God changed his mind.
So the crazy religious zealot with the mustache who has turned his congregation of 50 other insane people into the #1 national news story by launching a proposed “International Burn A Koran Day” has yielded to outside pressures and made the smart move and abandoned his radically stupid idea.
Kudos for not being a complete and utter fuckface, Terry Jones.
It’s funny that just the day before, he had prayed to his god and was told to go ahead with the book burning. Now he’s either defying his god by canceling the Koran burning or his god has changed its mind about it, which seems unlikely due to his god’s obvious infallibility (that’s how we invented him, remember?).
Times like these are when it’s important to notice that even those who claim to be the most religious really just aren’t. If he (or you) was half as devoutly religious as he (and you) pretended to be, the obvious contradiction would be way too much to deal with.
It is unquestionably good that he has decided not to go through with his idiotic and destructive plan, if for no other reason than it would put US soldiers in immediate danger. Being that there’s no positive impact to be had, it’s simply not worth the risk.
Last night on Larry King, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York, appeared to address this situation and of course, the proposed building.
During his appearance, the Imam declined to budge on canceling the building project or moving the community center further from Ground Zero. I’m not bothered by that decision, because, as I said yesterday, I’m neither for or against the building, except to the extent that I don’t want to see any more religious buildings built anywhere.
His reasoning for the decision was problematic though, and I think it’s time that, as a leader in the Muslim community, he begins to take responsibility for that community, even on the fringes.
He warned that moving the site of the proposed mosque and community center would be seen as an affront to the Muslim community abroad and that it would surely be responded to with acts of violence against Western targets, likely in more extreme ways than their reaction to the cartoon depiction of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper.
When is this going to stop? When is it going to start being condemned in a major and public way by men like the Imam? Moderate Muslims owe it to the Muslim community at large to do everything in their power to condemn this sort of behavior.
It simply isn’t okay, no matter how devoutly religious or how completely insane you are, to want to kill people because they drew a cartoon picture of your prophet or because they burned a “holy” book. It’s not okay to threaten the lives of the creators of South Park and the people at Comedy Central for talking about Mohammed in an episode of the show, and it’s about fucking time we stop excusing it.
As a religious person, you have to respect your religion. I don’t. You already think I’m going to hell for not believing what you believe. You think I’m going to go to fucking double hell if I make fun of it too? That’s so fucking stupid.
This means war!
Like in all religions, the moderates ask for respect and tolerance of their beliefs. In this argument, we hear that we must accept and respect the beliefs of all people. It’s no surprise then that this respect is expected to be extended to those with more extreme beliefs (except of course when people act on their extreme belief because, well, that’s just going too far!). This has to stop. It’s hard to argue that these religions are solely “religions of peace” when so much of what their “holy” books describe and prescribe is incredibly violent, prejudicial, and extreme.
People with those beliefs do not deserve their beliefs to be respected by the community at large. Unfortunately, once we accept that truth, it puts the beliefs of “moderates” in jeopardy, and they don’t like that. So they cry and complain and demand respect and in turn, they allow what should be an intelligent civil discourse to devolve to the point where we must pretend that those who hate gay people, or those who think murder over cartoons is okay, become acceptable.
It’s not enough to say that the fringes are distorting the true meaning of the religion. They’re not. They’re distorting what the modern, moderate followers of those religions would like for the true meaning of their religions to be. The problem is that their more moderate interpretations aren’t, provably, any better a representation of what the true meaning and intent of those books was than the interpretations of “extremists”.
The Imam simply cannot continue to argue that his religion be allowed to do whatever it wants due to the possibility that the extreme segment of the community will react violently. The only argument for the building of the community center should be that it’s their right to build it, and under the Constitution, it is. Arguing that we should bow to the fear imposed by Islamic extremists is a tacit acceptance of their behavior, and this can’t be denied.
When will that become the central issue?