Sunday, April 3, 2011

Burning of Quran & Attack on UN in Afghanistan

What HORROR! What began as a peaceful demonstration outside a U.N. office in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, turned deadly when some protestors grabbed weapons from the U.N guards & opened fire on police & then stormed the building on Friday 1 April 2011 (AP). There were more attacks & deaths reported for a second day today too. I read in a separate report that 2 were beheaded, 8 foreigners (including U.N staff) & 4 Afghan protestors were killed.

They were protesting & taking action after news got out that Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center, did in fact burn a Koran on March 20, 2011. I find it INTERESTING how he did it though.
He held a self-styled mock trial of the holy book in which he presided from the pulpit as judge. The prosecutor was a Christian who had converted from Islam. An imam defended the Quran. Sitting in judgment was a jury of 12 members of Mr. Jones’s church After listening to arguments from both sides, the jury pronounced the Koran guilty of five “crimes against humanity,” including the promotion of terrorist acts and “the death, rape and torture of people worldwide whose only crime is not being of the Islamic faith.”

Punishment was determined by the results of an online poll. Besides burning, the options included shredding, drowning and facing a firing squad. Mr. Jones, a nondenominational evangelical pastor, said voters had chosen to set fire to the book, according to a video of the proceedings.

It went unnoticed in the US but somehow Afghans knew about it. Want to know WHY I find the mock trial interesting? Well for starters, it sounds like some childish imaginary court, too silly to take seriously. Secondly, although there WAS an Imam defending the Quran, a "jury" of 12- all members of the church- is way too biased. But, if you really want to 'put the Quran on trial' (so to say), go attend the MANY debates between Christians & Muslims who debate various issues & topics in a very professional manner. You can even find videos & audio links. I don't know that burning a Quran was the wisest thing to do- but some people act out their statements of faith in many symbolic ways.

For example, in youth group one time, we blew balloons & wrote our sins on them. Then we let the balloons fly into the air as a symbol that God takes away our sins & remembers them no more. It wasn't literal, just....a motivational act of faith.

Now, burning a BOOK, is NOT the same as killing a person. Books can be replaced, re-printed, & re-distributed.

So my third reason for why I find this mock-trial interesting, is because it really parallels a real life situation. SHARIA LAW. Before I proceed, let me just remind my readers who ARE NOT AMERICAN, that in America we are protected by the First Amendment & free to express ourselves however we want so long as we abide by the laws. Burning a book is no where near breaking ANY laws, in fact it was a form of expression that even the President should NOT dare apologize for. Next, just because 1 or a few Americans act on an offensive act- PLEASE WORLD.....PLEASE UNDERSTAND....THAT JUST BECAUSE AN AMERICAN DOES SOMETHING OFFENSIVE, THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE ENTIRE USA!!! Terry Jones certainly does not speak for Muslim-Americans, Jewish-Americans, and certainly not many Christian-Americans either. But this is an IGNORANT misconception that many parts of the uncivilized, uneducated, poor, & deeply religious countries believe. They believe it because it is used as propaganda by the Taliban/Al-Qaeda, so suggests one article I read. This same article also suggested that the parade of protestors was just used to cover up the planned attacks on the UN. I wish I could site the article but I've read so many different ones I lost track of it.

Do you REALLY think that burning a BOOK is EQUAL to MURDER??? And do you REALLY think that Afghans who were passionately moved to violence, wouldn't have killed ANYONE if the Quran was NOT burned? In other words- I don't believe the Afghans needed any more motivation to attack. Their own world view, their religious belief, & perhaps allegiance to an 'extreme' form of Islam, is enough to murder innocent people simply on the basis that the Koran instructs them to.

Now let's get back to this mock-trial. Because it's "all fun & games" until Americans realize that there are "trials" imposed, NOT ON BOOKS, but on PEOPLE- ALSO with BIASED JURY, laws- and no Christian or Hindu representation in most cases.

What is Sharia anyway? It's important that we are all educated on what Sharia Law is. So with the help of this link I'll just summarize it for the sake of my argument:

Sharia, or Islamic law, influences the legal code in most Muslim countries..."There are so many varying interpretations of what sharia actually means that in some places it can be incorporated into political systems relatively easily," says Steven A. Cook, CFR senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies. Sharia's influence on both personal status law and criminal law is highly controversial, though. Some interpretations are used to justify cruel punishments such as amputation and stoning as well as unequal treatment of women in inheritance, dress, and independence. The debate is growing as to whether sharia can coexist with secularism, democracy, or even modernity.

