| The Detroit News |
April 5, 2011
Quran burning, killings both uncivilized practices
As we are approaching the 78th anniversary of the Nazi book burning in Germany, we remember the meaningful words of Heinrich Heine, who said: "Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings."
A Quran burning at a place propagating hate that calls itself the "Dove World Outreach" was the continuity of an uncivilized practice by those who chose to fight an idea not through civil dialogue, but physical fire.
They burned a book that praises God 2,707 times, admires the purity of Jesus and Mary almost 70 times, Prophet Abraham 69 times and the story of Moses and the challenges and sufferings of children of Israel 136 times.
They ignored President Barack Obama and General David Petraeus, warning that burning the Quran provides the Taliban a perfect opportunity to recruit more people.
The Taliban call Terry Jones a puppet implementing imperialistic American enmity towards Islam, and use their blind believers to kill innocent U.N. workers and Afghani soldiers.
Imams condemn attacks
As Muslim Imams in Michigan, publically we denounced those disgusting and disgraceful attacks and extended our condolences to the families of innocent victims.
Simultaneously, many local Christian leaders spoke up against Pastor Jones whose irrational, irresponsible and insensitive moves cause cultural and religious clashes.
Freedom of expression is a divine gift, guaranteed by our Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but with freedom come fairness, respect and responsibility.
Freedom of expression is not only a right but a public obligation to promote good and prevent evil by wisdom, not insulting, inflammatory and defaming acts. Burning a book whose protection is guaranteed by the Lord, especially at the age of digital communication is absolutely ridiculous.
Jones' daughter Emma said her father was insane, lost his mind and needs help. The person who doesn't regret the loss of lives doesn't enjoy dignity.
While the strong storm of popular revolutions is targeting the foundations of corruption and dictatorship in the Middle East, fanning the flames of Islamophobia is a wrong message at a wrong time.
Prayer not protests
Before coming to Dearborn to march against sharia law, I wish Jones would study both the Biblical and Quranic laws and come with a desire for public dialogue and prayer.
The five goals of sharia are: protection of people's life, intellect, integrity, faith and property. None contradict the American Constitution.
Islamization or radicalization of America represents Islamophobic propaganda. No faith can advance with force and fear. Opposition to construction of mosques is an insult to the intellect of our nation.
The president called Muslims part of the American family. "Al-Qaida has killed more Muslims than people of any other religion," he said.
We all need to turn these clashes to cooperation which may save our children from death and destruction by drugs, alcohol, adultery, violence and other social diseases.
The Quran is a universal interfaith document, promising salvation to all people of faith. It never said the suicide bombers will get 70 virgins in heaven, it said the murderers are welcome in hell.
I hope the next time Jones tries to burn the Quran, he will understand and appreciate Quranic pluralistic verses like:
"Those who believe (in the Quran), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians, - any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve" (2:62).
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi heads the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights.
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