Pastor Terry Jones and Afghan attack

The Koran-burning fixation of Florida pastor Terry Jones is so deranged and irresponsible that he stands as a one-man excuse for contemplating the downsides of the First Amendment.
Jones has turned freedom of speech into a provocation for murder. He has done so knowingly and with reckless disregard for human life. He shares responsibility for the deaths yesterday of at least 12 at a United Nations compound in Afghanistan.
Yes – guilt lies first with the members of the mob that attacked the facility as a symbol of the non-Islamic West.
They were fanatics and acted with unspeakable savagery.
But, clearly, Jones knew bloodshed was likely somewhere in the Muslim world after he burned a Koran on March 20 at his Gainesville church.
Having seen well-known episodes of violence in response to perceived insults to the Koran, Jones believes the Islamic holy book is the root of all evil. He wanted to make his point, and he did so at the cost of human life.
Under worldwide pressure (including from President Obama) Jones backed down from a pledge to commemorate last year’s 9/11 anniversary by burning a Koran. He was warned then that he would endanger U.S. troops. Now, he has committed that offense as well.
In an ideal world, the faithful of all religions would respond to sacrilege with peaceful condemnation. This is not an ideal world. This a world in which some Muslims view violent revenge as the more fitting action.

Pastor Terry Jones and Afghan attack
Pastor Terry Jones.

Terry Jones, the controversial U.S. pastor, oversaw the burning of a Quaran on March 20th. Today in Afghanistan a protest of that burning turned violent, and 20 U.N. workers died.
On Friday an Afghan mob (infuriated by Jones’ burning of the Quaran in Florida) rushed a United Nations compound in Mazir-e-Sharif, a normally quiet city in northern Afghanistan. The protest was reportedly non-violent for the first few hours, but eventually tensions boiled over and the demonstrators began throwing stones at the UN compound. Then they attempted to climb its walls and attacked the guards.
In the violence that followed, at least 20 U.N. workers died, along with at least four of the protestors. The mob also set fire to a number of compound buildings. The U.N.s chief of mission in the city reportedly survived the attack but was injured.
“In general you can easily rally people around issues such as insulting the Koran and insulting the prophet” – says Martine van Bijlert, codirector of the Afghanistan Analysts Network. “But other than that I think there is also an increasing tension and annoyance with the international presence and so a demonstration like that does get mixed up with more general suspicions about the intentions of the internationals.”

Despite strong opposition, extremist pastor Terry Jones still plans to protest in Dearborn later this month.
Founders of a northern Michigan group named Order of the Dragon, and organizers of the anti-Sharia law protest scheduled for April 22 at the Islamic Center of America say the event is nothing more than a political demonstration.
The group (which has no more than five members according to Fox 2 News) released the following statement by email to The Arab American News.
“This protest was formed by a few concerned citizens that want to ban ‘foreign law, legal code, or system’ meaning any law, rule, legal code, or system of jurisdiction outside of any state or territory of the United States.’ We are protesting global jihad caused by our Middle East policy, and wish to expose some Israeli/Palestinian lies that we feel need to be approached…to move forward.”
According to a report from The Detroit News, Jones received a threat over his plans. Jones says the email was from a Muslim living in the city who warned (that) anyone attending the event would be in great danger, and lives would be at stake. Jones said he reported the threat to police in Gainesville. Florida where he leads the Dove World Outreach Center church.

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