By: Chhaya Néné (University of Miami)
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If you’ve turned on the news at any point lately, you’ve probably heard of Reverend Terry Jones. If not, he’s that minister from Gainesville, Florida who wanted to burn Qurans this Saturday, September 11th, because Muslims in New York wanted to build a mosque near Ground Zero. After receiving pleas from Muslims around the world to President Obama, Jones would not back down until today.
My question here is why the hell would you even think about burning a Quran, seriously. At a time where our military is involved with Muslims around the world, where our terror levels at airports hover around orange, and at a time when we as a nation are trying to preach tolerance?
It seems that Terry Jones is a selfish man, set on creating a show more than focusing on the core of his religion. If Christianity is supposed to preach tolerance, I’m pretty sure burning a Quran goes against that.
All this being said, Jones has called off the burning of Qurans. He has told other groups not to burn Qurans but how long did he choose to wait before coming to his senses? Muslim groups around the world have chosen to burn the American flag in response to Jones. Jones now hopes to fly to New York to talk to Imam Feisal Rauf about the possibility of moving the mosque… I wonder how receptive Imam Rauf is going to be after learning about this man’s intentions to burn his holy book?
It seems that what was and is needed here is a serious case of tolerance on BOTH sides. Maybe the building of a mosque so soon near Ground Zero wasn’t the best idea, but on the flip side there is an Adult video store located very near Ground Zero… how holy is the site if you allow some things near it and not others?
In today’s world, we have to be very careful of what actions we choose to take. Especially with globalization we are all becoming interconnected and what we do affects others. While this doesn’t mean relinquishing our first amendment rights, this does mean learning tolerance and respect for others.