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How US Pastor Terry Jones Gets Away With It – OpEd


Burning the holy books which are interconnected with the hearts and souls of millions of people around the world is one of the most heinous and dreadful actions which one can think of.

After decades of bloodshed and bigotry in the two world wars, the Civil War in the United States and the Crusades against Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries, burning the holy books can be interpreted as a new form of barbarity and ignorance in the modern era and an unforgivable crime which can be justified by no standards whatsoever.

Over the past decade, several cases of desecrating the holy book of Muslims, the Qur’an , have been reported that incited the hatred and frustration of millions of Muslims and non-Muslims in the four corners of the globe.

In July 2010, an extremist Christian pastor, Terry Jones, gained widespread public attention when he announced that he would be burning copies of the Holy Qur’an on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks over the excuse that those who spearheaded the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were allegedly Muslims and that Islam promotes violence and aggression.

Of course such a terrible idea can be only upheld by someone who suffers from an inferiority complex and yearns for attracting people’s attention. Taking a glance at the background of Terry Jones and what his former colleagues say about him, one can effortlessly figure out that the Christian pastor has always had an ambivalent personality and an air of self-importance which has made him an arrogant and supercilious man. After receiving an honorary degree from an unaccredited theology school in 1983 when he was 32, he began referring to himself as “doctor” for which he was ultimately found guilty and condemned by a German administrative court.

Jones moved to Germany in 1981 and established a small church in Cologne named the Christian Community of Cologne. As reported by the German publication Der Spiegel, the congregation fired him after a while, accusing him of spreading a “climate of fear and control” in the church. His colleagues say that he preached the congregants to beat their children with “rods” and also consumed the church funds for personal, improper purposes. What can be inferred from his biography is that the traces of sanity and reason can barely be found in his behavior and disposition.

In July 2010, he made headlines by announcing his devilish plan for burning copies of the Holy Qur’an on the so-called “International Burn a Qur’an Day.” Several heads of states, politicians, academicians, peace activists and journalists condemned his plan, and although he initially retreated from his decision, he finally set ablaze copies of the holy book of the Muslims in Dove World Outreach Center’s sanctuary on March 20, 2011.

Surprisingly, the Western politicians refused to express disapproval of this shocking venture and only stated that Terry Jones should cancel his plan simply because the lives of the multinational forces in Iraq and Afghanistan might be endangered. Actually, the Western statesmen credulously overlooked the immoral and decadent nature of this action or simply refused to practice what they always preach: religious tolerance and diversity. Of course they would have no response to give if asked about the veracity of their claims of being supportive to religious freedom and tolerance. They offended and disappointed millions of Muslims with their silence and demonstrated that they have no respect for the beliefs of those who want to live alongside them in peace.

But the Qur’an burning controversy of 2011 did not mark an end to the adventurous ploys of Pastor Jones. The newspapers and TV stations across the world reported last week that Jones once again burned copies of the Holy Qur’an and a portrait depicting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Saturday, April 28, in what was claimed as his protest to the detainment of a so-called Christian clergyman in Iran.

Before committing this obscene act, the Pentagon had urged Jones not to burn the Holy Qur’an for the sake of the security of the Americans in uniform, but no other statement was released by the Obama administration to prevent the bigoted pastor from doing such a crime. Gainesville Sun reported on April 29 that the Qur’an burning plan was attended by a number of local residents and was broadcast live on the Internet. Even a group of police officers patrolled around the church premises and provided security for the ceremony. The region’s fire department chief also said that Jones had received proper authorizations for burning certain materials on April 28, but it was not specified what the materials were.

Although the high-ranking officials of Islamic countries, including Iranian statesmen, condemned the renewed venture of burning the Holy Qur’an in the strongest terms, the U.S. and European officials turned a blind eye to the blasphemy, tacitly endorsing the radical pastor.

However, what is clear is that Jones is certainly looking for national and international attention. He has established a campaign for the 2012 presidential elections and even created a website for his campaign with the slogan “Real America, Real Hope.” In this website, Jones has claimed that he is standing up to speak for “truth” and confront “Islamic radicalism.” This is unquestionably a testimony to his blind prejudice and provides evidence for the fact that this man has no clear ideology or worldview. If he is a real Christian pastor, then can he justify that insulting the holy book of a major religion is in compliance with the teachings of Christianity?

Different Christian institutions, including the World Evangelical Alliance, have strongly condemned Terry Jones and asked the U.S. government to take action against him; however, it seems that the Obama administration and the Israeli-dominated Congress are so coward and pitiable that they will get along with the appalling enterprise that has come out of their country.

Of course, it should not be neglected that Yusef Naderkhani, the so-called pastor who is in jail in Iran, is not detained on charges of changing his religion or advocating Christianity. He is charged with sexual abuse and robbery, and no death penalty has been issued for him, contrary to what the U.S. mainstream media allege.

The problem of Terry Jones and the people like him with Islam and its teachings is that Islam unveils the true evil nature of imperialism and this is something which the U.S. politicians and their stooges such as the pastor of a tiny church in Florida cannot tolerate.

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Kourosh Ziabari

Kourosh Ziabari is an award-winning Iranian journalist, writer and media correspondent. He represents Fair Observer and Your Middle East in Iran. He also conducts interviews and writes commentaries for the Iran Review news and analysis website as a staff writer and reporter. His articles and interviews have been published on Tehran Times, Press TV, International Policy Digest, Foreign Policy Journal, Global Research, Turkish Weekly Journal, Strategic Culture Foundation, Al-Arabiya, Counterpunch, Voltaire Network, Baltimore Chronicle and Opinion Maker. He currently blogs for The Huffington Post and writes op-eds for the UK-based Middle East Eye. In 2009, while an undergraduate student of English Language and Literature, he was selected to represent the Middle East students in the International Student Energy Summit 2009 in Calgary, Canada. Kourosh Ziabari is working with Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations as an Iran analyst. He has conducted interviews with some 380 prominent world leaders, politicians, diplomats, UN officials, academicians, public intellectuals, authors, media personalities, journalists and historians. Kourosh Ziabari is the winner of the silver medal at the National Festival of Superior Iranian Youth. He has won three awards in Iran's National Press Festival and also been a member of the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing. He was a member of Stony Brook Independent magazine's editorial board and a member of the Kenya-based World Student Community for Sustainable Development. In June 2015, he received a fellowship from Deutsche Welle / European Youth Press to attend and cover the Global Media Forum 2015 in the German city of Bonn. In August 2015, he was named by the Hawaii-based East-West Center as a Senior Journalists Seminar Fellow 2015 to travel to the United States, Malaysia and Pakistan for a reporting and dialog tour aimed at bridging the gaps in the relations between the United States and the Muslim world. He is also a recipient of the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellowship in Cultural Journalism awarded to him in November 2015 by the FNPI foundation in Colombia.

2 thoughts on “How US Pastor Terry Jones Gets Away With It – OpEd

  • May 3, 2012 at 5:39 am

    I know that this is hard for muslims to understand, but we live in a free society. Mr Jones did not break any laws and the US government is powerless to do anything about that. Making ignorant claims about how we are somehow mysteriously controlled by Israel is foolish and reflects the deep seated ignorance and anti-semitism that is rife is the Islamic world. You will NEVER be able to limit our freedom of expression no matter how hard you try. We will NEVER be run by religious fanatics the way Iran is. The fact that you have a problem with one random individual who burns a book and not with a government who sentences men to death for the grave crime of expressing his universal right to freedom of religion demonstrates the problems that midieval country faces. Americans don’t care what you think. We don’t owe you anything. We will never apologise for our freedom.

  • May 3, 2012 at 9:34 am

    This writer is lying about the case of Yusef Naderkhani just like the Iranian regime. Papers from Iran’s own Supreme Court show he was originally charged with apostasy. Later after there was widespread outrage Iran changed it to some trumped up charges which they have no proof of. This writer is clearly a propagandist for the Islamic extremist regime in Tehran.


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