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South Asia: Bloggers on ‘Burn a Qur'an Day’

The Holy Quran by arabicdes on Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The Holy Quran by arabicdes on Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

In the past week the story which has caught the world's attention was the planned burn a Koran day event announced by an American pastor Terry Jones to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Terry Jones leads the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, which gained notoriety during the late 2000s for its public displays and criticism of Islam. Although many, including President Obama, criticized this move, Pastor Jones went ahead with plan arousing much controversy until his announcement of cancellation on September 9, 2010.

Bloggers across the world joined in this debate and Facebook groups like this incited more tension. South Asia bloggers also reacted on this issue and we will look at some opinions from them:

Bhutan:

Passu writes:

One lone voice of some Pastor Jones of a small congregation in Florida with only about 50 followers disturbed the minds of million in the world. [..]

I was in Drukgyel High School when the Twin Tower came crumbling down, which triggered the war in Afghanistan; nine years on today so many people were killed and what have we got? There should be a better way to remember 9/11!

Bangladesh:

Asif at Unheard Voice blog questions:

Here is a question to ponder upon ….now that a church pastor is getting ready to burn the Quran, will it be okay to stereotype all Christians as Quran burning bigots — the same way Islam is vilified by the right wingers in this country?

As 9/11 approaches, the media is buzzing over this controversy. Its been 6 years since I left this country but I wonder every time I come here how the political and media space continues to get hijacked upon by the right wing nutters. Sarah Palin, her daughter, the pastor, Sean Hannitys of the world seem to dominate the airwaves.

Diaspora blogger Jerome D'Costa calls pastor Jones’ stunt unchristian. He has some observations on the Qur'an Burning program:

  • The behaviour of the pastor and his church members is not only unchristian but also immature and foolhardy.
  • What this attention-hungry pastor is doing is tantamount to inciting violence.
  • He is stooping himself lower than those radical Muslims.
  • Living in a safe cocoon in the U.S.A., Pastor Jones has no idea about how minority Christians live in majority Muslim countries. He has no sense of how his small act of hatred and vengeance may trigger violence against some innocent people there.
  • Burning the Qur'an will have no effect on radical Muslims.

The blogger warns:

If Rev. Jones carries out his program, he has no right to claim himself to be a Christian pastor. This is the type of people who bring about shame on Christianity and pastorhood by giving vent to their own personal and self-serving motives.

Pakistan:

Kalsoom at CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan questions Pastor Terry:

I’m sorry, Pastor. But what exactly are you praying for? For some iota of sanity? For tolerance, which is preached in both the Bible and the Quran?

The blogger went on:

Much like the Park 51 “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, the Florida church paints the “Muslim world” – a farcical and imagined term – with a monolithic brush. And the consequences of such actions are dire and severe. But, at the same time, the more unequivocal media attention we give to Pastor Jones and his Church, the more their stocks rise, and the more likely this debate about Islamophobia in America will rage on. It is a seemingly unending and disastrous cycle.

However Raza Habib raza at Pak Tea House criticizes the Muslims for overreacting:

What really bothers me is that we Muslims always allow ourselves to be swept away by such incidences. Despite clearly knowing the limitations of the US government some of the even educated Muslims have this tendency to express misplaced anger and worst still actually provoke others.

Sri Lanka:

The Abyss writes:

To those of you who are partaking in this global event, I have severe concerns towards your sanity. You think burning a book is going to turn back time and save all those lives? You think that it would never have happened if it weren’t for the books? Seriously. [..]

Your act will do nothing but anger those who have had no reason to spite you before. You are going to create more problems than you had before, and all over an act as stupid as burning a Quran. It is not the religion that is to be blamed for the events of 9/11. Neither is it of the followers. It is of those religious extremists that took the words of the Quran out of context, and under the misdirection of their leader sought to destroy you. It is they who are to blame, it is fundamentalism in itself. Not the Quran.

  • Torialay

    My dear Non Muslims. Firstly Burning of Holly QURA’AN is the plan of a person or plan of people who are mentally sick. And my Question is WHY you want to burn QURA’AN? Let me tell you. It is Because:-
    Alot of people have accepted Islam Because of its Completeness and its peaceful Law (the Law of ALLAH the creator of everything). Islam Gives everyone and everything its right even to Non-Muslims, but Media is presenting it in there own way. If you want to know Islam come and read the Holly QURA’AN you will find Islam. there are people who doesn’t know about Islam and talking about it. So you must Respect Islam as we Respect Bible. As bible was reveled to Mussa (a.s) QURA’AN was reveled to Muhammad(peace be upon him).
    And even if burn the Holly QURA’AN nothing will happen to Islam and QURA’AN. QURA’AN is in hearts of Muslims you can’t burn hearts, QURA’AN is in nature, In everything you can see and you can’t see, you know and you don’t know.
    About 9/11 to tell you it was inside job Bush and American GOVT did there self all the world know this fact even you know this fact, but you still want to more. Islam is against killing Human being, making bad environment is the world.
    ALLAH bless you my dear.

    • Dennis Wells

      Torialay,

      Many Americans perceive your attitude to be common with the majority of Muslims. I hope that your denial of reality, and your inability to condemn the radical fanatics of your religion, is in the minority.

