"O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people." — Quran (5:51)
The reverend Terry Jones burned some paper in Florida, and people were murdered on the other side of the world. Criticism abounds for the pastor of a small church, who decided he'd had enough of being bullied by a religion that demands obedience not only of its own adherents but of those opposed to it, that demands blood for every occasion, a rage looking for an offense. Was Rev. Jones needlessly provocative? Perhaps. Was what he did foolish? Maybe. Disrespectful? Sure, but then respect should flow two ways, and it clearly does not. How many Bibles have been burned in Islamic countries? The U.S. military actually burned some themselves to make Muslims happy.
In point of fact, Muslims burned churches as well as Bibles in Pakistan, then burned the homes of Christians, and there were no riots or acts of vengeance against Muslims worldwide. Incidents against Muslims have remained quite low in the United States and worldwide since the start of the war. And the matter of proportionality must be raised; cartoons disrespecting Muhammad elicit decapitations and murders from Muslims.
Does anyone remember the desecration of the Church of the Nativity, one of Christendom's holiest sites? During a battle between Israeli IDF and Palestinian guerrillas the beaten Palestinians invaded the church, using it as a sanctuary against the pursuing Israeli military. After a long standoff, the largely Islamic army was removed, leaving behind filth and squalor. Had that been an historic mosque, there would have been rioting worldwide. Oh, and the Palestinians not only defecated in the church, but used Bibles as toilet paper.
Does anyone remember the Taliban vandalizing the sleeping Buddha in Afghanistan? They had been destroying Buddhist shrines throughout that country prior to the U.S. invasion.
So, what is it that Terry Jones did to so enrage the Muslims? He burned a few pieces of paper.
Now, bear in mind, he did not burn the Quran itself; there is no such physical object. He burned a printed copy of the Quran, one likely printed right here in the U.S. The paper was manufactured from trees or other pulp, pressed in a press, the ink made from various chemicals in factories, then a printer ran this paper over typeset to produce a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, etc.
In point of fact, these succession of copies go back to Muhammad's son-in-law Uthman, who had the first definitive printed copy of the Quran produced. It was definitive because oral traditions varied, and Uthman ordered the destruction of any alternate versions by fire.
Sahih Bukhari tells us:
“Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman came to Uthman at the time when the people of Sham and the people of Iraq were Waging war to conquer Arminya and Adharbijan. Hudhaifa was afraid of their (the people of Sham and Iraq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'an, so he said to 'Uthman, "O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Quran) as Jews and the Christians did before." So 'Uthman sent a message to Hafsa saying, "Send us the manuscripts of the Qur'an so that we may compile the Qur'anic materials in perfect copies and return the manuscripts to you." Hafsa sent it to 'Uthman. 'Uthman then ordered Zaid bin Thabit, 'Abdullah bin AzZubair, Said bin Al-As and 'AbdurRahman bin Harith bin Hisham to rewrite the manuscripts in perfect copies. 'Uthman said to the three Quraishi men, "In case you disagree with Zaid bin Thabit on any point in the Qur'an, then write it in the dialect of Quraish, the Qur'an was revealed in their tongue." They did so, and when they had written many copies, 'Uthman returned the original manuscripts to Hafsa. 'Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur'anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt. Said bin Thabit added, "A Verse from Surat Ahzab was missed by me when we copied the Qur'an and I used to hear Allah's Apostle reciting it. So we searched for it and found it with Khuzaima bin Thabit Al-Ansari. (That Verse was): 'Among the Believers are men who have been true in their covenant with Allah.' (33.23)" Sahih Bukhari."
So, the first Quran burner was Uthman, who sought to rid the world of "heretical" alternate texts. Interesting; someone should tell the editors at Time Magazine about that; Chuck Todd argued while guest-hosting MSNBC's Hardball that the Quran is the exact word of Allah, while the Bible was simply written by men.
Here is an explanation of the motivations for writing the Quran down. It was as much political as spiritual.
“When Muhammad died in 632 CE, the Qur’an had not been recorded and collected into a book. Instead, Muslims memorized large portions of the Qur'an. This was especially true of people who knew Muhammad in person. The Qur’an means to recite. It is possible that some of the verses had been recorded on bones, rocks, or hides before Muhammad died. Regardless, it didn’t take long for the early Muslims to decide that they needed to have the Qur’an collected into a book.”
“The original Qur’an was completed by 634 CE. It is important to understand that a political process is what produced the Qur’an. In 633 CE, a military battle caused 700 Muslims to be killed. A close friend of Muhammad (named Salim) that could recite a large portion of the Qur’an was killed. What would happen if all the close followers of Muhammad were killed? Early Muslims wanted to maintain the purity of the Qur’an as Muhammad had spoken it.”
