Most of us had never heard of Terry Jones before last week, but he is now a household name around the world. Whether you agree with Pastor Jones and his announced plan to burn Qurans, which apparently has now been cancelled, he has initiated an extremely important discussion that we, as Christians, need to have.
For years, Muslims have acted with impunity in their destruction of the religious symbols of other religions – they have destroyed and disrespected Churches (remember the actions of Palestinians at the Church of the Nativity in 2002?), destroyed Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus (also in 2002), have destroyed a number Hindu temples and destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan, in Afghanistan, in March 2001.
So, it is with previous Muslim actions that we must look at Terry Jones’ plan. Why is it that we allow Muslims to dominate the discourse? Why do we stand by idly and hardly make a peep when Muslims come after us, our holy places and objects that are dear to us (and other non-Muslims)? I recently came across this piece from 2007 when Muslims in Gaza burned bibles and destroyed crosses. They didn’t just announce that they WOULD do it – they actually DID it. And our reaction? Most of us didn’t even know about it to have a reaction! Why is it that when Muslims don’t like something, the whole world knows, but when Christians don’t like something, nobody hears about it? The fact is, we act scared of Muslims when they intimidate us, but they’re not afraid of us when they hurt us!
This Terry Jones episode has been a telling story about the state of our world – Muslims are offended, they threaten, the rest of the world backs down. Muslims offend us, we take it. We can only see this getting worse…