September 11, 2010

While America remembers the dreadful events of 9/11 the whole event has been overshadowed by events surrounding Pastor Terry Jones that have made more headlines and scratched public opinion in a fairly extraordinary manner.

Who is most entitled to be offended?

How did a congregation of a mere 50 or so people in a small Florida town achieve such a high profile and why wasn’t their point considered by the authorities long before Pastor Jones raised his condemnation of the building of an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero.

Not to condone the concept of burning a religious book and causing offence but it seems to be an overwhelming hypocrisy that around the Muslim world, the burning of flags of western countries, embassies and effigies in protests is considered acceptable behaviour. What originally was portrayed as a war against terrorism is in danger of becoming a religious war if global powers fail to address the true issues.

‘International Burn a Koran Day’ was little more than a publicity stunt to draw attention to the insensitive location of a ‘cultural’ building so close to an area that will forever be remembered for one of civilisations worst terrorist atrocities. The fact that this ‘event’ riled so many politicians and authorities in the United States because of fears for the welfare of troops in Afghanistan actually tells a different story to the one the media are portraying…

The whole of the Islamic world should be up in arms at such a public burning of a religious text not just those that will use it as an excuse to murder US troops. That the rest of the Muslim world can see it as a distasteful and cheap stunt is credit to the majority and should be recognised.

It should be considered why such a dramatic statement is required to draw the world’s attention to something that potentially lacks true consideration to those innocent people that lost their lives.

From a different perspective, what would happen if the US troops tried to build a Christian church in Kabul? While some locals may be open-minded and accepting it would undoubtedly offend many who see the Christian faith as a religion associated with the west. To quote Wikipedia “The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan does not recognize any Afghan citizens as being Christians. Nor are Afghan citizens legally permitted to convert to Christianity.“.

So if the west is being so accepting and accommodating of Muslims, then shouldn’t they in return be sensitive to the location and history associated with Ground Zero? And, more importantly shouldn’t Barack Obama and the military chiefs have focussed their own attentions on supporting the purpose of Pastor Terry Jones campaign?

Many important people have let themselves down over this incident. The media have fuelled a fire (no pun intended). And, the President of the United States has failed to support the strong beliefs of his country against Islamic terrorism by concentrating on a few (who could easily have been cast out as trouble makers or nutters) instead of the sensitivity of a building that could so easily have been located a mile or so further away.

A little thought and less of a knee-jerk reaction could have found a sensible solution without threat to soldiers, international relations or causing offence or difficulty for Americans of any religious standing.

Last updated: September 11, 2010 at 11:03 pm