Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Book burnings should stay a thing of the past

This Saturday marks the 9th anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks in New York City. I’d be willing to say that the majority of people who were alive and socially aware back in 2001 still have vivid memories of where they were and what thoughts crossed their minds.

It’s only natural this weekend that we will mourn, remember, pray and deal with the emotions in our own ways. Some, however, more peacefully than others.

From 6 to 9 p.m. this Saturday, the Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., under the leadership of Rev. Terry Jones, will hold “Burn a Quran Day.” The event is intended “to remember those who were brutally murdered on Sept. 11” as well as “to send a clear message to the radical element of Islam.”

If blazing up the holy book of another religion is their depiction of the good Christian and American way, then they have a sick misunderstanding of both religion and democracy.

In a TV interview with Jones, a CNN reporter asked few questions while the reverend preached his message extensively. She also managed to stay calm long enough to let the author of “Islam is of the Devil” state that he hoped the church and the actions of their community on Sept. 11 would gain the support of moderate Muslims already in America. That’s right when her professionalism flew straight out the window.

Stunned and tripping over words, the reporter called Jones “silly” and snapped “No moderate Muslim is going to be on your side when you’re burning their holy book.”

Honestly, while she shouldn’t have given Jones the satisfaction of getting riled up, I don’t blame her. Not only is the church nothing more than a scam-ridden cult substitute, but 50 not-right-in-the-head members are representing a tragic Middle Eastern misconception of the American way.

Fifty boneheads who are too stubborn and backwards to fully comprehend the actual message they’re putting out is tainting and endangering the United States as a whole.

When you swat at a bee’s nest, my friends, they don’t back down. They attack.

As news of the church’s mission broke around the world, demonstrators in Kabul and Jakarta chanted “death to America” and “long live Islam.” Do these Dove Center people not get that they are merely embodying that side of America, the overall inaccurate side of America, and are now going to become the poster propaganda that the radicals use to say, “Look at what those American pigs are doing?”

Jones is claiming that the book-burning day is just to send a warning to those who want to destroy America. Because, of course, less than a hundred closet-dwelling, Bible misinterpreters around a bonfire are going to intimidate some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. Yeah, that’ll work well.

If we don’t get the backlash that we fear so much, my own fear is that Jones will try another approach to get his “holy” message to those devil’s children.

As you, my dear reader, can assume, this is not the first time the misnamed Dove Outreach Center has offended and disgusted. Last March, the church put on their property “No Homo Mayor” signs during the election of City Commissioner Craig Lowe, who is openly gay. And on July 22, their blog read “What is homosexuality? Detestable…wicked, offensive … shameful … futile, foolish, godless, dishonorable, a lie.”

Gen. David Petraeus commented in The Wall Street Journal that “Burn a Quran Day” is just the sort of ammo the Taliban uses, “not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.” He also went on to say that the book burning will potentially put in harm’s way our soldiers currently serving overseas.

Jones’ reaction?

“We are very concerned, of course. We have firmly made up our minds, but at the same time we are definitely praying about our actions.”

Violence should never be met with more violence, even if that harsh action is backed by prayer and “good-will.” These church members are nothing more than radicals themselves, stooping to the level of the hijackers, the suicide bombers and the people who danced in the streets, burning American flags when the second tower fell that fateful Tuesday morning nine years ago.

Debra Flax is a junior majoring in journalism.

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