The controversial Pastor Terry Jones, who announced in 2010 what he dubbed International Burn a Koran Day (September 11), is in the news again with the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks three weeks away.
He plans once again to burn 2,998 Korans on that day, but this time the site of the burning will be in Mulberry, Florida, as opposed to Gainesville, Florida, where he has burned Korans in the past. He has chosen Mulberry because he recently sold his Gainesville property, and a supporter of his offered up his own property in Mulberry for Jones.
Many Mulberry citizens are upset that Jones will be going there for what they call a hateful, divisive, anti-Islamic act. A Facebook group has been created called “Not in Mulberry Dr. Jones.” The creator of the group, Suzanne Carter-Moore, said, “Our mission is to give Mulberry a positive voice and let the world know that his voice does not represent us.”
This can be roughly translated as, “We want to let Muslims in the rest of the world know that there is no need for them to retaliate against Mulberry. We have nothing against the Koran, so you don’t need to kill us, heh-heh.”
So is Pastor Jones being hateful in burning 2,998 Korans on September 11? Is he being divisive? Anti-Islamic?
Hateful: Yes, he is being hateful towards the 19 plane hijackers whose Islam-inspired actions on that horrible day 12 years ago killed nearly 3,000 Americans on those Americans’ own territory. Pastors should know better than others that Christians are not supposed to hate. Disliking is okay, but the Christian definition of hate is the desire that a person go to Hell when he dies. Given this, I think it’s safe to say Jones is hateful towards those 19 monsters, not merely disliking of them. Jones is human, however, not a saint. I am not a perfect Christian, so I too hope those Muslim terrorists are in Hell. I can’t help but hate them.
Divisive: Of course Pastor Jones is being divisive. Why wouldn’t we want to be divided from terrorists? Why would we ever seek unity with them? The Bible book of Luke, chapter 12, verse 15, quotes Jesus Christ as saying, “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.” So division is not necessarily a bad thing. It can be, but in this case it’s warranted.
Anti-Islamic: Not exactly. As Pastor Jones said, “[W]e definitely do not hate Muslims. We respect their right here in America to be here, to practice their religion under the first amendment. It’s not about Muslims; it is about that violent core message that Islam has.” Or, if you prefer the politically correct version, that “violent core message” the 9/11 hijackers believed Islam has. Jones is merely anti-the-19-Islamists-who-attacked-us. This is evidenced by the fact that he is not burning only one Koran, an act that we might take as a condemnation of all Muslims, but he is in fact burning 2,998 Korans, or one Koran per American citizen killed by 19 Muslims. This is very apt; each of those 2,998 people was killed in the name of Islam, according to the ones who killed them. So, as an insult to those 19 killers, Jones is going to destroy the thing that inspired them–one book of inspiration per life destroyed. If the hijackers had been inspired by some other book, say, The Great Gatsby, Jones would burn 2,998 copies of The Great Gatsby.
If Muslims retaliate against Mulberry, it will not be because Jones is a bad man, but because Islamists are bad people.