- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

South Asia: Bloggers on ‘Burn a Qur'an Day’

Categories: North America, South Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, U.S.A., Migration & Immigration, Protest, Religion
The Holy Quran by arabicdes on Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND) [1]

The Holy Quran by arabicdes on Flickr (CC-BY-NC-ND)

In the past week the story which has caught the world's attention was the planned burn a Koran day [2] event announced by an American pastor Terry Jones to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks [3]. Terry Jones leads the Dove World Outreach Center [4] in Gainesville, Florida, which gained notoriety during the late 2000s for its public displays and criticism of Islam. Although many, including President Obama, criticized this move, Pastor Jones went ahead with plan arousing much controversy until his announcement of cancellation on September 9, 2010.

Bloggers across the world joined in this debate and Facebook groups like this [5] incited more tension. South Asia bloggers also reacted on this issue and we will look at some opinions from them:


Passu writes [6]:

One lone voice of some Pastor Jones of a small congregation in Florida with only about 50 followers disturbed the minds of million in the world. [..]

I was in Drukgyel High School when the Twin Tower came crumbling down, which triggered the war in Afghanistan; nine years on today so many people were killed and what have we got? There should be a better way to remember 9/11!


Asif at Unheard Voice blog questions [7]:

Here is a question to ponder upon ….now that a church pastor is getting ready to burn the Quran, will it be okay to stereotype all Christians as Quran burning bigots — the same way Islam is vilified by the right wingers in this country?

As 9/11 approaches, the media is buzzing over this controversy. Its been 6 years since I left this country but I wonder every time I come here how the political and media space continues to get hijacked upon by the right wing nutters. Sarah Palin, her daughter, the pastor, Sean Hannitys of the world seem to dominate the airwaves.

Diaspora blogger Jerome D'Costa calls [8] pastor Jones’ stunt unchristian. He has some observations on the Qur'an Burning program:

  • The behaviour of the pastor and his church members is not only unchristian but also immature and foolhardy.
  • What this attention-hungry pastor is doing is tantamount to inciting violence.
  • He is stooping himself lower than those radical Muslims.
  • Living in a safe cocoon in the U.S.A., Pastor Jones has no idea about how minority Christians live in majority Muslim countries. He has no sense of how his small act of hatred and vengeance may trigger violence against some innocent people there.
  • Burning the Qur'an will have no effect on radical Muslims.

The blogger warns:

If Rev. Jones carries out his program, he has no right to claim himself to be a Christian pastor. This is the type of people who bring about shame on Christianity and pastorhood by giving vent to their own personal and self-serving motives.


Kalsoom at CHUP! – Changing Up Pakistan questions [9] Pastor Terry:

I’m sorry, Pastor. But what exactly are you praying for? For some iota of sanity? For tolerance, which is preached in both the Bible and the Quran?

The blogger went on:

Much like the Park 51 “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, the Florida church paints the “Muslim world” – a farcical and imagined term – with a monolithic brush. And the consequences of such actions are dire and severe. But, at the same time, the more unequivocal media attention we give to Pastor Jones and his Church, the more their stocks rise, and the more likely this debate about Islamophobia in America will rage on. It is a seemingly unending and disastrous cycle.

However Raza Habib raza at Pak Tea House criticizes [10] the Muslims for overreacting:

What really bothers me is that we Muslims always allow ourselves to be swept away by such incidences. Despite clearly knowing the limitations of the US government some of the even educated Muslims have this tendency to express misplaced anger and worst still actually provoke others.

Sri Lanka:

The Abyss writes [11]:

To those of you who are partaking in this global event, I have severe concerns towards your sanity. You think burning a book is going to turn back time and save all those lives? You think that it would never have happened if it weren’t for the books? Seriously. [..]

Your act will do nothing but anger those who have had no reason to spite you before. You are going to create more problems than you had before, and all over an act as stupid as burning a Quran. It is not the religion that is to be blamed for the events of 9/11. Neither is it of the followers. It is of those religious extremists that took the words of the Quran out of context, and under the misdirection of their leader sought to destroy you. It is they who are to blame, it is fundamentalism in itself. Not the Quran.