Let’s get started by my stating that Gainesville, FL, Pastor Terry Jones is an idiot for burning the Quran, or is it the Koran. There are so many different spellings in the media that I’m not sure, but I will use Koran for this post.
The Koran is the holy book of the Muslim religion, and it is sad to see anyone burn any religious book in a vicious attempt to belittle and berate the believers of a faith. In this case, Pastor Jones insensitive act has led to violent protests in Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of at least 20 people, including a few workers from the United Nations.
Now, this posting is not really about the burning of the book or the violent reaction to it. The focus of the media coverage is what always intrigues me every time there is a violent reaction in the Muslim world to any perceived slight of their religion. The United States is a predominantly Christian country, and those of us who are Christians have always been lectured by the American media to accept desecration of anything we hold dear as part of life in a free society.
Do you remember when an artist painted a crucifix partially submerged in a jar of urine? That painting appeared in an art Museum, and Christians were condemned by our tolerant media for even peacefully protesting this defilement of one of Christianity’s most sacred symbols. Those who protested were characterized by many in the media as intolerant, unsophisticated rubes who don’t understand the art world.
Yet, when there is any perceived slight of the Muslim religion, there are often very violent reactions in Islamic countries. The media reaction in our country is usually to condemn those who orchestrate the insult to Islam and excuse the violent reaction as a normal, rationale response to such an affront.
Think of all the violent responses to anything Muslim view as offensive. In November 2004, European film producer Theo Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam by a person who has been described as an Islamic radical. Van Gogh’s offense was to produce a movie critical of what he considered the brutal way Muslim’s treated women. Some American media pundits actually said that Van Gogh should have expected some form of retribution for as one said “sticking a poker in the eye of the Muslim religion.”
Just about a year ago, the creators of the adult cartoon series "South Park" were warned about their depiction of the Prophet Mohammed in a bear suit. A radical Islamic website posted this warning to the creators of the cartoon, "We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid, and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."
These are just two small examples of the many violent reactions that occur across the world anytime there is anything done that is even remotely considered a slur against the Muslim religion. Yet, if you were to believe the mainstream media in the United States, people with strong Christian beliefs are intolerant to anyone who doesn’t agree with them, while Islam is the religion of peace. OK….I guess the cow really did jump over the moon