“So the original Qur’an of 634 CE was created during the political reign of Abu Bakr. This original Qur’an came to be known as the Hafsah codex (about 10 years later when Hafsah began to maintain it).However, this most important original manuscript of the Qur’an was destroyed by Muslim leaders in 667 CE. (Hafsah was one of Muhammad's wives. She maintained the original Qur'an until her death in 667 CE. Muslim leaders wanted to destroy the original Qur'an before Hafsah died. But she refused to hand over the codex for burning. She was successful until her death It is most important to ask, "Why did Hafsah not wish to have this most important original manuscript of the Qur'an to be burnt?").”
So, it is acceptable to destroy a Quran by burning if alternate methods are not available. It is recommended that a damaged or unusable Quran be buried or sunk in water first, but burning is an acceptable substitute. Would Rev. Jones have been on safe ground had he tossed his copy in the Okefenokee swamp or buried it in a shallow grave?
The reality is that this is a tactic being employed by the Muslims in their Jihad. The point is to make us change our behavior to accommodate their rules, aka Sharia. (It is not necessary for one to be Muslim to be under Sharia; imposition of Sharia on non-believers is a duty of all good Muslims.) The purpose is to wear down any resistance to their demands. Keep infidels walking on eggshells, fearful of the maniacal response to any provocation, and eventually the infidels will change their laws to be Sharia-compliant. The actual act is not the issue here so much as the perception. Islam cannot allow infidels to get too uppity. The Muslim has the right to rule, they believe.
Chuck Todd unknowingly exposes the problem, and why it will be extremely difficult to reform Islam. Muslims believe that the Quran is dictated word for word by Allah to Muhammad, and so each and every statement must be literally interpreted. Couple that with the fact that Muhammad is "the seal of the Prophets" meaning the last prophet — thus ending divine commandments and statutes. Nothing can change in Islam, because the word of Allah is complete and total, ending with Muhammad. Thus Islam remains stuck in the 7th century, with the cruelties, the intolerance, the militarism, the faults and foibles of 7th century warriors enshrined forever in the Islamic psyche. One cannot find anything new in Islam, because it was all written down in the very beginning. It is a law without means of amendment.
And since Islam has no formal hierarchy to deal with questions, one's interpretation is as good as another's. It's often asked "where are the moderate Muslims, why aren't they condemning the bad ones?" But this misses the point; they cannot condemn brother Muslims, because they have no outside authority to judge matters. The best that can be done is an appeal to parts of the Quran — and most of the kinder, gentler verses have been abrogated by the more warlike later parts. Abrogation says that whatever was said last abrogates what was said before. Moderate Muslims are on shaky ground if they dispute the radicals with the Quran.
As a result, any group can initiate Jihad, and anyone who manages to gain the reverence of the masses can issue a Fatwa. And, of course, lying is permissible in the interests of advancing Sharia (El Taqiyya), so those who are ignorant can be whipped into a frenzy by half-truths or out-and-out lies. What right do moderates have to say otherwise?
Ultimately the issue goes back to the oldest of principles; are we going to allow ourselves to be bullied into submission? For 600 years Islam acted as the aggressor, and Christendom retreated in the wake of the onslaught. It was only after the Turks massacred 3,000 pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem that Christendom finally resisted — and the Crusades began a process which eventually stopped the military expansion of Islam cold. Contrary to media spin, the Crusades were not a war of Christian aggression against Islam.
“Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity — and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion — has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.”
“With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed's death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt — once the most heavily Christian areas in the world — quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of Western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.”
“That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.”
“Pope Urban II called upon the knights of Christendom to push back the conquests of Islam at the Council of Clermont in 1095. The response was tremendous. Many thousands of warriors took the vow of the cross and prepared for war. Why did they do it? The answer to that question has been badly misunderstood. In the wake of the Enlightenment, it was usually asserted that Crusaders were merely lacklands and ne'er-do-wells who took advantage of an opportunity to rob and pillage in a faraway land. The Crusaders' expressed sentiments of piety, self-sacrifice, and love for God were obviously not to be taken seriously. They were only a front for darker designs.”
Liberals believe that Islam, being the enemy of Christianity and Western Civilization, is an ally that will be satisfied once the "injustice" of Western dominance is ended, but they are horrendously ignorant of the dragon they are unchaining. They will be devoured along with the rest of our civilization if we continue down the path of Sharia. Pastor Terry may well have done us a favor by illustrating the rigidity and barbarity of some in the Islamic world, and how the better-natured Muslims are powerless to stop them.
As with any bully, accommodation invites attack. This was proven when Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasement emboldened Hitler, it has been proven on every schoolyard throughout history, and it is being proven today. Bullies must be resisted, not coddled. Too bad Lindsey Graham and much of the mainstream media don't understand that.
In the end we will be immolated if we do not wake up.