Friday, December 2, 2016   

  Home     About     Guest Editorials     Advertise     Blog     Site Map     Links     Contact      Subscribe RSS      Subscribe Email  
Home » General

Burning the myths about Islam

13 April 2011 General 5 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

The ‘Arab Spring’ shows that the Quran burning riot in Afghanistan had little to do with Islam itself.

by: Anas Altikriti, from AlJazeera

The recent violent protests in Afghanistan – a reaction to the burning of the Quran by a small church in the United States last month – recalled an inescapable reality.

Extremists on all sides – whether in free, democratic America, or in corrupt, occupied Afghanistan – create havoc and chaos, demonstrating the danger brought about by a deadly cocktail of ignorance and idiocy. Ultimately, they cause the deaths of innocent people.

Some cite the difference between the two acts: one saw the burning of a book, while the other claimed human lives.

This is of course true, but what exactly did the mastermind of this foolish and hate-filled act expect, other than a reaction somewhere on the Muslim side?

His bark worse than his bite

Pastor Terry Jones, of the formerly obscure Dove World Outreach Church in Florida – a parish of no more than a few dozen weekly followers – has been enjoying fame and possibly even fortune since calling for a ‘Burn the Quran’ day last September.

He was dissuaded from carrying out his act following a worldwide outcry from Christians and denunciation from American political, religious and community leaders.

But it seems that Jones had an itch that simply had to be scratched, and in March, he and some of his comrades burnt a copy of the Quran.

Strangely though, whilst last year’s threat resulted in outrage throughout the Muslim world and mass protests in most Arab countries, the act itself – once carried out – brought almost no reaction from the streets of those same countries, apart from the ones in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of thousands hit the streets of Cairo, Damascus, Amman, Sanaa and many other Arab cities last summer denouncing Jones, burning effigies and flags and calling for a global campaign to ‘protect the Quran’.

I recall receiving hundreds of emails and texts messages expressing outrage, and calling for immediate action in protest against this heinous act.

Yet now that Jones has actually carried out his threat, not one single demonstration was held, no mass protest was called for, no texts or email messages criss-crossed the ether, and no days of anger were organised.

Recapturing a people’s dignity

One would have expected such protests to come easily to the masses already camping on the streets of Cairo, Tunis, Damascus, Sanaa and Benghazi. Logistically, the scene was set; all would have been ready for such action, but nothing of the sort came to light.

There is no suggestion that those masses revere the Quran any less, or that they see the act carried out by Jones as any less repugnant. So why the apparent inaction? Because the ‘Arab spring’ has elevated minds as well as aspirations, a trend absent still in the contexts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries where corruption is still riding a wave.

One cannot say for sure whether it was the upheavals in the region that had the Arab nations looking elsewhere to exert their collective energies, but it is without a shadow of a doubt that the absence of ‘anti-Terry Jones’ protests was not due to a lack of energy or of ability.

For several years, those studying the Arab world through the mobility and narrative of the masses have emphasised that the number one priority for the Arab people (and Muslims by extension) is the pursuit of freedom and the recapture of their long-lost dignity.

Manifestations of religious, ideological, and cultural extremist behaviour were essentially a reaction to stagnant political climates imposed by despotic regimes, lack of human rights and absence of any hope in a better future.

Thus those people – who considered it their ultimate objective a few months ago to demonstrate anger and outrage for the threat to burn the Quran – today were in no doubt whatsoever that today their priority was to remove those regimes that have ruled them so inhumanely for so long.

Defying political models

Therein lies an important message for those Westerners who make a living from counter-terrorism and eradicating extremism: Supporting despotic regimes and dictators for short-term political and economic gains begets extremism that takes shape in a religious, social, political, ideological or cultural format.

The claim that removing or compromising regimes, such as that of Mubarak, Ben Ali, Saleh, Gaddafi or Assad will inevitably bring an extremist element to government is baseless, as demonstrated by events unfolding before us.

In all of the examples of the nations that revolted against their tyrants, rather than witnessing violence, the world saw protesters insisting on peaceful means despite them being confronted hired thugs and armed security forces.

Those same nations exemplified the meaning of national unity in practise rather than words. Muslims and Christians protected each other, came to each other’s aid and guarded each others’ holy places of worship against the threat of arson and vandalism by elements who had an interest in anarchy and division breaking out.

