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Monday, August 9, 2010

Quraan Burning Church and Solutions

Quraan Burning Church and Solutions

My response to Michael Zimmerman’s article about Quraan Burning at Huffington Post, my commentary and the article are here below.

Why The Quran-Burning Church Relies On Incendiary Verbiage And Outrageous Actions.

Michael,

Indeed Huffington post published "Standing up for Jews, Gays and Catholics" at the following link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/standing-up-for-jews-gays_b_650167.html

Why should you stand up for others?

You may find answers in the above link inspired by Martin Niemoller's eternal poem about co-existence.

Jesus taught us how to co-exist in peace by removing prejudices and embracing every person that God has created -- not just the ones who act, eat and look like us, but those whom society had neglected. He embraced the then-socially-rejected prostitutes and lepers. Was that the limit of his compassion?

One of the gifts of Jesus (pbuh) was helping us create the kingdom of heaven on earth, where every one of God's creations lives in peace and love, without fear, and in unison with the cosmic universe. Can we follow Jesus and remove the fears and bring peace to all?

We hope Pastor Jones will seriously consider the following question and repent and ask for forgiveness from God and make a commitment not to malign Jesus (pubh) or God.

"Can Non-Christians around the world accuse Jesus for signing a special deal with God behind our backs? Who wants a Jesus or a God like that?

If we want a better world, we all have to stand up together for bringing goodness and love that Jesus taught. May God bless Pastor Jones with Jesus’ messages of love and kindness, Amen!

As Muslims we are taking the initiative to pledge and dedicate ourselves to the peace, security and prosperity of America on that very same day. It is all in the Unity day link www.Unitydayusa.com. If it did not fall on the same day and if some one could fund my trip, I would gather a minion of Muslims and pray on the street in front of the church for peace and good will, and will watch him burn the Quran and pray more.

That’s what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did when the miscreants pelted rocks at him, instead of revenge, he prayed for their goodwill, even though angel Gabriel said he can take care of them boys, he chose the non-violent way of goodwill nurturing. Most Muslims follow the example of the prophet, as most Christians would not burn the Quraan; a few Muslims will do the wrong thing by threatening Pastor Jones, just as Terry Jones is mirroring them. But I will pray for Goodwill and indeed, if we hear that he burnt the Quraan. We will pray for his well being in the Unity Day.

Link - http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2010/08/quraan-burning-church-and-solutions.html

Mike Ghouse, speaker, thinker and a writer on Islam and Pluralism offering pluralistic solutions to media and the public on issues of the day. His work is encapsulated in 22 blogs and 3 websites listed at www.mikeghouse.net

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Dear Mike,
A church in Florida is planning to burn Qurans to commemorate 9/11 – and the language they’re using to justify their disgraceful event is frighteningly similar to the way creationists attack those who promote evolution. Take a look at how I address the situation in my new Huffington Post column here. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-zimmerman/why-the-quran-burning-chu_b_671312.html). If you’re so inclined, please post a comment and share the article with friends who might also be interested.

Michael Zimmerman

Why The Quran-Burning Church Relies On Incendiary Verbiage And Outrageous Actions.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-zimmerman/why-the-quran-burning-chu_b_671312.html

Granted, given my efforts as the director of The Clergy Letter Project, a group dedicated to demonstrating that religion and modern evolutionary theory can comfortably coexist, I tend to see many things through the lens of evolution. Nonetheless, the latest despicable action proposed by the Dove World Outreach Center, ritual burning of Qurans on September 11, has many overtones similar to the way religious fanatics attack the science of evolution and those who promote evolutionary theory.

Terry Jones, senior pastor at Dove World Outreach Center, the person responsible for planning the book burning, has practiced Islamophobia for many years. He is, after all, the author of a book entitled Islam Is of the Devil, and he has posted a huge sign saying just that on the front lawn of the church.

As reprehensible as these actions are, they're not half as crazy as the explanation Jones offers for them. He claims that they are "a great act of love." Speaking specifically about the sign, he goes on to say, "It's an act of saying there is only one way, and that is actually what Christianity is about. It is about pointing the people in the right direction, and that right direction is Jesus and only Jesus. We feel the sign is an act of giving the people a chance."

Jones's sentiments bring to mind some of the inflammatory remarks of the Reverend T.T. Martin. Martin, the founder of the Anti-Evolution League, was the author of the anti-evolution screed Hell and the High School and, back in 1923, two years before the Scopes Trial, he said:
The German soldiers who killed Belgian and French children with poisoned candy were angels compared with the teachers and textbook writers who corrupted the souls of children with false teaching and thereby sentenced them to eternal death.

When Jones says that "there is only one way," he also sounds awfully much like what Ken Ham, president of the creationist group Answers in Genesis, had to say in his State of the Nation speech this year about the teaching of evolution in public schools (I won't even touch on the hubris Ham has to give an annual speech with that name):

From a biblical perspective we must understand something. The Bible says if you're not with me, you're against me. If you don't gather, you scatter, you walk in the light or you walk in darkness. There is no neutral position. You're either for or against. If the education system is not for Christ, it is what? Against, exactly. It is about time we woke up to this in this nation.
The Dove web site has a frightening page entitled "Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran" and the parallels with creationism abound. Reason three, for example, notes that Islam teaches paganism; similarly, Ken Ham, again in his State of the Nation speech, asserts that evolution is "the pagan religion of the age."

The Dove page also makes the bold claim that "the Koran is a lie." Similarly, Ham has published a book (The Lie: Evolution) making the same claim about evolution.

When Jones and his followers attack Islam and when Ham and his disciples attack evolution, they are doing so with the certainty that their way is the only way, that they are saving souls, and that all they need to know can be found in the Bible. In fact, regardless of their language, they are demonstrating the basest type of intolerance. They are unwilling to respect any person who has a different worldview and they use incendiary verbiage and outrageous actions to rally supporters to their cause.

Together, we must condemn the crass intolerance demonstrated by Terry Jones. And, because his intolerance is of the same sort practiced by the creationists, we must condemn those practices as well.

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