My husband has written an editorial on his website Truth News about the Koran burning.
When an Islamic iman decided to build a mega mosque at Ground Zero in New York, President Obama endorsed the idea. "Muslims have the right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country," Obama said at the annual White House Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan. But when Terry Jones, the pastor of a 50-person church in Gainesville, Florida decided to burn the Koran, Obama was not so quick to defend constitutional rights. Obama declared that publicly burning the Koran would be a destructive and dangerous act. He condemned the minister's plan as an attention-seeking "stunt" that could endanger U.S. troops, and would be "a recruitment bonanza for Al-Qaida" and trigger violent counter-protests.
Hillary Clinton was also quick to defend the Koran. "It is regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida, with a church of no more than 50 people, can make this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan and get the world's attention," she said. Of course, the reason Jones got the world's attention was because Ms. Clinton et al. were so eagerly drawing the world's attention to him.
Other similarly hysterical comments were heard from lesser government officials. State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley called the Koran burning abhorrent and inappropriate. "We think that these are provocative acts, they are disrespectful, they're intolerant, they're divisive and we're conscious that a number of voices have come out and rejected what this pastor and this community have proposed," said Crowley. "We would like to see more Americans stand up and say that this is inconsistent with our American values, in fact these actions themselves are un-American."
General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, declared that burning the Koran could endanger U.S. troops and damage the overall war effort in that country. The U.S. embassy in Kabul condemned the plan as an "act of disrespect" toward Islam.
Even the Vatican attacked the Florida pastor, declaring that burning the Koran would be an "outrageous and grave gesture."
And of course, the United Nations has also been quick to defend the Koran from desecration. The spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says Ban is "disturbed" by the actions of the Florida congregation. UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq declared, "Any such action, if carried out, would contradict the efforts of United Nations and many people around the world to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding and mutual respect between cultures and religions. In fact, it would only lead to further discord and polarization between communities, that is what our concern is."
Our question is, what was the position of Obama, Clinton, the Pope, and the UN when the Bible was being burned?
In 2007, when the Hamas Islamic terrorist group wrenched control of the Gaza strip from the rival Fatah terrorist organization, a spokesman for Hamas appeared on Palestinian television and announced the "end of secularism and heresy in the Gaza Strip." Shortly after, a group of Hamas terrorists stormed the Gaza Latin Church and the adjacent Rosary Sisters School, reportedly using rocket-propelled grenades to blow through the doors.
After gaining entrance, the rampaging jihadists burned every Bible and destroyed every cross they could get their hands on before setting both buildings alight.
Where was the world-wide condemnation of Hamas for desecrating the Bible? What did the Pope and the UN have to say on the wanton destruction of the Christian holy book by these jihadists?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Or as Simon and Garfunkel would put it, the UN responded with "the sound of silence."
In 2008, in the nation of Eritrea, several high school students were locked up in metal shipping containers as punishment for protesting the burning of hundreds of Bibles. The students had objected when military authorities at Sawa Defense Training Center near Eritrea's border with Sudan began burning more than 1,500 Bibles that were confiscated from new students.
Eritrea authorities told the students that the military training school they were at was a place of patriotism and not of Pentecostals.
Eritrea requires students to enroll in military training centers in order to graduate from high school. The center forbids reading the Bible privately, discussing Christianity with other students, praying before or after meals alone or in groups, and possessing a Bible or any Christian literature. Students who violate these rules can face imprisonment or severe military punishment.
Eritrea, a small country in East Africa on the Red Sea, is one of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world. There are an estimated 2,000 Eritrean Christians under arrest without trial or legal charge for the sole reason of their religious beliefs. Eritrean security forces have been known to raid weddings, baptisms, worship services, prayer meetings, and other religious gatherings and arrest both hosts and guests.
So what did Ban Ki-moon and the UN have to say about this blatant burning of 1,500 Bibles and the imprisonment without trial of the owners of the Bibles? Again, their response was the sound of silence.
Also in 2008, a group of American Christians had more than 300 Bibles confiscated by the Chinese government in the city formerly known as Peking, China. The Bibles were printed in Chinese. The confiscation came as the communist dictatorship hosted the Olympics in Peking. China faces routine criticism for human rights violations and repression of religious freedom. The Communist Party strictly regulates religious practice with worship allowed only in party-controlled churches, temples, and mosques, while those gathering outside risk harassment, arrest, and prison terms.
In China, Bibles are legally printed at just one plant run by a communist government-backed association. The communist government prohibits proselytizing and is worried that if the spread of religion goes unchecked, believers might ultimately challenge the Communist Party's authority.
We never heard what the communists did to these 300 Bibles they confiscated, but presumably they were destroyed (I doubt that the Bibles are sitting in a government warehouse). So what was the position of Ban Ki-Moon on this blatant sacrilege?
In 2009, America troops in Afghanistan threw away and burned Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans.
The Bibles were sent by a church in the U.S. and were confiscated because military rules forbid troops from proselytizing while deployed. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Wright told CNN, "The decision was made that it was a force protection measure to throw them away, because, if they did get out, it could be perceived by Afghans that the U.S. government or the U.S. military was trying to convert Muslims."
Military officers considered sending the Bibles back to the church, Wright said, but they worried the church would turn around and send them to another organization in Afghanistan. So the military burned the Bibles instead.
So let me get this straight. The U.S. military doesn't want the pastor in Florida to burn the Koran because it might upset the Muslims. Then the U.S. military actually burns the Christian Bible to avoid upsetting the Muslims? How does this make any kind of sense?
And what was the response of Ban Ki-moon to this outrageous desecration of the Bible?
So why does the world treat the Koran as if it were holier than the Christian Bible? It's because Christians don't stage a riot and start killing people when the Bible is burned.
In 2001, while the Taliban still controlled Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammed Omar ordered the destruction of two 1500-year old monumental statues of Buddha. The world-renowned Buddhas of Bamyan were subsequent dynamited by the Taliban. These are the people who Petraeus is concerned might be upset if an obscure pastor in Florida burns a Koran.
I understand the difficulty in fighting a war where today's ally could be tomorrow's enemy. But the Taliban and Al Qaida terrorists respect strength, not craven cowering. Osama Bin Laden boasted after the 9/11 attack, "When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse." Cowering by burning our own Bibles to avoid offending terrorists just makes us look weak. So does complaining about possible attacks brought on by the contemplated actions of a Florida preacher.
In 1989, Andres Serrano was paid $15,000 of Your Tax Dollars by the National Endowment of the Arts to exhibit a photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine. In response, a hundred thousand Catholics descended on Washington, rampaging through the streets, torching cars, and killing innocent civilians. No wait a minute. That didn't happen. In fact, NOTHING HAPPENED. But when a Florida preacher wants to spend his own money burning a Koran, the whole world comes down on him like a ton of bricks.
Maybe Pastor Jones should get an NEA grant to burn the Koran. Then all the liberals along with the U.N. would look on wisely nodding their heads and defending Jones' artistic freedom.