect to be accorded the dignity of the person who is an adherent of that religion and his/her free choice in religious matters.

  "The reflection which necessarily should be fostered on the occasion of the remembrance of 11 September would be, first of all, to offer our deep sentiments of solidarity with those who were struck by these horrendous terrorist attacks. To this feeling of solidarity we join our prayers for them and their loved ones who lost their lives.

  "Each religious leader and believer is also called to renew the firm condemnation of all forms of violence, in particular those committed in the name of religion. Pope John Paul II affirmed: 'Recourse to violence in the name of religious belief is a perversion of the very teachings of the major religions' (address to the new ambassador of Pakistan, 16 December 1999). His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI similarly expressed, 'violence as a response to offences can never be justified, for this type of response is incompatible with the sacred principles of religion' (address of His Holiness Benedict XVI, to the new ambassador of Morocco, 6 February 2006)".
CON-DIR/                                                                                        VIS 20100908 (300)
 

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