Right now, people all over the world are outraged that an unknown pastor from Florida considered burning the Quran. Protestors in Afghanistan have continued to hold demonstrations, one that culminated with the death of two people, even after Pastor Jones called off the book burning; it should be noted that they did all of this while shouting phrases like “death to America.” The protesting is not just coming from Afghanistan though.
The State Department condemned the Quran burning proposal as un-American and the Obama Administration said it was concerned about the message it would send. But before we start condemning Americans for expressing their opinions, let us look at the track record of the Islamic world when protesting Western civilization and Christianity. In Iraq, Bibles, flags and even private security contractors have been mutilated and burned by mobs of mindless protesters. In Saudi Arabia, American missionaries and foreign Christians have been deported and even imprisoned for possessing more than one copy of the Bible.
Civilians in possession of Bibles, in certain Middle Eastern countries, receive lashings and imprisonment as punishment in accordance with the Sharia Law. (Sharia has also been used to justify stoning executions in cases like adultery.) The confiscated Bibles are then shredded. This, however, is not an anti-American action that the Obama Administration is concerned about.
Pastor Jones has suggested that this is in retaliation to plans to build an Islamic center containing a prayer room in the vicinity of Ground Zero. This has not been deemed un-American by the Obama Administration, either. It is unfortunate that Pastor Jones decided against burning the Quran on Sept. 11, since it would have sent a strong message because of the media coverage it received while being a minimal retaliation for all of the attacks that the U.S. has endured over the past few decades.
Other ideas for retaliation were to crash a plane into a Middle-Eastern skyscraper, launch an attack on a Middle-Eastern Naval vessel and subject a Middle-Eastern audience to an Al Gore speech. However, the first two would not follow UN guidelines and the third would probably be deemed as cruel and unusual punishment.
Cultural center building and Quran burning aside, it is important to remember the attack on the World Trade Center and the resolution it has brought to this country.
Ondo is a member of the class of 2014.