Culture & Religion
With the encouragement and apparently under the supervision of so-called pastor Terry Jones, who did not carry through with his own threat to burn a Qu'ran last 11 September, another person in Gainesville, Florida, claiming to be a pastor, that is, a minister of the Gospel, one Wayne Sapp, actually burned a copy the Islamic holy book. The burning, which took place on Sunday, 20 March, dubbed by these folks as International Judge the Koran Day, was witnessed by around 30 people, took place after Sapp conducted a mock(ery) trial of the book. After Sapp made his case against the Qu'ran, the jury took all of 8 minutes to find it guilty. Given that the book had been soaking in kerosene for about hour prior to the verdict, an appeal would seem a slam dunk for the defense, assuming it had one. As the book burned some of the congregation posed for pictures alongside the barbecue on which it burned. One attendee, a supporter of Jones named Jadwiga Schatz, said she was alarmed by the increasing "threat" of Islam in Europe. She went on to say that, at least for her, Muslims "are like monsters", before going on to state- "I hate these people."In a post during Christmas, Notes from Eurabia, I quoted a Dutch seminary professor, a lay Christian, who said of the situation in his country, "we would have nothing to fear from Islam, if we were Christians. And it often seems that today the Dutch are afraid of everything: of having children, as they are of immigrants. But fear is the exact opposite of faith." This stands in stark contrast to hate-mongering rooted in fear of the other. It is a good day to remember JPII's motto and constant exhortation: Be not afraid! Predictably, all too many Muslims in Afghanistan were eager to live up to the worst stereotype, which is the lens through which people like Schatz view all Muslims, just as people like Schatz, Sapp, and Jones are all too representative of Christians in the minds of many. Today riots continue in the country where, the AP reports, "Anger over the burning of the Muslim holy book at a Florida church fueled a second day of deadly violence half a world away in Afghanistan, where demonstrators set cars and shops ablaze Saturday in a riot that killed nine protesters." The report continues that the outrage "even brought violence to the normally peaceful northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday, when a crowd of protesters — apparently infiltrated by insurgents — stormed a U.N. compound in an outpouring that left four Afghan protesters and seven foreign U.N. employees dead."
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