Hating Terry Jones is bad for Muslims

Published: April 4, 2011

Terry Jones, an American Christian Evangelist Pastor who burned the Quran.

It’s the same old cycle. Once again an insignificant person does something radically stupid in the West, and we in the East go on to a killing rampage.

I am talking about the burning of the Holy Quran incident carried out on March 20, 2011 by Terry Jones, an American Christian Evangelist pastor from Florida. This is the same man who threatened to burn the Holy Quran on 9/11 but relented once he got the media hype he wanted.

Spreading the stupid

In the immediate aftermath of the burning, I thought that the Muslim world had shown restraint and ignored Jones’ thoughtless acts, as pointed out in the Tribune editorial a week later.

But a belated reaction started on April 1, when protestors overpowered their way into the UN Mission compound in Mazaar-e-Sharif and killed seven foreign workers, beheading two of them.

On April 2, nine people were killed in Kandahar and three in suicide attacks in Kabul.

Does this turn of events ring a bell?

There is a similarity with the publication of cartoons of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in a Danish newspaper in 2005, which led to the death of more than 50 people, most of whom were Muslims. Both the acts were simple acts of provocation–more so, the burning of the Holy Quran.

Five minutes of infamy

Terry Jones is an insignificant pastor of a small, radical church in Florida. He preaches the most radical form of Christianity, which most of the Christian world does not even agree with. He is intelligent enough to study our reaction to the Danish cartoon incident in 2005, so he knows that his antics, he wilk make him famous. His name will be mentioned on news channels across the globe, his church will get more funding from radical Christians and he won’t lose a thing.

He understands that we Muslims have a tendency to lose our heads. Over the last couple of days we have been proving him right. Their is a high correlation between the intensity of our reactions,his stupid acts and his fame.

Who suffers in this debacle?

The 50 people who died in the Danish cartoon row and the 19 innocent  people who died in Afghan protests, none of whom had anything to do with Terry Jones and might not even recognize his name. Who knows how many more will die? Jones is still getting famous–even President Obama is talking about him. He is a bigot and his bigotry is getting press because we go inside a UN Mission compound and behead innocent people who have left their families to live in Afghanistan, of all places, and help the local people. Terry Jones is watching the news and basking in his bigotry.

I understand that the protests are limited to Afghanistan for the time being, but I am afraid that they will trickle down to Pakistan and Middle Eastern countries.

My plea is  simple – ignore Terry Jones.

We have other things to protest-protests that will help improve the human condition rather than result in the loss of human life.

Hate towards Terry Jones will lead us to murder innocents and destroy public and private property that hard-working individuals spend their whole lives building, and he will become more famous by the second. But if we ignore him, he will disappear.

Ahmed Aziz

Ahmed Aziz

A PhD candidate at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He is interested in the Middle East.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sir.Bakr Abu Bakr Agha

    I’ve always thought that the only bigger morons than the one’s who do these things are the people who care about them doing it. After all the only reason these people do these things is because people react. Stop reacting, and nothing happens.Recommend

  • http://www.no-slappz.blogspot.com no_slappz

    Muslims hate Terry Jones because Terry Jones believes in one of America’s most important rights — Freedom of Speech. Muslims hate our Freedom of Speech. but muslims must learn that our right to Freedom of Speech is far more important than their hate for it.

    Muslims hate our Freedom of Speech because it shows that Americans believe the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights are more important than Islam and the Koran.Recommend

  • KRS

    @ Dear no_slappz….your another terry whoever in the making…Not that i care two bits about terry whoever or your bill of whatever..its quite amusing to see you guys just go arnd the bend over and over again..These ppl act like they are the cool high school bunch who bully every little person arnd and then one day when one of them fights back out of frustration they go crying to mommy…My message to you all is if you cant take it DNT dish it…we have our own problems to deal with and this isn’t one of them so run along to your mediocre high school drop out lives and let us get on with ours…after all you will never here of bible burnings in mosques or by our priests however twisted and flawed they maybe…But then why am i trying to make ppl see things when they themselves have no respect for their religion or their Prophet. Recommend

  • KRS

    Apart from that…I cudnt agree more with the author…we just cnt keep our cool…and so far whatever we’ve done hasnt been working. Food for thought people Recommend

  • Deen Sheikh

    My Dear Ahmed Aziz, it is too late, this region has already fallen into levels of extremism, intolerance, xenophobia and heightened religious sensitivity out of which it can not recover from. All was lost, the day our leaders ceased to be even safe from the hands of religious nutjobs and their religious sensitivity. Remember it was religious sensitivity that resulted in the murders of the Bhatti and Tasseer.Recommend

  • Richard Akpocha

    Ignoring Terry’s action would sent a better reaction of peace and proven Islam otherwise. What if the Muslim community went ahead to quietly burn the bible, rather than go violent killing innocent souls.Recommend

  • Martin Whitaker

    Excellent and eloquant response, 100% correct, but how to ,ake the masses understand ? i find it unbeleivable that time after time there is a recurrence of this abject stupidity by Muslims reacting to insignificant morons who simply want their 5 minutes of fame, and to get this simply goad the Muslim community with an act they know will inflame and enrage them. drawing a cartoon, burning a book…surely Islam is more stable than to fall by these 2 silly men ? or is that what the protesters and murderers are afraid of ? that Islam is a house of cards that could fall at the slightest breath ? Recommend

