Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rex's common sense on Koran burning

Rex Murphy delivers some of his trademark common sense on the Florida Pastor's project to light a stack of Korans on fire:

... one cunning or dim-witted, rabid or naive, publicity genius or blundering innocent, self-proclaimed Christian pastor, Terry Jones, declared [what] he was going to do with some 200 copies of the Koran today...
... Why is anyone paying attention to this guy?... He's a non-entity of a splinter church with a piddling 30 or 50 followers. What he does or intended to do is of no social, symbolic or geopolitical consequence whatsoever.
... But what was really odd was how the great and powerful of the world reacted. All week, he was being beseeched by the mighty of the Earth to stop what he and his little band of true believers were proposing to do. There was the Vatican, there was Tony Blair. In Canada, Stephen Harper, Peter MacKay and Michael Ignatieff weighed in. And General David Petraeus, the overlord of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, astonishingly proclaimed that Terry Jones' stunt would undermine the "total effort" of the war in Afghanistan.
... In fact, Barack Obama himself has been publicly pleading with Jones to put off the event. And most tellingly, Obama's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, undoubtedly under orders from the White House, went into direct personal discussion and negotiation with the Florida-based pastor to get him to change his plans.
... There is something profoundly unserious here, undignified and immensely off base. The first General of the United States, and the Secretary of Defense of the greatest war machine in the history of the world are both deferring to some fringe evangelist for fear that he might ... what? Might lose the war for them? If this is the splinter the war on terror is hanging on to then it is, I fear, a house of cards in both theatres.
On the bright side, though it may be rude (free expression often is) what the Pastor's little escapade shows, once again, is how easily provoked and violent are Muslims.  But we see little condemnation of that element from our political and media elites - instead they just appear to be intimidated by Islamists.


Halfwise said...

I am currently in Europe, and the potential Koran burning has been dominating the news for days.

What strikes me is (a) the eagerness of the media to cover the story, (b) the notion that offending Muslims is something to be avoided because they will get violent and (c) the utter lack of stories of Muslims provoking Christians and the lack of violent response when the shoe is on the other foot.

Personally I am glad that no Korans were burned. At the same time I marvel at how well the coverage supported a "don't poke them" theme when what the debate needs is a "let's all be held to the same standards" theme.

JR said...

Hey, hi there Halfwise! I agree that burning peoples' "Holy" books isn't something to rejoice at. But the way the media kept throwing gas on the fire was fascinating. The message they send to the Islamists and their excitable mobs isn't a good one.

Europe, eh? What part(s)?

Halfwise said...

Went to visit some Canadian WWI battlefield memorials (Ypres & Passchendaele, then Vimy) and poke around the Ardennes a bit.

Our grandfathers' generation went through unimaginable things with a lot less hand-wringing than we seem to engage in.

Am just leaving Belgium for England now.

JR said...

Good stuff. I've been to Vimy. Very impressive.
Enjoy your travels.