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So what if the American had burnt the Koran?

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by ByaseL, Sep 14, 2010.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    Pastor Terry Jones of the little known church in America, who threatened to burn the Koran on September 11, only to change his mind later.

    Perhaps bowing to public outcry and pressure - has been described by many critics in very unsavoury terms.

    They have called him an idiot, religious bigot and an insane person who deserves to be locked up in a mentally sick people’s institution. Never mind that his church is called Dove World Outreach Center Church.

    Doves have been used as symbols of peace. But I beg to differ from his critics. The pastor is not insane. He is just brave and should be patted on the back for not behaving like an ostrich.

    America, being a superpower that it is, wants the world to keep imagining that it has outgrown religious bigotry. Maybe they have, but clearly the Christian Americans can’t stand Muslims. And this keeps being tested every other day.

    Americans claim their nation was built on the notion of religious freedom, and that is why it is constitutional to practise whatever faith one believes in, but what is the rate of conversion from other religions to Islam?

    In August, the Pew Research Centre, carried opinion polls on violence and discovered that 44% of the Republicans did not have favourable opinion of Muslims. The poll indicated that 42% believed that Muslims, unlike other religions, are more likely to encourage violence.

    The same poll also said that Americans who are older than 50 years did not have positive opinion about Muslims. Some of these Americans, especially the conservative Republicans, have seized on the fact that those who flew the planes into the World Trade Centre were Muslims as evidence that Muslims love violence and hate Americans.

    In 1995, Timothy Mcveigh, whose parents were Irish-Catholic, detonated a bomb in Oklahoma killing 168 people and injuring about 700. But this incident didn’t turn Irish-Americans or Catholics into terrorists! So why are Muslims singled out as the undesirables?

    Some Americans also argue that the violent reaction of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and the attack on America is proof that Islam is incompatible with the modern, pluralistic values that Americans espouse. But the pending decision of Terry Jones does not vindicate this view.

    The country has really taken to Muslim bashing to such an extent that many Americans are now reinforcing their view that President Barack Obama is actually a Muslim and they don’t want a Muslim in the White House. And being a Muslim means he is a foreigner!

    According to the Pew survey done in July, 41% of the respondents said that President Obama, who is looked at as a Muslim, relies on his religious beliefs to make policy decisions. So, when Obama makes a statement that seems to favour the view of building a mosque at Ground Zero, his opponents believe he is being influenced by his loyalty to Islam!

    So, what if Obama was a Muslim? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim and being a President of the United States of America? Al Qaeda has been confused with Islam. The Koran does not belong to Al Qaeda but Muslims; so, why is the attack on America blamed on Muslims?

    So, whether Terry Jones has cancelled the burning of the Koran, it remains a fact that Islam phobia is simmering in many Americans’ hearts. Terry Jones was bold to air out his views. His church may have 50 followers, but there are so many invisible supporters who would have cheered Terry if he had gone ahead to desecrate the Koran.

    Terry could have been open about his decision, but how about those Americans who wait for darkness in some alleys, waylay Muslims and slice their throats? So Terry Jones’ stunt is much more than burning the Koran.

    The author is the Business Development Director of The Observer Media Ltd.

    pmkatunzi@observer.ug This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it