Saturday, July 31, 2010

Florida church announces Quran burning event

Maybe the tea partiers have found a new hero. News that a Florida pastor was planning a Quran-burning event to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is typical of the kind of ignorant thinking that characterizes the tea party movement and its over-publicized icon, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. The announcement of the Islamic good book burning that Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, says is to remember the victims of attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., and to express outrage against that religion, has sparked cries of outrage from leaders of U.S. religious denominations, according to Cable News Network (CNN). As we all know, the 19 9-11 hijackers were Muslim and the United States blames the attack on al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, also a Muslim. "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," Jones said on CNN this week. Jones is the author of a book entitled "Islam is of the Devil" and his church sells T-shirts and coffee mugs bearing the phrase. But many Muslim and Christian leaders urged Jones to call off his event because it would just aggravate tensions, Reuters said. "American Muslims and other people of conscience should support positive educational efforts to prevent the spread of Islamophobia," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American Islam Relations. The CAIR called on Muslims and others to hold 'Share the Quran" dinners to educate the public during Ramadan, the month-long fast that begins in August, and began a campaign to distribute copies of the Quran to U.S. leaders, Reuters said. An evangelical Christian group issued a statement promoting "relationships of trust and respect" with members of other religions. "God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect," the statement said. But "dignity and respect" for others is not what the Dove World Outreach Center is selling. Tellingly, the group also said it was promoting a rally on Monday to protest as "godless" Gainesville's openly gay mayor, Craig Lowe. At least we know this group has nothing to offer. The planet seems always to have been overpopulated with people who claim to know precisely what god is thinking.

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