  • Jawad Khan Niazi

    The media is so keen on vehemently spreading this news, the people are going to react out of emotion – Instead of instigation, bloggers/journalists who want people to ignore this madness should not help spread the news.Recommend

  • Jaafer naqvi

    It would be much better if you and all alike could right these articles in Urdu newspapers.Recommend

  • Har Maal Do Do Rupaiyah

    Ahmed, you seem confused. You write, “My plea is simple – ignore Terry Jones.” yet on the other hand, you write a blog about him and name it after him too. By writing this blog, you are indirectly helping him become popular. No major news network in the United States has followed or published this story. However, in Pakistan people are obsessed with this story and Terry Jones. This (attention) is exactly what he’s craving and people like you are happily serving it to him on a silver platter. Don’t you realize what he is doing? He is a low-life unpopular guy who got his 15 minutes of fame last year. Since that episode, he faded away and the world quickly moved on. Then all of a sudden, in March 2011, the Pakistani media started talking about this alleged incident. Zardari took it a notch higher by starting his joint session speech by mentioning this shameful act. Nobody in America cares about Terry Jones, not even the right-wing media. We, Pakistanis, on the other hand are playing into Terry Jones’ hands and giving him the unnecessary attention that he is so desperately seeking.Recommend

  • sana Jamil

    Loser TerryRecommend

  • Verboten

    Very good and level headed advice.Recommend

  • Kat

    Lunatic Terry Jones is not supported by anybody in the US..an idiot..but he got what he wanted by extreme reaction….Everyone needs to let him burn out..It is not right to be disrespectful to the Quran..However killing innocent people… I am sure is not supported in the Quran teachings..Religions remain in the hearts of the people…and burning a man made representation of the words of our prophets..should not make us turn into barbarians..If we do..Terry Jones wins…already people have lost family members due to the blood shed…Yes he is responsible..but he did not hold the knife..He has already won..sad..:(Recommend

  • Kat

    As a Christian..I would rather see a million bibles burned and the lives of the innocent people saved……I would set them on fire myself…Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel

    @no_slappz: Whatever!Recommend

  • John

    I agree, Ahmed Aziz. Hate unites with hate, even as it divides, for the cause of hatred subsumes all differences to achieve its ultimate purpose: destruction. One person of courage could have broken the chain.

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Jesus, PBUH)Recommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    You write in your article

    I understand that the protests are limited to Afghanistan for the time being, but I am afraid that they will trickle down to Pakistan and Middle Eastern countries.

    My friend it is already in Pakistan. Though it might not be ‘as extreme’ but did you not witness those big ‘political’ rallies of the religious segment? Businesses were down, transport was cut off for these political rallies in the name of religion.

    These incidents are cashed upon by the religio-political parties.Recommend

  • Abdul-Mughis Rana

    Hating is allright till it is limited to the act of Terry Jones!
    Had we cared for the people of the world the way our Prophet Mohammad SAW taught us then such happenings could be avoided. And this is my duty! Even now if we travel the world like (Companions) Sahaba e Kiram R.A.A of Prophet Mohammad SAW did and spread the word of (GOD) ALLAH SWT. It will be benificial for all! Recommend

  • http://grsalam.wordpress.com Ghausia

    Like this. Like this a lot.But people didn’t understand this in 2005 with the cartoon incident, they didn’t understand when Draw Muhammad Day took place, and they won’t understand now.

    @no_slappz: Such a charming individual you are. Sorry your mother didn’t hug you enough when you were young.Recommend

  • andrea

    @no_slappz: I think that this so called Freedom of Speech is very subjective. Is it freedom to burn religious books. Maybe for some. Try saying something against Israel and see what happens to your ” freedom”. They will kick you out of your job and black ball you! Think about it. Anyhow, I do agree that it is best to ignore people like Terry Jones. He wants to inspire discord between peoples. We shouldn’t give him the pleasure. Let him worry about the state of religion in an increasingly areligious Western society. Christianity has become more of less irrelevent for the majority of so called Christians in the West. Maybe this is what really bothers Terry Jones.Recommend

  • Aslam Zahid

    Act of Terry Jones is not bearable…….
    USA Gov should take action against this Stupid Old man….
    I condemn this act of Terry Jones…Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    There should be protests on the evil act as this but should be peaceful. The person to be ignored is as beseeching our own conscious and ignoring the value of our beliefs. Tolerance is accepting other beliefs and abusing them is quite the other. What if another acts like these occur ? Again ignore don’t protest.
    Now No one can kill innocent that is true no doubts whether american, but you can express how much it matter to us as it is a sacred book with Jesus Christ (PBUH) mentioned more times than Mohammad (SLAWslm). Look west doest violate its tolerance toward religion and portrays that religion doesn’t matter. Its only Islam why is that I ask. It never ban Nun from covering or does it tolerate British historian writhing about Holocaust, or building mosques.

