Burn the Koran Day
by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca, 2010-07-29
The same creepy Gainesville, Florida folks who gave us the “no homo
mayor” campaign (to protest an openly gay candidate for mayor) and who
claim that queers hate good ol’ American free speech because they “don’t
want to hear the truth about their perverted lifestyles,” will now
present “International Burn a Koran Day.” To commemorate the ninth
anniversary of the tragedy that befell the Twin Towers in New York, the
Dove World Outreach Center, a Christian denomination (it calls itself a
New Testament Church, whatever that is), will take a match to the Muslim
holy book this September 11.
The church has even set up a Facebook page for the event, and at this
writing has garnered over 1,100 supporters. A page opposed to the event
has almost 800.
Pastor Terry Jones, head of the church, told Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist
blog that he expects hundreds to attend his event, the culmination of
years of anti-Islam activities that included authoring a book trashing
“We hope,” Jones said, “to reach Moslems and Non-Moslems to awake an
awareness that the Koran is a book of lies and that the only true
salvation is in Jesus Christ.”
“We have been accused of being racist,” Jones said. “We are not
attacking a race. In other words, we are not attacking the Moslem. We
love the Moslems and hope that they would come to true salvation. What
we are attacking is Islam, the religion, and Sharia law, the political
Does Jones expect backlash from Moslems? “Of course we do because Islam
has proven itself to be a violent religion and Mohammed promoted
violence in the Koran.”
Perhaps Jones forgets the atrocities that Christianity has committed
over the years, including crusades, pogroms, Inquisition, witch
burnings, forced conversions, etc. When it really comes down to it, the
Old Testament glorifies a lot of violence and inhumane behavior
(slaughter of neighboring tribes, stoning of disobedient children, etc.)
on the part of “god’s people.”
I’m not defending Islam. I’m an atheist and an equal opportunity
religion basher. I have no love for any religion or sacred book.
But Jones strikes me as a pathetic publicity seeker and this his latest
gimmick to gain another 15 minutes of fame and perhaps save a church
that seems to be sinking. According to reports in April, Jones was
facing “mortgage issues.” Last year, he was being investigated for
possible violations of his tax-exempt status.
Obviously, Jones is not being ecumenical and trying to “reach Moslems”
with his childish “my Jesus is better than your savior.” No one’s ever
converted anyone else by burning their sacred books or calling their
religion “of the devil.”
Unless they had armies and guns to back them up. Fortunately, Jones only
has a crumbling church and a bunch of followers who think he has a
direct iphone line to some deity in the sky.
Tommi Avicolli Mecca is co-editor of Avanti Popolo: Italians Sailing
Beyond Columbus, and editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: The
Early Years of Gay Liberation, which has been nominated for both an
American Library Association and a Lambda Literary award. His website is
www.avicollimecca.comI know this religion against religion but as Atheists shouldn't me morally appose this? I see this as making a mockery of the deaths of everyone on September 11th and subsequently afterwords during the War on Terror. This is a despicable way to act. The childish impulsive side of me wished he could show up at the burning and toss bibles into their fire to make it ironic and laugh as fools reach into the fire to rescue their holy book. I even went so far as to email the church in a bit of childish psychological warfare that I would be attending and do such a thing. Being that I live in Europe I won't but hopefully it eats in the back of their minds that the next book tossed in the fire may be a bible.
What are others thoughts on this?