Friday 10 September 2010
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to me
Okay. We all know that Terry Jones, the pastor of the inappropriately named "Dove World Outreach Centre" was wrong to call for the burning of Korans. Worse than wrong. Pastor Jones' foolishness has already generated hostility and violence in the Islamic world. Even though he has called off the burning of copies of the Muslim holy book, the genie is out of the bottle.
Although I deplore Jones' stupidity, I understand what motivated his ill-conceived project: his anger at the proposed erection of an Islamic cultural centre/mosque across the road from Ground Zero.
But let's not forget that among all those eager to cast the first stone at an easy and soft target, there is a double standard at work. Suppose a Muslim cleric had pre-empted Jones and announced a burning of copies of the Talmud. Would there have been an international outcry? Suppose an imam organised a Bible-burning jamboree? Would he have been denounced on the front pages of the world's dailies?
The hypocrisy is astonishing. Don't offend Islam but allow Islam to offend everyone else. Respect Islam, even though it has no respect for anyone else.
Pastor Jones is indeed a foolish shepherd but he is being denounced for copying the very people the media refuses to censure - whatever they do.