International consequences of “Burn a Koran Day”
When Gen. Petraeus told reporters yesterday that the “International Burn a Koran Day” planned by the Dove World Outreach Center (the most tragically ironic congregation name ever) for this weekend will endanger the lives of U.S. personnel and strengthen the Taliban, he focused attention not only on the propaganda function of this hateful display, but also highlighted its potentially deadly consequences. Further fleshing out the danger posed by the burning, Rev. Tim Ahrens (an FPL board member) filed a blog post from Egypt, where he’s currently staying with American missionaries:
This action will not only endanger our troops, it will endanger the fragile relationships between Muslims and American missionaries, Peace Corp Workers, Medical workers, diplomats, teachers, students, tourists and Holy Land pilgrims.
Anglicans, Copts, Evangelical Christians and so many others all say the same thing. They KNOW the radical elements of Islam will respond to this action. The reaction will be swift, violent and I believe will bring harm to innocent men, women, and children. One Dutch Christian said, “When our papers had a caricature of Mohammed, the reaction was violent. To burn the Qur’an will bring a much greater reaction against Americans, especially Christians.”
The potential for violence also threatens Muslims around the world. The majority of the fatalities in the demonstrations and riots following the publication of the Mohammed cartoons in a Danish newspaper several years ago were caused by police firing into crowds in Muslim countries. All of these threats underscore the importance of putting news coverage in accurate contact, as the Council on American Islamic Relations urged the media to do last week, when they sent out a press release stating in part
“Just as all Muslims should not be blamed for the actions of a few extremists, neither should all Christians or all Americans be blamed for the intentionally offensive actions of the Dove World Outreach Center. Pastor Terry Jones represents nothing but an extremist fringe.”
“Media professionals have a responsibility to put this publicity stunt in its proper context in their reports and commentaries.”