Friday, September 10, 2010
Burning Love or Hell Fires
President Obama has urged the American people to remember who our real enemies are. "We are not at war against Islam. We are at war against terrorist organizations that have distorted Islam or falsely used the banner of Islam," Obama said. "If we're going to deal with the problems Ed Henry (CNN's senior White House correspondent) was talking about - reducing the terrorist threat - we need all the allies we can get." ("Obama: 'We Are Not At War Against Islam,'" CNN, September 10 2010)
"Al Qaeda, that's what they've been banking on," Obama said. "The overwhelming majority of Muslims are peace-loving - are interested in the same things that you and I are interested in."
Mr. President, thanks for telling me what to think and how to respond to a stupid, un-newsworthy event. I am not sure if any of the parties involved in the allegations represent by interests.
Reverend Terry Jones, Quran, President Barack Hussein Obama, Donald Trump, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Islam, Christian, Nondenominational -- THIS ENTIRE MESS MAKES ME SICK! I blame the so-called news organizations of the world for fanning the incendiary sparks and making a firestorm of a book and a match. Nothing is more appealing to the press than more readership and better ratings while nothing fuels these selfish gains like reporting scandals and ill feelings. I believe, as Americans, we must WAKE UP and QUIT HANDING OUR EMOTIONS OVER TO THE MANIPULATION OF THE MEDIA.
I suggest people might think about the following statements when considering where to place a mosque or how to make a sensible protest:
1. 9/11 and Ground Zero demands the respect and the continued remembrance of all U.S. citizens.
Our nation and our national concerns changed on 9/11 when 19 al-Qaeda terrorists took the lives of 2,996 people. The War on Terror gripped the hearts of millions of Americans that day as they promised to "never forget." Simply stated, in 2010, the United States citizens who felt righteous anger against the terrorists have not finished mourning their tremendous losses. They must be allowed to complete this gut-wrenching process of grieving.
2. For the time being, all people, worldwide, must be sensitive to the recent history of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Top Muslim organizations in the United States were swift to condemn the attacks on 9/11 and called "upon Muslim Americans to come forward with their skills and resources to help alleviate the sufferings of the affected people and their families." (American Muslim Leaders. "Muslim Americans Condemn Attack," ISNA) This call for action requires the continued cooperation of American Muslim officials as healing takes place. And, non-Muslim Americans can be especially sensitive to the Muslim losses within reason.
3. Books and other direct symbols of countries, ideologies, and religions are subject to use by those who protest in a democracy.
Personally, I believe that Reverend Terry Jones is an idiot for demanding his right to burn the Quran in light of the volatile world climate; however, to attract the attention of the President with such a minor protest is quite disturbing. To what extent does the media push buttons to control the event? Swastikas, crosses, American flags, editorial cartoons -- these are all symbols that have been used in negative connotations for angry protest. To react violently to a protest, even one deemed despicable, and hurt innocents is wrong.
4. Anti-religious rhetoric and demonstrations have been a part of American culture.
Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, has held numerous protests at funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. Spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper said the church is delivering the church's message that it believes America is doomed and that they single out military funerals because soldiers, like all Americans, are being taught to accept homosexual behavior and other acts it calls sinful. And, this church is doing this in the name of the Lord. These repugnant acts have been protected, although limited. Westboro is clearly a hate group but a group that is still afforded its distasteful limited rights. We live in a democracy where rights have often superseded intellectual development of the masses.
5. Terry Jones is a religious nut case who will draw more slimy slugs from their rocks because of their recent notoriety. Al Qaeda is a cowardice, militant Islamic terrorist organization that envisions a complete break from the foreign influences in Muslim countries by means of jihad.
In the first place, Terry Jones does not even deserve his Warholic "fifteen minutes of fame." He offers no salvation or threat to anyone, domestic or foreign. He is a mindless, unsympathetic, media-made news maker. Why would anyone, terrorist or not, even consider his antics meaningful unless they were dummies? Or, perhaps, unless they were inflated by news organizations and political groups.
Al Qaeda is Al Qaeda, an organization excelling in deception, threats, and murderous beliefs. By their very nature, they demand domination and strict adherence to terrible principles. I do not need President Obama instructing me about the difference between a terrorist group and a Muslim. But, Obama must consider the emotions and recent history of his own country. He should be sensitive to those questioning his honest reasons for taking unpopular positions. Politicians who cannot find solutions to controversies might be better staying out of the arguments.
To close, I wonder why people don't insist on a basic "sticks and stones" mentality. To be threatened by words of anger or by the destruction of symbols is relatively commonplace in this aggravated world. If I say or do something in protest of a position, this does not equate to my pulling a trigger, to my planting an IED, or to my controlling people's human rights. I want to be sensitive to all. I want to be responsible to all. And, I want to be living in a country that respects the beliefs of others. BUT I HATE BEING MADE TO FEEL THAT I MUST SUPPORT OR DISAPPROVE OF PEOPLE'S GOOFY ACTIONS MADE PROMINENT BY THE DECISIONS OF THE MEDIA.