Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Koran Burning: What are Muslim Extremists Afraid Of?

Yesterday I called Pastor Terry Jones a coward and jerk. Jones is the one whose Qur'an burning in Florida triggered violent protests and more than sixteen deaths. Today I want to get to the truly guilty parties in these murders: the Muslims who rioted and killed those people.

I really don't understand this. How is it that a two-bit Baptist preacher in Florida is taken seriously by Muslims? This guy can barely scrape up enough money to maintain a small church and a pitiful congregation. If it weren't for the Muslim reaction, this guy would be nothing but a passing joke, another loser that could barely make the back page of the newspaper on his best day.

One of the things I've learned in life is that we give power to people who make us angry. When someone tries to hurt me, the worst thing I can do to that person is to not even notice. If someone launches a nasty attack on me, my best response is, "I'm sorry, did you say something? I wasn't paying attention."

On the other hand, if I respond to my attacker with a vigorous defense and counterattack, then my attacker knows that I've been hurt. He knows I actually care what he thinks. Just by getting me to respond, he's won the first battle. In some ways, the actual outcome doesn't even matter. I might devastate my critic's case with overwhelming facts and logic, but he still wins because he forced me to pay attention. For the duration of the exchange, I was in my critic's control.

That is exactly what the Muslims are doing by reacting to Terry Jones. The man was a nobody. He was a dufus, a complete loser. Now he's famous. News reporters are clamoring for interviews. General Petraeus, the head of the Afghanistan campaign, had to speak up. Even the President of the United States said something to Jones. It would have ended there if the Muslims had ignored Jones completely. The Qur'an is burned and nothing can bring it back. But now Jones is even more famous than ever. And he won't stop. He's planning to put Islam itself on trial before his Christian god and find Islam guilty of something or other. More people will probably die.

What's worse, the Muslims are letting Terry Jones manipulate them. A two-bit, no-count preacher in a tiny church in Florida has become a puppet master, pulling the strings of Muslims half way around the world. And it's only possible because those Muslims are playing his game.

They've made Jones famous and made themselves look foolish.

Maybe I don't understand Islam, but it seems to me that by giving Jones and others like him so much attention, Muslims are actually hurting their own cause. Isn't their faith strong enough? Do they really fear a crazy old Christian in Florida so much?

If Muslims want to show their strong faith and show that Islam is the religion of peace, they should completely ignore Jones.


  1. The World attention on Jones was fading, so he did what he had to to regain it. Simple. What did he actually do? Nothing that should be considered of importance to any rational person. The burning of a symbol is nothing unless you wanna take it seriously, by deliberately overrating that symbol, which I consider stupid. Symbols should never be put over a person's life, and there's where the system fails. Is Jones to blame? I don't think so, not more than a baboon should be blamed for burning anything. And if you get angry for that, you might as well be a baboon yourself.

  2. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

    That's how every rational person should think and act. Intelligent Muslims should be burning Qur'ans along the Pastor to show him they would also protect with their lives his right to do it. That would be genuine wisdom. But of course, religion and wisdom never go hand in hand.

  3. I have always thought that the best way to deal with provocative public morons, like neo-Nazis marching through a black neighborhood, would be to silently line the parade route facing away from the marchers and ignoring them. At most carry signs saying, "For Shame!".

    Crowds of screaming counter-demonstrators only make the Nazis (etc.) look less stupid in comparison.

    But since we have all evolved to scream in tribes & fling feces on our fellows, such a graceful response to stupidity & provocation seems unlikely in the near future. Sadly, we as a species (as well as many of our neighbors) appear unlikely to have anything more than a "near future".

    P.S. I must admit that I loved the egg shower given to the Phelps clan/WestboroBaptistChurch during one of their anti-gay funeral protests in San Francisco. Our evolutionarily derived proficiency in pooh flinging was put to good use that day. But then, there's now way anyone can look bad compared to the WBC clowns.

  4. I'm not a fan of book-burning. "First they burn books; then they burn people." Ignoring guys like Jones would not only make them go away, but it would prove Muslims to be the better people by not stooping to violence or... I don't know what to call non-violent overreactions.
    You made a very good point about giving people power by letting them make us angry. It's so true!

  5. I think we have to acknowledge that it's not as if the Muslims are seeing Mr. Jones as we are seeing him on our news channels. Their information is likely filtered through a medium that already had some pretty extreme perspectives, whether it's local radio or even Al Jazeera. They may not be exposed to the ridiculousness of Mr. Jones that we are. And it's awfully easy for a censored people to see an abhorrent act of one American as a general feeling of all Americans.

  6. it doesn't matter who burnt it, its about the quran not jones!
    but hey it makes a ok blog read :/ !


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