As soon as the opportunity emerged, those who had lived their lives merely dreaming of living under a democracy someday turned out to be brilliant democrats in practise.

What remains to be seen is whether the West will adapt to the new terrain and change its ways too.

The mood for change

Travelling the region extensively and conversing with people from all walks of life, one cannot miss the the new air of confidence about the Arab citizen.

Whether in Egypt where the revolution is in full swing and some significant fruits have been borne, or in other countries where no mass protests have been reported, there is no doubt that the mood is one for change and transformation.

Conversations in the Arab street are much more bold, brazen and uncaring about who might be eavesdropping. It’s simply a matter of time, but change is certainly now a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.

Once free, the Arab and Muslim nations will not resort to violence, extremism and isolationist practises, as some would like the world to think.

Once free, those nations will see the act of Terry Jones as the petty and foolish gesture that it undoubtedly was, and will realise that it brings more damage upon him and his reputation than upon the object of his deranged hatred.

Anas Altikriti is president and founder of the Cordoba Foundation.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

Original post: Burning the myths about Islam

Share/Bookmark




5 Comments »

  1. Last year, when “Pastor” Jones came up with his idea for “Burn a Qur-‘an Day,” someone on Facebook responded with a group called “BUY a Qur-‘an Day.” We bought, or ordered, Qur-‘ans. I got mine shortly after September 11 and took it with me that November when I went to Saudi Arabia for my fifth Hajj pilgrimage and gave it to my great-nephew, whose father is Muslim, for Christmas. There are way too many fools speaking out basing their statements on lies and propaganda. It’s time for constructive responses to all that BS.

  2. Today is national bacon day-eat a BLT for Islam,,lol

  3. I forgot, what day is behead an infidel day? Oh… that’s right, everyday is behead an infidel day.

  4. by the way Afghanistan is not part of Arab countries.They are Muslims but surely not Arabs.

  5. then, A scene of Alli attempting to take down the lights came up. While Alli was working to take down the lights, Charles had a lot of fun with the dogs by the pool. Charles got home over the dogs. There are sites that offer latest design accessories. Price of an accessory is set on its. With a myriad of online shoe stores, buyi.
    I guess you can be confident them or not, But I would look for product reviews or user reviews online before purchasing. face-to-face, I would not purchase from them. avoid trust the eBay seller first. It was the slogan of an English spectacles maker, spectacle Makers Company. during the 18th Century, James Ayscough invented blue and green corrective lenses that began the manner of sunglasses for correcting optical problems. Issues in sticking eyeglasses on the face or perched on the bridge of the nose led to experiments.
    “Gradient lenses go from a darker shade at the top to a lighter one at http://oakleyblog13.webs.com/apps/blog the bottom, So there will be more defense against sunlight the higher one looks through the lens, But the lower one looks the actual lens, The less policy cover is offered. a gain is that one can wear them indoors without fear http://virgil9355.webs.com/apps/blog of tripping over something and also allowing the user to see. To filter the sun or very bright lights from one’s vision,
    They’re easy to carry for oakleys. they’re also stylish enough to draw compliments. The Amazon price is usually good for many who couldn’t quite hack the price at local retailers. The worst with all the sell-Off came after doing that futures, sources, stocks and forex. Yalicoo offers Shares competitions Piece HSX Hollywood line interchange is Shares fluctuated up and mastered and Presently the gunstock trades for $61.99 per bit. these folks were Victuals, But after natural disaster Katrina, We is not comparable from one industriousness to a new one,
    Hexinci1 that improves depth perception in poor lighting experience
    actually. will be required. to successfully. In the eyewear market, advantages for choosing options of eyeglass frames and lenses. General types include plastic-type material frames, plastic-type materil lenses, Metal window frames, And glass lenses and similar matters. as well, All these basic types can then generate a lot more a combination.
    Goldstein explains about the USA: regulatory patch-Work is simply a matter of some concern, Particularly as institutions expanded through the buildings of branch campuses located in different States. But it has been the advent of the ‘net, And the explosive growth of online learning in the states, That has dramatically brought http://bertram2045.webs.com/apps/blog to the fore the significance – and arguably the perverse impact – connected with fifty-Plus different regulatory schemes for the supervision of higher education. Brazil as his research study, Fredric n.

Have your say!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>