Placating Ishmael: Qur'an Burnings in Afghanistan

The recent unintentional destruction of a number of Qurans on an Afghan American military base have U.S. officials making multiple apologies to the Muslim country, including one coming directly from President Obama himself. At present, the apologies don’t appear to be doing much good to placate those offended--a gunman wearing an Afghan National Army uniform recently murdered two U.S. troops over the incident.

The Taliban have used the event to try to rally all Muslims to their cause and have publicly stated: "We should attack their military bases, their military convoys, we should kill their soldiers, arrest their invading soldiers, beat them up and give a kind of lesson to them that they never dare to insult the holy Quran.”

This isn’t surprising as evil always craves justification and approval. When it thinks it finds both in a religion, it smiles broadly and believes it’s found no better home.

What’s interesting about the situation is the rapid, continuous stream of apologies for the Quran burning, which any rational person can see was completely accidental. By contrast, when the Bible is deliberately trashed or destroyed by a group of people, no such forgiveness-begging ever occurs.

When a British art gallery a number of years ago put a Bible on display in the open and called upon all visitors to deface it via writings, drawings, etc., many eagerly accepted the invitation. Yet, I can’t recall any British official apologizing to the Christian or Jewish community for the event.

When the Sacramento County Public Law Library displayed a painting called “Moral Values” by San Francisco attorney-artist Jeri Wyrick, which depicted a large Bible with the label “Warning: May Impair Judgment,” I don’t remember the governor of California expressing any regret over it or the comments made by Wyrick, which were: “I came to the conclusion that there must be something about religious faith which renders people stupid.”

When a Colorado art exhibit showcased Jesus in a homosexual act, I didn’t hear of any apologies from those involved or from any Colorado politician. Instead, the only statement returned to the Christians’ peaceful protests were: "We have to be a country where freedom of expression thrives." I thought it odd, also, that only Christians raised their voices to decry the ‘artwork’; no Muslim outcry came even though Islam supposedly holds Jesus in high regard. I wonder if the same silence would have been experienced if Muhammad had been substituted for Jesus?

Opponents of religion worldwide nearly always try to say that all faiths are the same--that they are all equal in the harm or threat they bring to humanity.

It’s just not true.

You only have to view the contrasts with the recent Quran incident and the aforementioned events that struck out against Christianity and view the differences in how the radical Muslims are appeased and how Christians are left empty-handed. The fact is that the two faiths are simply instructed to handle opposition differently.

Think not? I invite you to listen to the last words of each founder for the competing faiths on how to treat their enemies. The last words of Muhammad were: "O Lord, perish the Jews and Christians. They made churches of the graves of their prophets. There shall be no two faiths in Arabia," (Hadith Malik 511:1588).

And the last words of Jesus where His enemies were concerned?

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34).

 

 

 

 
 
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