Spartan Daily Monday, April 25, 2011
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It's time for moderate Muslims to come out of their closets
On The Contrary
By Salman Haqqi
Published: Sunday, April 24, 2011
Updated: Monday, April 25, 2011
Pastor Terry Jones is a misguided bigot, we know that.
The part-time preacher and part-time used-furniture salesman has done his damndest to earn that title, using his role as the leader of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., to create more controversy than any poorly funded hate group.
The trouble began last year, when Jones and his followers planned to burn copies of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Jones' intentions were widely publicized and sparked international outrage, which eventually led to the cancellation of the event dubbed "International Burn a Quran Day."
Jones apparently could not help himself, however, and decided to preside over a March 20 "trial" in which the Quran was convicted for "inciting terrorism" and executed — by burning, of course.
This time, the outrage was real as well.
Protests erupted in Afghanistan and Pakistan, resulting in the deaths of more than 20 people of which seven were United Nations staff.
American politicians and religious leaders scrambled to repudiate the actions of both Jones and the violent protestors, and some went so far as to place the blame for the deaths on Jones himself.
Jones' credentials as a poorly informed polemicist were well-established prior to his Quran burning.
He first came to nationwide prominence by placing a sign on the church's lawn that read "Islam is the Devil." To top it off, Dove World Outreach participated in a joint protest last year with the ultimate provocateurs at the Westboro Baptist Church, who are known for their inflammatory signs and protests at U.S. soldiers' funerals.
That being said, Jones is not a murderer.
Shifting the responsibility for these deaths to anyone other than those who committed the murders is irresponsible because it disallows us from examining this issue in its entirety........
The position of the Muslim community in the face of all provocations seems to be this: Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we will kill you.
Of course, the truth is often more nuanced, but this is about as nuanced as it ever gets — Islam is a religion of peace, and if you say that it isn't, we peaceful Muslims cannot be held responsible for what our less peaceful brothers and sisters do.
When we burn your embassies or kidnap and slaughter your journalists, know that we will hold you primarily responsible and will spend the bulk of our energies criticizing you for "racism" and "Islamophobia."
It's long past time to call a spade a spade and have the moderate Muslims of the world grow a spine and call out the extremist voices for what they are.
"On The Contrary" is a weekly column appearing on Mondays. Salman Haqqi is the Spartan Daily Executive Editor.
Mon Apr 25 2011
As the conventional wisdom goes especially in the West Israel is the "only democracy" in the Middle East. And that is so, particularly for its Jewish citizens. However Israel has been anything but democratic for the indigenous people of the land, the Palestinian Arabs.By nature and precedence, foreign military occupation is temporary. Colonialism on the other hand, and more precisely civilian colonisation, is a socio-political system of ruling over another people. Israel is really a police state. If they don't put you in jail, they at least put you out of your job for saying anything they don't want you to say. They claim they don't have censorship-- Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Occupancy is very difficult to overcome and Israel has already got the Palestinians' land. The only way they will ever give it up is if they're thrown out. There is no other way that they'll ever give back the Palestinians their share of the land. It's encouraging to see how divided the Jews are amongst themselves, "A house divided against itself shall not stand."- The Palestinians are a lot more together than any of them, at least they're united--the Christians and Arabs. I'm glad to see a lot of the Jews are sympathising with the Arabs. Ted Rudow III, MAClass of 1996