April 4th, 2011 22:55 EST
Quran Burning By Florida Pastor: A Justified Opinion or a Heinous Crime?
Terry Jones, the Florida Pastor from the World Outreach Center and who was in the spotlight of the media for threatening to burn the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 then was persuaded not to decided to pull the chain and go ahead and burn the Quran anyway. This set off a slew of violence in Afghanistan when an angry mob decided to take matters into their own hands and storm the United Nations compound in Northern Afghanistan which resulted in the deaths of twenty United Nations staff members.
The angry mob in Kabul decided to play vigilante and set fires to several buildings in the United Nations compound. The act that fueled the fire was when Terry Jones oversaw the Quran burning on March 20th.
What changed Pastor Jones mind to go ahead with the Quran burning was on March 20th he served as a Judge in a mock trial condemning the Holy Quran. It sounds like in his own mind he found the Holy Quran guilty of promoting terrorist acts and for the promotion of death, rape, torture of people, as well as crimes against women and minorities. He then decided to play Judge and executioner and went through with the Quran burning.
The question becomes was he justified to exercise his opinion to go ahead and burn the Quran or was this a heinous act? The definition of heinous is Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable: a heinous crime "(The Free Dictionary, 2011)
In my opinion this was a heinous act by Terry Jones and even more a selfish act. Back in September he was asked by General Petraeus who is the top brass in the Afghanistan was to not burn the Quran since it would more than likely put more of our troops who are serving in Afghanistan at risk. We are trying to liberate Afghanistan and rid the country of Al-Qaida and an act like this is a huge setback for us. This will spark more anger and outrage by the Afghanistan people and for those service men and women who have already given their lives for the war in Afghanistan; with the burning of the Quran and the repercussions it set off is almost like they gave their lives for nothing since it set us back in our effort over there.
On the other hand it showed us a good point. We have been over there not only fighting the war in Afghanistan for the Afghan people. We have our Special Forces and Delta Force trying to train the Afghan Army and police in tactical and guerrilla warfare tactics so they will be able to fight the Taliban. Think about it, since the Afghan military and police could not control and fight off a few angry protestors how are they going to be ready to take over the security of their country and be able to fight off a more skilled fighting force like the Taliban? This may change a few things with then our initial date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan will now be. I sure hope not, get our military out there and out soon!
We have already been on sort of thin ice over in the Middle East and especially Afghanistan with our presence there. To be able to effectively manage this war and complete the mission successfully you have to earn the trust of the Afghan people. With the burning of the Quran by Pastor Jones, this may set off mixed signals with the Afghan people as to why we are really over there, to help liberate them? Or something else?
In a statement by Martine van Bijlert, who is the co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, he said, "In general you can easily rally people around issues such as insulting the Koran and insulting the prophet," He went on to say, "But other than that I think there is also an increasing tension and annoyance with the international presence and so a demonstration like that does get mixed up with more general suspicions about the intentions of the internationals. " (Christian Monitor, 2011)
Another slew of protestors of around one-hundred Afghan people decided to protest in a more peaceful way in Kabul in front of the United States Embassy. They are calling for us to get out of their country.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even Pastor Jones but this is not stating your opinion about a bad call in a big game in the NFL, the act by Pastor Jones has caused a domino effect from Afghanistan through the Middle East and has sent the wrong message to the Afghan people. It takes a long time to earn back the trust of people when you betray them and this has probably sent the wrong message of betrayal.
The Christian Monitor, UN staff killed by Afghan mob enraged over Florida Quran
Burning, (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2011/0401/UN-staff-killed-by-Afghan-mob-enraged-over-Florida-Quran-burning) Retrieved 2011.
The Free Dictionary by Farlex, (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/heinous),