Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Florida church responds to Petraeus, Koran burning likely still a go

(Updating my post from yesterday.)

"A Florida pastor told CNN on Tuesday that while his congregation still plans to burn Qurans to protest the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the church is 'weighing' its intentions." What exactly does that mean? "We have firmly made up our mind, but at the same time, we are definitely praying about it," said Pastor and Chief Bigot Terry Jones.

The church is apparently "taking seriously" (CNN's words) General Petraeus's warning, but Jones, refusing to back down, turned it back on Petraeus: "The general needs to point his finger to radical Islam and tell them to shut up, tell them to stop, tell them that we will not bow our knees to them." And it looks like the burning will be a go: "We are burning the book. We are not killing someone. We are not murdering people."

No, but as Petraeus said, the burning could lead directly to more killing. And, what's more, while Jones points to "radical Islam," the Koran is the holy text not just for this small subset of Muslims but for all Muslims. Jones can try to rationalize all he wants. This is hatred pure and simple.

Free expression is a deeply American right, but Americans should be outraged by this deeply anti-American expression of hatred. The rest of the world will certainly be watching, and taking notes.

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