Terry Jones, the infamous pastor from Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL, burned a Qur’an last week as he had threatened to do six months ago.  Now, this week seven UN forces and nine protestors died in violent clashes in northern Afghanistan as Muslims decried the desecration of their Holy Scriptures.  A copy of the Qur’an is not be destroyed, let alone burned in disrespect.  Find the details of the story here.   

Hatred only breeds more hatred.  Violence — whether killing a person or destroying what someone deems to be sacred — births more violence.  Destruction brings destruction.  And, as happened here, the response is usually worse than the first offense.   

This is all very sad.  Jones made an ideological stand (or was it a grab for attention?) and people died.  Families in Nepal, Sweden, Norway, Romania, and Afghanistan no longer have a loved one.  And the demonstrations continue.  Will Islamic extremists only use this to enlist further fighters to stop the flow of democracy, dignity and freedom to Afghanistan?  Pathetic.  Is Islam somehow discredited by the burning of a Qur’an?  If anything, one more professed Christian has further discredited the name of Jesus.  Unconscionable.

This blog was actually started in response to Terry Jones, at least in part.  Check out my very first post for more details.  Rather than burning a Qur’an, buying one and reading it sounded like a much more productive (and maybe even Christ-like) response to the growth and radicalization of Islam.  Misconceptions can be corrected by actually reading the Qur’an.  To be heard, it might help to listen first.  Respect is shown, even if in the end I cannot agree. 

I hope Terry Jones sees the ramifications of his actions, though as of Saturday morning he had not.  He was quoted as saying he feels no responsibility for the deaths in Afghanistan, blaming the extremist elements of Islam instead.  I hope his heart melts and sees that he too is acting in the extreme.  I hope others will see this as well and find a better way.  Meanwhile the dead are buried.  And so too, maybe, the possibility that Jesus will ever become attractive to those affected. 

Controversial Florida Pastor Terry Jones