      The fact is that the vast majority of Americans have condemned the proposed Quran burning. The fact is that Americans don’t create death squads as a response to stupid insults (offensive cartoons of Mohammad, etc.).

      Ask any dhimmi in an Arab country what they think about your statement: “Islam Gives everyone and everything its right even to Non-Muslims,” and I bet you’d get a lively debate!

  • Allibaba

    The burning of the quran isnt meant to be an attack on the people of that faith. It is to demonstrate how muslims want everyone to be mindful of what they are sensitive to but muslims ignore the sensitivities of americans. Such as the planned mosque/community center. Do they have the right to build it there? Yes, but does that make it ok to do so? Does that pastor have the right to burn a quran? Yes, but that doesnt make it ok to do so?
    Lots of muslim have burned bibles and flags and I dont see people of that faith come out against it.

    • Beverly

      http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2010/09/146917.htm Many of Americans are Democrats like me, who voted for Obama and we have wanted peace since Pres. John Kennedy. I lived through all those assassinations Both Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King. I blame the FOX network, Sarah Palin and the like for fanning the flames of hate. I blame the GOP for that! The GOP spends so much money on trying to win the elections. I think of what all that money could do for good. I think too much of a good thing will make you sick. I believe the I want this.. I want ,, I want,, people need to see how material things are not what matters. You see what you don’t have and what others have and you want it too. But if you get it and all you want is more, more, more it is greed. Wallstreet has greed. Greed is all over the world. For that stupid man with 50 members in his “so called church.”He must have greed for attention within him. He embarrasses us. We all want to be up there with fire extinguishers ready to put it out. I was praying for rain. When so much attention is given to a small group of ignorant, bigoted, people it can fan the flames of hate in any country. It is wrong. When a baby is born in any country we teach it what we want it to learn. My grandsons are young boys 4&6 who don’t know why this world would be like this. They love everything and everyone. They are like little sponges absorbing everything they see and hear. We are careful and protect them from the ignorance of others. They are our future and one day I hope for your son’s and daughter’s grandchildren that they will never have to see what we all have seen. Democrats will hold on to hope for peace and the other side the GOP republicans will loose in November. Obama needs to stay in office in 2012. As long as the republicans don’t change from the GOP to a new GNP they will loose they are forever tarnished in my eyes. (Grand Old Party to Grand New Party) PEACE TO THE WORLD!

  • http://rezwanul.blogspot.com Rezwan

    “The burning of the quran isnt meant to be an attack on the people of that faith.”

    - read the statement of Rabbi Ira Flax of the Levite Jewish Community Center:

    “The Jewish people have suffered book burnings throughout our history and usually is a precursor to mob violence,” said Flax. “(It is a) way of inciting hatred and antagonism that really has no purpose.”

    “Lots of muslim have burned bibles and flags”

    - umm I don’t think so. Flag is a political issue, leave it out of this debate. Just google it and you will struggle to find one or two rare instances of desecrating bible by extremists in war zones – not in peaceful Muslim democracies. I hope you are not confusing the word Muslim with something you are making up.

  • Tiddy

    It’s funny to me, that individuals from both religions think they have all the answers. No one does. The fact is, everyone has the freedom to do what they like, and people do. The problem is that people do what they want but don’t like the label that those actions put on them. Another problem is close-mindedness. Every faith has the same basic principals but people choose to only notice what is different. Christians are the worst at doing this. I was raised Christian and they bicker among them selves about which method of worship is right. What’s more is that every faith has their extremists. This so called pastor is a Christian extremists. I know that the world would be a better place if everyone didn’t take every little pathetic attempt to ruffle feathers so personally. You can truly laugh at others when you first learn to laugh at yourself.

  • http://oneluckylife.wordpress.com/ Andrea Arzaba

    I would say this event shows a lack of education and tolerance among religions. Respect and get respected!

  • http://tpoi.blogspot.com Mac Haque

    I tell the Muslim’s let them go ahead…and let the Ko’ran burn. If the actions of one unheard of Pastor on the lunatic fringe is capable of denting the belief of a billion plus people worldwide and conceivably reduce it to ashes – now is the time to put it to test!

    Wonder what the Pastor would do to the millions who have got the ‘book’ memorized from cover-to-cover :)

  • mashood

    good to see it didn’t incite anything against Christian minorities. Before people start calling Kashmir a reaction, it wasn’t exactly, they were roused because of a separate issue and chose this one as an excuse.

  • http://globalcitizenblog.com Yonanu

    I agree with Mr. Raza Habib raza

    This event is blown completely out of proportion. Some guy on a lawn in Florida wants to set fire to some books. Who cares? His plan has zero practical implications for anyone besides his neighbors who might have to inhale some smoke for a few minutes.

    Instead of being rational we have the usual hysterical demonstrations, calls for murders left and right and about a dozen heads of state, the pope, the secretary general of NATO and so on and so forth, who warn against doing anything of the sort. Why?

    It’s just books for crying out loud. Ink on paper. If you want a Qur’an of your own you can just go out and buy one. Or go online. He is not burning the last example.

    If you think this is the end of the world then I pity the world you live in.

  • Beverly

    I liked the movie, “The Book of Eli” every one should see it. It has much meanig behind it. I won’t ruin the ending…

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