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Wait… Now the Koran Burning is Canceled?!

September 9, 2010

That Gainsville congregation thankfully succumbs to pressure. But the pastor tries to save face by saying he’s only cancelling the Koran burning because the leaders of that New York City Muslim community that’s building an inter-faith community center with a mosque have agreed to move away from Ground Zero–which isn’t actually true. Here’s Andrew Sullivan calling it as he sees it:

What’s fascinating to me is the linkage this hateful nutjob tried to make between Park51 and the Koran-burning stunt. It’s in his own head, apparently, and a way to save face, I suppose. But that he sees this as a way to save face, that he sees his disgusting bigotry as somehow equivalent to building a multi-faith community center with a mosque near Ground Zero is instructive of what has happened to the discourse in the last month or so.

I believe… the attempts to make the Park51 complex a “provocation” have fueled the fire of religious bigotry in this country… Mercifully, blessedly, this did not escalate to this degree this swiftly, and the pastor has climbed down. So we escaped what could have been a spark for a global wildfire.

But until [our] leaders make a clear and vital distinction between Jihadist terrorists and American Muslims, a distinction they helped erase by declaring a mainstream Muslim center near 9/11 as a “provocation”, this will happen again.

In my view, president Bush should stand up and insist upon this distinction as he did after 9/11 and take on the zealots who want to erase it, and know not what they do…

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Murray permalink
    September 9, 2010 8:49 pm

    There’s something troublingly assymetrical about all of this.

    It seems the rest of us must become super sensitive to Muslim sensibilities but we don’t expect/demand it of them in return.

  2. jamiemcelroy permalink*
    September 9, 2010 9:10 pm

    Doesn’t Jesus kind of call us to be “asymmetrical” in our love of others? Isn’t that what he’s doing up on the cross? Asymmetrically loving us?

    But beyond that, I think there is a difference between someone needlessly taking offense at something someone else is doing, and someone needlessly giving offense to someone else.

    The interfaith community center with the mosque that is in the works near Ground Zero has, it’s true, offended a lot of American Christians. But I’d argue that they have no good reason to be offended; that the offense they’ve taken is based on a misreading of what happened on September 11, 2001–a day in which Muslim extremists, whose beliefs do not represent Islam as a whole (or so said President Bush that very day) killed a whole bunch Americans, including American Muslims, in New York City. And the building of this interfaith community center with its mosque is something that has little or nothing to do with that event and it certainly was not/is not designed to offend anyone. The fact that some are taking offense does not make it intrinsically offensive.

    Meanwhile, this planned (and now thankfully canceled) burning of the Koran was designed (obviously) to offend. Everything about it is offensive/is meant to be offensive. So yes, count me on the side of the Muslims in both instances. If that’s asymmetrical of me, so be it.

  3. Murray permalink
    September 9, 2010 9:49 pm

    Wow! Lots of assumptions in there, Jamie, and, amazingly, they all break on the side of Muslim sensibilities or what you think them to be.

    In other words, you give them absolutely every benefit of the doubt and none of the other players has even the slightest hint of a valid point or perhaps an understandable motive, albeit misguided perhaps.

    No, the good Muslims, however you’ve determined them to be good, have done absolutely nothing to provoke anyone and all these other folks are flat out wrong and hellbent to provoke them every time and in every case.

    Also, trying to analogize what you’re doing to Jesus on the cross asymmetrically loving us doesn’t work because you are only showing love to one side in a dispute while being completely dismissive and perhaps judgmental of the other.

  4. Suzie B permalink
    September 17, 2010 11:58 am

    Can’t help but sympathize with the pastor in Gainesville. Maybe in a way, maybe foolishly, he and his little band of followers were taking a stand for Christ and against PC.

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