Afghanistan: clash of fundamentalisms in round two of Koran wars

After backing off at last year’s 9-11 anniversary, the wacky extremoid Christian fundi Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida, apparently followed through on his threat to burn a Koran on March 20. This prompted wacky extremoid Muslim fundis in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, to storm a UN compound, killing as many as 20 employees and setting fire to several buildings today. (CSM, April 1) We really wish this was an April Fool’s joke, but we don’t think so.

The Christian Science Monitor informs us:

Jones decided to go through with the burning on March 20 after serving as judge in a “trial” of the Muslim holy book. He found it “guilty” of “training and promoting terrorist activities…death, rape, torture of people worldwide” and crimes against women and minorities.

We’ve already pointed out the irony of someone who espouses a strict and literal adherence to Old Testament biblical law (e.g. the death penalty for homosexuality) accusing Islam of being violent and backwards. It is hopefully needless to point out the equal irony of Muslim fundis attempting to repudiate this characterization by killing people.

It practically goes without saying that Terry Jones’ website is also full of paranoid anti-UN rhetoric, e.g.: “Astonishingly, Islamic states have a powerful voice at the United Nations and dominate the Human Rights Council… The United Nations in New York, Washington DC, and Canada are also in our sights for rallies.” Substitute “Christian” for “Islamic” in this quote; Mazar, Kandahar and Kabul for New York, DC, and Canada; and translate into Uzbek—and it probably mirrors almost verbatim verbiage employed by the jihadis in Mazar-i-Sharif. Life’s little ironies, eh?

More from CSM:

A smaller demonstration with about 100 protestors also took place in front of the US Embassy in Kabul. Demonstrators called for US forces to leave Afghanistan. There were no reports of violence or injury.

Well, there’s some good news anyway.

See our last posts on Afghanistan and the struggle within Islam.

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  1. Clash of fundamentalisms redux
    Ten more people were killed in Kandahar during a protest against the Florida Koran- burning on April 2. Hundreds of people took part in the protest; gunfire was heard and cars set on fire. A large and angry crowd surged through the streets, chanting “They have insulted our Koran” and “Death to America!” Authorities blamed the violence in Kandahar and Mazar-i-Sharif on the Taliban, but the organization rejected the charge. “The Taliban had nothing to do with this, it was a pure act of responsible Muslims,” spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told Reuters by phone from an undisclosed location. (BBC News, April 2)

    Meanwhile, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion informs us that “Pastor” Terry Jones will be flying to Dearborn, Mich.—with one of the nation’s largest Muslim communities—to join a protest against sharia law organized by an “underground punk/metal movement” called the Order of the Dragon that sports songs with titles like “Mosque of Terror.”

    File under “paradoxical unity of opposites.”

    See our last post on the culture of Islamophobia.