I’m writing this on the day before the anniversary of September 11th.
That day, for me, as for so many Americans, is one of those days carved into my memory. I was on the radio when the first plane crashed into the tower. West coast time was like, 14 minutes before 6am. We were about to play an interview with an author I had put together, some guy who had assembled a collection of phone calls to 9-1-1 call centers. He thought it would be clever to promote his book by doing interviews right before the date, 9-11. However, in the minutes and seconds before we were going to air that 4-minute piece, it became more and more clear that something terribly wrong was going on.
Muslim extremists had decided to launch an attack on America, crashing passenger jets into buildings and/or landmarks. Nine years later, it’s still a very numbing concept, something none of us could even have conceived before it happened. Something like that was just plain unthinkable.
People are people. Religions are religions. This country was based on having the freedom to worship as you chose or chose not to. But when the practice of one religion means killing as many innocent people as you can so you can hang out with 72 virgins in heaven or beheading someone on video in the name of Allah, you’ve got problems.
The wack job minister down in Florida planning to burn Korans (I’m going to spell it the old-fashioned way) has the right to burn those books. Yes, it’s offensive to Muslims, just as burning an American flag is offensive to our veterans and those who have served this country. You have the legal right, but don’t even get me started on your moral obligation.
The Reverend Jones burning a bunch of Muslim holy books does nothing more than give him the attention he wants, the publicity he seeks. “Seeks” makes me think of Sihks and now we’re back to Muslims again. The people I’ve known of that faith have been quiet, family-oriented folks. However, their religion, just like Christianity and Judaism, have their lunatic fringe and the worst thing any religion can do is stand idly by as people representing them create carnage. Unfortunately, there was never any condemnation from Muslims about what happened on 9-11. In the die-hard countries, there were actually celebrations and the hijackers were elevated to Muslim rock star status. Now, to even suggest that a mosque be built near the site of a Muslim religion inspired attack takes offensive to an entirely new level. Yet, plans continue because “they have the right”.
I guess the thing that bothers me most about all this is how unlevel the playing has become. Radical Muslims can behead people on the Internet, burn bibles, refer to our country as “the great Satan”, crash planes into buildings and we’re suppose to understand that, because, well, they’re just that way. The cartoon series “South Park” has stepped over the line on endless issues, yet the time they tried to have the prophet Muhammad on the show wearing a bear costume, the network axed it.
The “Christians” who blow up abortion clinics or shoot doctors who perform abortions are not Christians. In Jesus’ time, the Romans killed a lot more people than abortion clinics and he never laid a hand on any of them. Muslims who commit heinous acts in the name of their religion are not Muslims. But in both cases, to the world at large, those small-brained morons represent their religion. That means its up to the respective religion to monitor themselves, to condemn those who would drag the reputation of the good ones out with the lunatic fringe.
When the minister announced he was burning Korans this weekend, there was an outrage….much like when the mosque plans were announced. In the Old Testament “Eye for an eye” days, we would have gone over to a Muslim country, blown up a building and killed 3,000 of their innocent people and then built a Baptist church on the site.
President Obama, even the Pope, have weighed in on this issue, saying that while the preacher legally has the legal right to do the burning, it would do nothing more than incite hatred.
There. We’ve spoken out against our own. OK Muslims, now it’s your turn. We’re all waiting.