The United States’ top commander in Afghanistan has warned that a planned Koran-burning event in Florida could put US troops in danger.
Gen. David Petraeus added his voice to mounting protests from both the US and abroad over the Dove World Outreach Center’s plans to burn Korans on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. His comments ratcheted up the pressure on once-obscure pastor Terry Jones to call off the event.
The controversy comes as some 120,000 US and allied troops are waging a counter-insurgency campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan, a campaign whose goals include winning support for the US-backed government from the largely Muslim population.
General Petraeus said that burning Korans “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems – not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community,” according to CNN.
“It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan,” Gen. David Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday …
“Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday,” he said. “Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”
Mr. Jones, the pastor of the center in Gainesville, Florida, has touted the activity as “International Burn the Koran Day.” Jones also authored a book titled “Islam is of the Devil,” which has a Facebook page and Twitter account.
In remarks published by Florida radio station WOKV on Tuesday morning, Jones insisted he would not be deterred.
Regular readers know of my issues with Islam. I’ve been hard on the faith and will likely continue to be. It seems the more I learn about the religion, the more issues I’m finding with the belief system… but a mass burning of Korans is as problematic on a number of levels.
The first is simple and seemingly obvious. Burning the Koran is a provocative act that goes against the grain of Christian thought. I can’t find a single tenet upheld by this sort of action. I cannot imagine Christ exhorting His followers to do this under any circumstance. It is stooping unnecessarily to a level matching that of the Islamists.
The second is as important, perhaps more so. Mass burning of Korans is offensive and provocative and will do more to inflame the ignorant than it will to persuade them to change their ways. Although I continue to believe that the extremists will have to be dealt with in the extreme, there is the hope, albeit slight, that moderates within Islam would do what is necessary to reform the faith, to live up to this rather weak notion that they practice a religion of peace. This will do nothing to embolden the so called moderates to step up and assume some responsibility. Quite the contrary. And in that respect, I believe Petraeus to have nailed this.
This brand of Christianity, if it can even be called that, needs to go. Quietly and quickly.