Florida pastor cannot be blamed for violence in Afghanistan, no matter how dumb he acted
Jones, however, did not cancel the ceremonial judgment of the Islamic scripture – he only delayed it by six months. On March 20, in a six-hour ceremony called "International Judge the Koran Day," he convened a mock-judicial process in Florida that deemed the book "guilty of crimes against humanity," then set a copy on fire.Now I see why I didn't fully comprehend what was going on; it wasn't officially reported at first.
The event was intentionally ignored in the United States, in the hopes of limiting its impact, but little stays secret in the Internet age. Within two days, news of the conflagration had reached Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the country's presidents roundly denounced Jones, bringing his action to wide notice. On April 1, infuriated Afghans lashed out, killing twelve in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif; the next day, suicide bombers dressed in women's clothing attacked a coalition base in Kabul and street mobs in Kandahar again killed twelve.
But as bizarrely stupid as Jones' publicity stunt was, the violence in Afghanistan was worse, and that Obama, along with 2 Democrats and 2 RINOs would consider Jones' incompetent brain the more serious problem just shows how galling a situation we have here.
In light of this blame-Jones consensus among the elite, the replies to a poll sponsored by a left-wing U.K. newspaper, the Guardian, come as something of a surprise. Asked whether "the Florida pastor who burnt the Qur'an [is] morally responsible for the deaths of UN staff in protests in Afghanistan," only 45 percent blame Jones and 55 percent blame the Islamists.Simply amazing. While Jasser's statements don't change anything about the Koran's features, nor Muhammed's own beliefs, that's good to see that someone in that field understands how violent reactions to Koran burning are worse than burning the book itself.
Indeed, some non-Islamist American Muslim leaders concurred with this sentiment. M. Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy in Arizona blamed the killings on extremist leaders who exploited the Koran burning as an excuse for violence. The imam of an Ahmadiyya mosque in California, Shamshad Nasir, said his community "rejects any killing in the name of religion anywhere, even if it is done in the name of the most sacred scriptures."
As Pipes says too, no matter how atrocious Jones' own actions were, he is NOT responsible for the violence; it is the perpetrators in Afghanistan who are, and they could've avoided going on rampages if they'd wanted to. American politicians must recognize that critiquing Islam, whether tastefully or not, is a Constitutional right, and if done with intelligence, is a civilizational importance.