I haven’t put anything on the blog about this whole issue since it started, partly because I wasn’t sure what significance it would take on. Just another nutter provoking people? Not really news is it?
Well, the threat to burn copies of the Qur’an seems to have evolved into a pretty serious issue, linked to other political issues, such as the 9/11 9th anniversary, Ground Zero, the fabled mosque (Islamist Centre near Ground Zero), as well as the up coming mid-term elections.
What I think is a pretty good summary of the situation, certainly for the town talked about in the article and also with wider implications…
‘Ron Messier, a professor of Islamic studies who lives in Murfreesboro, says the mood is driven by politics. “It’s happened because this is an election year and I think there were some political candidates who thought that here in Middle Tennessee a lot of people have very right leanings and they could gain some political leverage by promoting fear about people who have been here for 20 years or more without ever being an issue,” he said. Yet the politicians apparently did not have to drill deep to tap into fears of Muslims, who are subject to language that would not be acceptable when talking about almost any other minority. They are helped by parts of the media. Fox News leads the charge, routinely giving a platform to those who question the loyalty of Muslim Americans and to conspiracy theorists.’ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/10/us-muslims-america-alienated-hatred
This is partly why I am repelled by the insidious right-wing politics of America. It is openly provocative and is basically stupid and illogical, playing on emotional fears and class and cultural differences. It negatively draws attention to differences in society rather than celebrating the variation of people and their opinions, while also not seeing the common threads which bind people and communities together. There is very little religious or cultural tollerance in their minds and this can only lead to conflict and suspicion.
I suppose it’s the basic concept of fundamentalism or extremism which I can’t sign up to, for anything. This leads to a total lack of balance in life making the person unable to view other peoples opinions in a logical or sensible way. You just get a reaction, not a considered view. This problem of not being able to adapt to new ideas seems to be a real problem for people.
It’s the whole ‘us and them’, ‘we’re right and you’re wrong’ thing. Again, in this case an issue of thinly veiled racism. The whole Qur’an burning issue was particularly widely condemned at official levels, but it doesn’t seem to have been in the same way at the grass roots level (in some areas).
I’m glad the nutter in question has put the burning ‘on hold’ (now it’s cancelled) but the sheer stupidity and utter insensitivity is amazing. He must have known the scale of the reaction, particularly given the date and event in question is still very sensitive, not just for Americans, but for many Muslims.