    What should be done is boycotting at the least by people of product and trading with such countries so they control these rouges like this pastor. Again protest WITHOUT KILLING OR HURTING INNOCENTS and don’t ignore but confront intellectually with these hate mongers. Treat other non believers with respect and honor as not all are insane as this pastor. Recommend

  • G. Din

    “My plea is simple – ignore Terry Jones.”
    That is what ostriches do, too! But does that make the problem go away?
    No, it doesn’t! Instead, the better course would be: sit up and take notice. Examine and question your own behaviour for the last 40 years. Is what is happening in the world today a result of the atrocities and the killing perpetrated in the name of Islam? If you come to the conclusion that it is, then it is time to correct your behaviour and bring it in line with what the world expects of you – be good citizens of the world. There is nothing special about Islam in the non-Muslim world and it would not miss it even a bit if it were just not there and there is NO reason for it to make any concessions to it.
    If you heed the plea of this author and ignore this act of the pastor, then be prepared to receive more shocks of the nature of lampooning of the your prophet, banning of Islamic architecture in Europe, bombing of mosques or attempts to do so in the US. They will occur with greater frequency as has been shown in the last just 5 years or so.
    The world has had it chockful with Islam. Sooner or later the matters will come to a head if you continue to “ignore” these telltale signs of the world saying “Enough Already” and that it cannot afford to “ignore” it any longer!Recommend

  • Har Maal Do Do Rupaiyah

    @ G.Gin: So what are you suggesting that people should do instead of ignoring this low-life pastor? Should the Pakistanis protest and burn businesses and cars to show their anger? What will this violence and frustration achieve?
    As humans we come across several things that we don’t like but that doesn’t mean we throw tantrums about each one of them. Sometimes you just have to ignore some nasty things around you otherwise you will have too many battles to fight. By ignoring Terry Jones, we can easily push him into the dark corners of infamy and make him realize his irrelevance.Recommend

  • G. Din

    @Har Maal Do Do Rupaiyah:
    I had said in my post: Sit up and take notice. I never said people should go out and kill their own people,and destroy their own property. I suggest deep introspection. For this , it is necessary that Muslims lay back a little. Silence speaks volumes. Do not get overexcited. When you show (and not articulate ) that you are not provoked, such provocations will cease because they don’t produce the expected results. I suggest you show you are trying hard to become good citizens of the world. Respect others even when you feel you have been slighted. You don’t have to retaliate for every little slight. For this, it is necessary to shed the paranoia of victimhood. No one can guarantee that every person shall be treated fairly every time. We are all humans. The thing to do is to take it in stride even when it is patently clear that you have been wronged. That does not mean that you have to take whatever is dished to you. It means, give it a pass the first time, show your cultured displeasure the second time, bow out the third time without harsh words or actions. Since it has taken a long time for the Muslims to acquire a dubious reputation of being terrorists, it will take a long time to shed it, too. Patience is needed to overcome but, in the end all will be happy that you started the effort and pursued it to the end.Recommend

  • M.Tayyab

    Well there is a simpler solution. That Christian terrorist tried to disturb peace, so just kill him and make an example out of him so that no other would do something like this.Recommend

  • http://www.thereligionofpeace.com a.tayyab

    Muslims must understand this that non-muslims have just as much right to believe what they believe as the muslims have the right to believe what they believe.
    If muslims believe that allah is god and non-muslims believe that allah is satan; then muslims must accept it as the fact that they have no right to tell the non-muslim not to believe that allah is satan and that is what terry jones believes. He has written a book that islam is of the devil.
    I can say that to all non-arab muslims that they are the most ignorant fools on this planet to believe in islam and at the same time believe that they will never get in islam’s so called paradise because they do not speak arabic and arabic is the so called language of the so called islamic paradise.
    Terry Jones may have put an arabic porn book in binder saying quran al-hakeem and no non-arab muslim would have known the difference.
    I have commented on this topic before but the so called moderators do not have the decency to accept the facts and have not let my comments posted.Recommend

  • hira agha

    ignorance to terry jones would not be the sollution.. its like giving others the reason to play with our religon.. today is terry jones tomorrow would be someone else.. we cant let these devils play with our most sacred book.. atleast we should try to promote our religion and QURAN because this is not just a religious book but its the most authentic,logical and practical, n gives complete way of life..and only those know who have read it properly.. it gives the msg of peace.Recommend

  • 007

    Considering the emotions of Muslims all over the world!! it is just IMPOSSIBLE to ignore such incidents, the love for the Muslims towards Allah(SWT) and Holy Prophet Mushammad(PBUH) is immense (AND I AM TALKING ABOUT GHAIRATMAND MUSLIMS HERE).

    so i don’t support killings by the common man for blasphemy or burning Quran etc… but these things cannot be ignored…..

    had the muslim countries been superpowers and any westerner then DARED TO INSULT islam, they would have used interpol or any such global organisations to track such people down and have them tried in court and have his head cut off for blasphemy…

    Unfortunately this is not the case… all of us are so divided among leftists/rightists, suni/shia etc that we are no left with no power to counteract such disgusting moves by people like terry pastorRecommend