BY NOW, MOST AMERICANS have learned of Rev. Terry Jones' decision to host a special pageant at his church in Gainesville, Florida. His "Burn a Koran Day," (really more like "Burn a Koran Rush Hour") is scheduled to light up at 6 pm sharp on September 11. According to Jones, he and some of his congregation plan to set fire to copies of the Quran to symbolize that Islam is "of the devil."
There are many questions to ask here, like, what happens at 9:01? And, will there be smores? And, what happens if no one shows up? And, isn't it hot enough in Florida the way it is?
But, even more pressing issues frame this event. Bizarrely, it's become a wildly controversial project.
Much of the controversy surrounding this commemorative event centers on the rightness or wrongness of burning the Islamic holy book, whether it violates the constitution, whether it is anti-Christian or even Anti-American.
In addition to the moral and ethical issues, there also appear to be questions of national security. The top U. S. commander, General David Petraeus sent an email to the Associated Press claiming that "images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence."