Hating Terry Jones is bad for Muslims
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.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.