Friday, 10 September 2010

Where is love?

One blog's collection of comments about Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center plans to burn the Holy Koran, the Holy Book of the Muslim world on the day of the anniversary which is tomorrow runs as follows

Tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States

The Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue of the Vatican says that terrorist attacks “cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community.” It also insisted that every religion “has the right to respect and protection.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the idea is a “disgraceful plan.” She is hoping that the pastor will not push through with it.

Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie, who is currently in Pakistan, said this when asked about the pastor’s plan: “I have hardly the words… that somebody would do that to somebody’s religious book.”

US General David Petraeus, the Commander of the International Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, said that the burning of the Koran will endanger the lives of the US troops.

It is an interesting collection of 'commentators'. The Church, The State, Film, and the Military; what a curious world we live in.

The irony of such an outrageous action is that American would die for 'freedoms' like owning a gun. And I would be prepared to bet that the so-called "Pastor" is outspoken on such. Yet the freedom to religion is denied.
For people such as myself the difficulty is whether such religious vilification should be prevented by law. I am inclined to think that it should.

Many, many years ago when they banned the Hare Krishnas from their harmless chanting in public shopping areas in Adelaide I remembered thinking that Christians should be careful because we will be next. Google: fined for handing our bibles and you will get an interesting selection of articles from all over the world. I note that the rather eccentric old chap who does this in Adelaide has just been fined in Brisbane.

There have been, however, serious attempts over a number of years and in different States by some conservative Christians to prevent legislators from addressing religious vilification...this often looks like fundamentalists wanting to be allowed to slam non-Christian religions.

The real philosophical dilemma for the small 'l' liberal is can freedom be extended to those who want freedom to be intolerant. This particular case certainly highlights that dilemma.

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