Global Education

Jones sparks fury

By Gil Avramovich
Published: September 2010

Pastor Terry Jones and his Gainesville parish gained worldwide notoriety by declaring their intention to burn Qu’rans in commemoration of September 11.
While people across the country were planning moments of silence to remember the 2,752 people who died on that tragic day, the parish of Gainesville, Florida was prepared to angrily protest by desecrating the holy book of Islam.
Pastor Jones was inspired by the Halloween, 2009 burning of Bibles and works of Mother Theresa, for which Pastor Marc Grizzard and his 14 member church in Canton, North Carolina had gained worldwide publicity.
This situation violated the freedom of religion that is one of the cornerstones of our country.
The Gainesville parish aroused a level of hateful intolerance that was particularly disturbing. The high level of controversy quickly attracted media attention.
The media broadcast the story in conjunction with the debate over the construction of the Muslim community Center at Ground Zero.
The greatest thing about media in the United States is that it is a free, private sector industry, capable of broadcasting around the world.
n this situation, however, it became our weakness, as more media outlets across the globe picked up the story, spreading Terry Jones’ venomous rhetoric. The issue gained international media attention.
This protest, however, did not just become a news story.
As the story spread to the people of the Islamic world, it took root in Afghanistan, sparking horrendous rioting during a delicate stage of America’s mission for Afghanistan. It became a catalyst for riots that broke out across the country, injuring three in Badakhshan.
According to President Obama, Terry Jones’ actions “could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform.
Though Pastor Jones claimed his original intentions were “to expose that there is an element of Islam that is very dangerous and very radical, he instead demonstrated to America and the world that any belief, any custom, any mode of though, when taken to hateful extremes, can be very dangerous and very radical.
Fortunately, through external intervention Terry Jones was pressured into withdrawing his threat, stating that he had achieved his goal.
Unfortunately, this controversy will have long standing repercussion. Terry Jones managed to express his rhetoric internationally.
In doing so, he increased anti-American sentiment in a region already hostile to the United States.
He endangered the lives of American troops, and decreased America’s standing in the view of the world.
Terry Jones and his parish may have the right to express themselves in any way they desire, but they do not have the right to choose who shares these First Amendment Rights.
Though he was merely a man sticking up for what he believed in, what he believed endangered American troops and international relations in a way that may be irreparable.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.