Church plans Quran-burning day, but the opposition proves that the world still believes in harmony

01 Aug

We have heard the stories of religious fundamentalism and extremism and we have also seen the Islamic extremists who have damaged the religious sanctity of this religion. We have already accepted the reality that some elements belonging to Islam got indulged in activities which eventually disturbed the law and order situation of the world.

We admit that Islamic extremists have a big share in replacing peace with terror and introducing a different lingo to the world politics. We are aware of the fact that a rise in extremism and the misconception of the notion of Jihad has taken hundreds of precious lives who had a right to live. We are conscious of the misinterpretation of Islam and its teachings in today’s world and believe some of its believers have hurt its image the most. But we believe that like all religions, Islam has preached humanity, forgiveness, freedom of choice, equality, justice and respect for all religions.

And it is unacceptable for all Muslims to let some extremist forces to become custodians of Islam and display the mutilated and false face of the religion. After all this realizations, Muslims and other peace lovers all over the world tried to bring harmony between religions. Interfaith dialogues and debates everywhere prove that we still want co-existence of all religions with peace and tolerance. But I feel that it is not just some Muslims who ruin the good efforts, but people from other faiths have the same intentions.

After dealing with the issues of cartoons of Prophet (PBUH), facebook controversy, here comes “International Burn a Quran Day” on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. A nondenominational church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to host this event with a slogan that (Islam) religion is of the devil.  Church is selling coffee mugs and shirts with the slogan on it to promote the event, but on the other hand the National Association of Evangelicals, the nation’s largest umbrella evangelical group, is opposing the move.

I agree to the point the Association made that it would bring tension between two religions worldwide. It is a sigh of relief to read those who believe in respecting all religions irrespective of their beliefs, and experiences. This disrespect to Islam and its holy book will not bring those back who died on 11 September, but such childish acts will decrease the support of millions of Muslims towards the 9/11 victims.

This is a sheer exploitation of a tragedy and a good chance to use this excuse to bring more tension and chaos. The world is facing a difficult time and the global village has many challenges to meet including the coexistence of different religions. I must remind all those who have such malicious intentions that in today’s world we cannot live in isolation and whatever actions we take have an impact on others.

It is just a piece of advice that organizers of this event should reconsider their decision because it will bring more misery and hardships for those who belong to their religion but live in Muslim countries. Reaction against this day will be severe and only innocent people will be victimized. A tolerant world is our aim which will never be accomplished with such provocations…

Below is the story…

(CNN) — In protest of what it calls a religion “of the devil,” a nondenominational church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to host an “International Burn a Quran Day” on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The Dove World Outreach Center says it is hosting the event to remember 9/11 victims and take a stand against Islam. With promotions on its website and Facebook page, it invites Christians to burn the Muslim holy book at the church from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“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.

Muslims and many other Christians — including some evangelicals — are fighting the initiative.

The church launched a YouTube channel to disseminate its messages.

“I mean ask yourself, have you ever really seen a really happy Muslim? As they’re on the way to Mecca? As they gather together in the mosque on the floor? Does it look like a real religion of joy?” Jones asks in one of his YouTube posts.

“No, to me it looks like a religion of the devil.”

The Islamic advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Muslims and others to host “Share the Quran” dinners to educate the public during the monthlong fast of Ramadan beginning in August. In a news release, the group announced a campaign to give out 100,000 copies of the Quran to local, state and national leaders.

“American Muslims and other people of conscience should support positive educational efforts to prevent the spread of Islamophobia,” said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper in the release.

The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation’s largest umbrella evangelical group, issued a statement urging the church to cancel the event, warning it could cause worldwide tension between the two religions.

“The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect,” it said in the statement.

Dove’s Facebook page, set up for the September event, has more than 1,600 fans.

“Eternal fire is the only destination the Quran can lead people to, so we want to put the Quran in it’s [sic] place — the fire!” the page says.

But another Facebook group with more than 3,100 fans says it stands “against the disrespect and intolerance that these people have for the Muslim people” and encourages people to report Dove’s page to Facebook.

Targeting another group it calls “godless,” the Dove center is also hosting a protest against Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, who is openly gay, on Monday at Gainesville’s City Hall. The group previously fought — unsuccessfully — to derail Lowe’s election campaign.

“We protest sexual perversion because the Bible protests it. … What is acceptable to today’s leadership becomes acceptable to tomorrow’s society,” the church says in its blog entry about the event.

Lowe and other government figures and media outlets received e-mails from the church about the event, The Gainesville Sun reported. Lowe isn’t concerned with Monday’s event.

“I’ve got other things to do,” he said, The Sun reports.

On the outreach center’s front lawn, alongside a sign reading “Aug. 2 Protest, No Homo Mayor, City Hall,” stands not just one, but three signs bearing the slogan “Islam is of the Devil.”

One of the signs — one reading “Islam” on one side, “Devil” on the other — was vandalized. On its blog last week, the church said the sign will be replaced.

“This is private property and vandalism is a crime here in America,” the blog says. “In Islam, many actions that we consider to be crimes are encouraged, condoned or sheltered under Islamic teaching and practice, though. Another reason to burn a Quran.”


Posted by on August 1, 2010 in Religious intolerance


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7 responses to “Church plans Quran-burning day, but the opposition proves that the world still believes in harmony

  1. Saladin

    August 1, 2010 at 7:30

    What I like best is that many are acknowledging this group’s right to free expression while publicly disagreeing. Disagreement is fine. The Facebook group opposing this (peacefully) has rapidly overtaken their page in raw numbers. It’s a good sign.


    August 1, 2010 at 7:30


  3. Sadaf Arshad

    August 1, 2010 at 7:30

    Hi Saladin,
    I appreciate that you could find the same point I was trying to make. Yes now the world is realising that such acts will not take us anywhere and respect for any religion is a must.

  4. Sadaf Arshad

    August 1, 2010 at 7:30

    Hi Nadeem,
    I respect your views. But the world has changed now and for coexistence we require lot of patience. We must work hard to bring culture of tolerance. And we should try win the hearts and minds rather crushing those who have different opinions. Islam is all about forgiveness……

  5. Hameed

    August 1, 2010 at 7:30

    First, some of “we” ARE doing this jihad still and the reason why everyone hates us to varying degree. I have a feeling as long as we continue to burn alive or kill Christians in Pakistan such incidents would result. Many incidents are not even reported by Pakistani press; this is very recent, how many of you have heard of it?

    Suspected Islamists Shoot Five Christians to Death in Pakistan, Jul 29

  6. Sadaf Arshad

    August 1, 2010 at 7:30

    Thanks Hameed. “As you sow so shall you reap”, this is exactly our situation. We have no regard for human life and looks we have forgotten humanity too…
    Keep commenting….


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