Politicians Ignoring Burning Korans
This one does require taking a stand. It’s bad enough to want to burn books, in general. But where’s the outrage over Gainesville, Florida Pastor Terry Jones and his plan to publicly burn the Koran this Saturday?
He has collected 200 of the religious books and a truck-load of firewood and has cleared a pasture so crowds can gather Saturday and applaud the destruction of the holy book that is the word of God to 1.5 billion Muslims around the world.
But while dozens of American religious leaders have condemned the Pastor’s plans; while the commanding General of the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan says the action will endanger the lives of American troops- where are the politicians who wrap themselves in the flag on Veteran’s Day but abandon the troops when it could put those politicians in the position of having to oppose anti-Muslim sentiment?
Slate’s Fred Kaplan says all that needs to be said about this cynical silence:
It is appalling enough that a growing number of Americans, caught up in the pre-election backlash against mosques and Muslims generally, seem unaware that U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting not only against Muslims but also alongside them, and on behalf of governments led by Muslim parties. (Do they imagine, in their warped pictures of a holy war against Islam, that Nuri al-Maliki and Hamid Karzai are Christians?)
But U.S. senators know better (most of them anyway). So where are they? Whose side are they on? With the exception of Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, who appeared on Fox News to defend the right of American Muslims to build an Islamic community center two blocks from the World Trade Center site (on the conservative principle that owners of private property should be able to do as they please), elected Republicans—and, to be fair, most elected Democrats as well—have ducked and run.
This is not one of America’s proudest moments.
Update: Today, Franklin Graham, son of the Revered Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, and Sarah Palin…all asked the Pastor to reconsider.