Saturday, 11 September 2010

Koran Burning Islamophobia

This has been an anniversary of 9/11 to remember. The Rev Terry Jones has made the world a less safe place, caused a riot and is now famous the world over. All because he promised to burn Korans, then backed down.

"We're not going to go back and do it," Jones said "It is totally canceled." The pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, which has fewer than 50 members, had named Saturday "International Burn a Koran Day".

In Muslim countries his message of intolerance has caused trouble, and a man is dead. In Afghanistan the Taliban have been distributing pamphlets decrying Jones' plans, claiming they showed the Americans were in Afghanistan to wage war against Islam. Several hundred protesters rallied Saturday outside the giant Bagram Air Field, a major NATO base north of Kabul. The protest ended peacefully after about an hour, Afghan officials said. At least 11 people were injured in similar protests across Afghanistan on Friday.

In 2005, 15 people died and scores were wounded in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a story in Newsweek magazine alleging interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay placed copies of the koran in washrooms and flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek later retracted the story, too late.

“This is a desperate man seeking the attention of the better part of the world,” said Press Secretary Robert Gibb. “I think we would all be served, for the safety of ourselves and for those that protect us each day, to cover something besides him every hour on the hour.”

As the week wore on, many mainstream news outlets made public avowals of their intention to approach the story with an emphasis on context, and a minimum of visuals. The AP declared that its policy is not to cover events “that are gratuitously manufactured to provoke and offend,” which obviously this was.

The pastor called off the Koran-burning event after claiming he had commitments from Muslim leaders that a mosque would not be built near ground zero in New York.
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There are no plans to build a mosque at ground zero. They want to build an Islamic center two blocks from ground zero. 'New York being a densely populated city, there are lots of other buildings and businesses within two blocks of Ground Zero, including a McDonald's and a Burger King, neither of which has yet been accused of serving milkshakes and fries on hallowed ground. 70% of Americans are opposed to the "Ground Zero mosque", doubtless in many cases because they've been led to believe it literally is a mosque at Ground Zero. According to a recent poll, one in five Americans believes Barack Obama is a Muslim, even though he isn't.'

The question is why does the media let extremists set the agenda, there are people that will say anything to gain publicity. The media are mainly interested in making money, but they have responsibilities. This was a bad day for them.

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