And The World Almost Went Up in Flames
Source: Open Talk Magazine 04/02/2011 01:43:00
Pastor Terry Jones cancelled his madcap Koran burning stunt. Thank God for that; for the world would have almost certainly gone up in flames.
Even though the Pastor did not burn the Koran; just his declaration was enough to spark global anger and trouble. In fact, an Iranian television network carried a false report that the Koran had been burnt. The broadcast purportedly shows an unidentified man burning a page of Koran at Ground Zero and burning of Koran by two Tennessee pastors. This led to violent protests in the Muslim majority Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir resulting in 14 deaths in the state. As a result, curfew was proclaimed on the whole state.
In Pakistan’s Punjab state, the rumors led to burning of church property in one of its town. Already, the Pastor has blood on his hands—thanks to his irresponsible statements.
Just imagine, what would have happened had he really burnt a Koran. It would have, without doubt, led to thousands of deaths across South and South East Asia. The deaths would have been equal on both sides. In Muslim majority areas, the Christians would have been targeted. In Muslim minority areas, the Muslim would have faced the brunt. Violence would have been unleashed on an unimaginable scale.
The Al Qaeda has already started using the Pastor’s declaration as propaganda material. Burning the Koran would have swelled the ranks of the Al-Qaeda by the thousands.
Iran is an authoritarian theocracy and nothing in Iran can get published or broadcast without the approval of the ruling mullahs. The very fact that an Iranian television channel was allowed to broadcast unsubstantiated footage of ‘Koran Burning’ shows that the Iranian authorities were out to exploit Terry Jones abortive folly. Now imagine had Jones carried through with his plan; the Iranians would have unleashed a propaganda war and material support to every possible terrorist group. It would have helped unite the fractious groups and cobble together a united front stretching across Middle East, Africa and Asia.
In Afghanistan, without doubt, American troops would have come under renewed attacks from the Taliban. General Petraeus was absolutely correct when he had warned that the Pastor’s actions would have put countless American lives in danger.
It finally took Robert Gates to personally telephone the Pastor to cancel his mad act. The world almost went up in flames on this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This, however, is not the end of the Koran burning escapade. The Iranians are showing no signs of letting up on broadcasting the images of other instances of ‘Koran burning’ on their network and the video clips have gone viral on the internet.
Trouble may yet be around the corner as every world attention grabbing act always unleashes a string of copy cats who may wish to cash on the publicity for whatever benefits it may garner.
For posterity, Pastor Jones can feel satisfied that he will go down into history books as the man who almost sent the world up in flames. Maybe it may even inspire a Hollywood flick in the years to come.