… Pastor Jones and his small Florida congregation threatened to burn Korans … and he admitted that he has never read the Koran.
Book burning has a long history… Apart from the tragic loss of culture and literature, there is something far more sinister at work… Destroying libraries is a calculated action based in fear, ignorance and hatred. Why? Because books contain knowledge and knowledge breeds free thought and diversity. Diversity is the enemy of colonization…
Is book burning a prelude to a much greater crime? Professor at the University of Hawaii, Rebecca Knuth, studied book burnings in Germany, Bosnia, Kuwait, China and Tibet. She concludes that book burnings often precede genocide… While effigies of Pastor Jones burn in Kabul, the heat is rising on the development of a Mosque and community center in lower Manhattan and Americans are divided on the issue. This is one of the most tense 9/11 anniversaries yet.
What can we do to douse the flames of fear and ignorance? How can we help to bring a message of love and unity to a world divided?
If you would like to read the whole challenging article check: ianwlawton.blogspot.com
Copyright 2010 by Ian Lawton
Anglican Communion Leaders speak out against proposed Quran burning
Senior bishops right across the Anglican Communion many in countries with sizeable Muslim populations, spoke out against proposed Quran burning as “disastrous ” & “deeply deplorable”.
In a statement written in Arabic, the Bishop of Egypt, Dr. Mouneer Anis* said, “We strongly denounce any attempt to insult sacred texts that belong to our Muslim friends…We grieve at the growth of the spirit fanaticism and extremism in USA and other parts of the world. We appeal to all followers of religions who love peace, to work together in order to overcome all the misconceptions, and in order to develop a spirit of love and peaceful co-existence. We here in Egypt are proud of the friendly spirit that prevails among Muslims and Christians who have lived together for fourteen centuries.”
The Rt. Rev. Suheil S. Dawani, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem said … “Our faith must include mutual respect for each other and does not allow us to do such ugly things. This damages the interfaith work and the relationships we have which are built on the values we share in common with one another.”…
The Archbishop of Sudan, the Most Rev Dr Daniel Deng denounced all acts of terror and said, “Both the Quran and the Bible instruct people to love one another. The fundamentalist acts of the past should not be allowed to generate further fundamentalism in the Christian world.
Furthermore, we should not allow bitterness and hatred to drive us way from God, in whose nature the virtues of love, mercy, and forgiveness are perpetual.”
In his 2010 Eid message, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams said that the threat to desecrate scriptures was “deeply deplorable” and to be “strongly condemned by all people. These are challenges that we must respond to with a consistent message: that we oppose collectively all such provocations and insist that there is no place in our traditions for violent response.”
*The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis is the Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
IN THE WAKE OF QURAN BURNING
The Bishop of Amritsar has called on the President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil to protect Christians in northern India after a mob burned down the oldest school in Kashmir and also attacked other Christian institutions.
The Church of North India’s Rt Revd Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, wrote that it was “with a heavy healt” that he informed the President of the complete destruction of the Tungmarg Tyndale Biscoe branch school that provided “quality education to five hundred fifty children from one hundred fifty villages around Tangmarg.” The school, managed by the Diocese of Amritsar, had 27 staff and 16 support staff and had been founded in 1996 by Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson School Educational Society to cater for the economically deprived sectors of the community.
The whole three-storey wooden structure with 26 classrooms, computer labs and a library containing, among other books, copies of the Quran was completely destroyed on Monday after being set on fire by a large mob that marched on the school after hearing reports of a man desecrating the Quran in America. None of the staff were injured; they all managed to escape the blaze.
I am pained to state that though the local authorities were informed about a possible attack no protection was provided,” said Bishop Samantaroy to the President. “As a result of it the whole building was burnt to ashes incurring a huge loss of property and causing irreparable damage to the sentiments of the Christian Community.
You are aware that the Christians in the State of Jammu and Kashmir are a tiny minority who always live under stressful and often threatening situations. The present situation has made the Christians in Jammu and Kashmir feel insecure.”
The school’s headmaster Rahinder Kaul expressed his sorrow at the destruction of the school: “As word spread, my phone hasn’t stopped ringing, with students, parents, staff members, friends and well-wishers all expressing their shock and disbelief – many, many students broke down completely while talking to me – theirs is by far the biggest loss.
He added, “Today the school, the pride of the children who studied here and the staff who have put everything into the school, is a heap of ashes. I cannot express my own shock and sense of loss.”
Other Christian institutions also came under attack including the Roman Catholic Good Shepherd High School at Pulwama that was also set on fire and the Church of North India hospital at Anantnag was stormed by protestors, two of whom were shot and killed by security forces.