Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Even If It's Our Right; Is It Right?

This Saturday marks the ninth anniversary of the terrible events of 9/11. It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a decade since that day given how much has happened since then and how much continues to happen as a result. However, not everyone is using the day to reflect on the tragic events of nine years prior. Well... not in exactly the way one would expect. Apparently the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida is planning on staging a protest of Islam which isn't unusual in and of itself but it's the fact that they are promoting their event as 'National Burn a Koran Day' that is garnering the most attention and not for all the best reasons.

Now before some of you jump up on your soapboxes and start shouting to me the fact that this is a right given to us by the Constitution, I would simply ask you to sit down and shut up. I'm well aware of the fact that this is a right guaranteed to us by the First Amendment. It's that same right that allows me to express my rights in such a free and open manner on the internet for the entire world to see. Therefore, seeing as how I know what that right allows me to do, please allow me to continue what my thoughts on the matter are. While I understand the rationale behind the group wanting to protest Islam and their view of it, doing so by desecrating the writings of another religion isn't the way to go about it.

Sure you can argue that they have no respect for any other religion either. You can argue that it is simply a matter of retaliating for all the mistreatment Muslims have inflicted on the peoples of other religions around the world (but more specifically in the Middle East). You could even call it a culmination of all the frustration and anger that so many are feeling towards the religion behind many of the terrorist organizations in the world. You could say all those things and more, but is it really enough to justify the burning of their holy texts? I'm not a Muslim and I don't have Muslim tendencies or leanings. I'm a patriotic American who loves the country of my birth as much as any other American. However I don't want my country to be associated with the type of religious intolerance that this event seems to convey.

Do groups such as the Dove World Outreach Center really believe that this will have some positive effect on the world but in particular, for Americans? If you read the news you'll find that most terrorist groups out there believe that America's efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq were not motivated by the fact that we were after terrorists but rather after exterminating Islam itself. Our government and our leaders staunchly claim that this is not the case but when a group like the Dove World Outreach Center (which frankly doesn't seem to be doing anything towards living up to their name) decides to declare a 'National Burn a Koran Day'. Seeing as how it is a right protected by the Constitution, I can't say that it shouldn't be done, but what I do feel is that it is only going to serve to inspire other groups to do the same thing, and then the ultimate irony is that we will eventually be doing what the terrorists accuse us of wanting to do in the first place, which is not declare war on terrorists but on Islam itself. Is this what the Dove World Outreach Center parishioners want? Do they really want the terrorists to be right?

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