What is Sharia?
Also meaning "path" in Arabic, sharia guides all aspects of Muslim life including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Quran and the Sunna--the sayings, practices, and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. Precedents and analogy applied by Muslim scholars are used to address new issues. The consensus of the Muslim community also plays a role in defining this theological manual.

Controversy: Punishment and Equality under Sharia
Marriage and divorce are the most significant aspects of sharia, but criminal law is the most controversial. In sharia, there are categories of offenses: those that are prescribed a specific punishment in the Quran, known as hadd punishments, those that fall under a judge's discretion, and those resolved through a tit-for-tat measure (ie., blood money paid to the family of a murder victim). There are five hadd crimes: unlawful sexual intercourse (sex outside of marriage and adultery), false accusation of unlawful sexual intercourse, wine drinking (sometimes extended to include all alcohol drinking), theft, and highway robbery. Punishments for hadd offenses--flogging, stoning, amputation, exile, or execution--get a significant amount of media attention when they occur. These sentences are not often prescribed, however. "In reality, most Muslim countries do not use traditional classical Islamic punishments," says Ali Mazrui of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies in a Voice of America interview. These punishments remain on the books in some countries but lesser penalties are often considered sufficient.

Despite official reluctance to use hadd punishments, vigilante justice still takes place. Honor killings, murders committed in retaliation for bringing dishonor on one's family, are a worldwide problem. While precise statistics are scarce, the UN estimates thousands of women are killed annually in the name of family honor (National Geographic). Other practices that are woven into the sharia debate, such as female genital mutilation, adolescent marriages, polygamy, and gender-biased inheritance rules, elicit as much controversy.

In essence, Sharia Law has its own religious rules, offenses, & punishments that are under scrutiny by Human Rights organizations. One has to look no further than Pakistan to see the biased, partial, unfair practice of Sharia on non-muslims. Remember Asia Bibi? She was convicted on charges of "blasphemy" against the Prophet Mohammed- she's not even Muslim that the law should apply to her! But they gave her a DEATH sentence!

So while we're throwing Terry Jones under the bus (some Americans even suggest killing him for the consequences of his actions), the rest of the world- mostly the Islamic countries- do FAR WORSE. Did you not hear about the 14 year old Bangladeshi girl who was RAPED by her cousin & then sentenced to 101 lashes for ADULTERY, and died after 70 whips??? The incident was brought to the local Imam who condemned the girl & sentenced her!

Now lets get to the nitty gritty. Muslims have BURNED bibles for many years, burned churches, persecuted Christians & non-muslims by torture, taxing them, enslaving them, beheading, subjecting them under Sharia, preventing them from worshipping, preventing them from sharing their faith to anyone....the list goes on- and yet all the world sees is a burning BOOK!?!? If you don't believe me, just check this website out- which has VIDEOS OF BEHEADINGS --->

Protesters in Afghanistan burned a U.S flag at a sports stadium in Herat. They chanted "Death to the U.S" & "They broke the heart of Islam" according to the Associated Press. And GET THIS.....this right here is what really sets me off....

Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued a statement calling the burning a "crime against a religion." He denounced it as a "disrespectful & abhorrent" and called on the U.S & the United Nations to bring to justice those who burned the holy book and issue a response to Muslims around the world." (AP)

What the hell? ISSUE A RESPONSE TO MUSLIMS AROUND THE WORLD???? What about ALL THE CHRISTIANS, JEWS, & HINDUS that were killed, that are IN PRISON, that were raped, whose churches were bombed- by Muslims?!? Why do WE have to issue a response??? WHY IS THERE NO RESPONSE FROM CIVILIZED MUSLIMS ON CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY??? President Obama better NOT punish Terry Jones because that would be AGAINST CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, since Terry Jones did NOT break the law. Obama better NOT issue a response to Muslims around the world until we hear Muslims issue a response first! What AUDACITY from President Karzai! Until Human Rights organizations go out of business, Islam & any other oppressive law/regime whether secular or religious, should be the ones to blame.

And those of you out there saying that "the Bible has rape, murder, & torture," the Bible is not instructing readers to go kill a non-christian. The Bible details events, rules for the priests, & then Jesus comes on the scene & says "PUT DOWN YOUR SWORD FOR THOSE WHO LIVE BY THE SWORD WILL DIE BY THE SWORD."

Do not hold Terry Jones responsible, hold the doctrine of Islam, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, & propaganda responsible. Because all of those mentioned are currently kidnapping, murdering, & even bombing mosques! Sunnis & Shiites kill each other nearly daily.

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