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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Terry Jones’ ‘trial’ mocks judicial system, religion “

If the name Terry Jones means nothing to you, then his publicity-seeking acts of extremism have not reached you. Unfortunately, the white handlebar mustached, nondenominational, evangelical pastor has attempted to reclaim his camera time by actually following through on what once made him infamous.  

In September 2010, Jones organized a mass book burning to commemorate the lives lost on September 11, 2001. Jones wasn’t burning just any book. He was burning the book of a religion, one that not only recognizes Jesus Christ as a prophet but recognizes the lineage of prophets that preceded him and recognizes a single God to rule his people. Jones sought to burn roughly 200 copies of the Quran, the holy book of Islam, back in September.

After a national backlash and plenty of media coverage, Jones eventually backed down from his stance after many feared the risk it would pose to American soldiers and citizens abroad. Since then, Jones faded into the potentially racist and mentally unstable nothingness from whence he came. Alas, he has resurfaced, complete with a real bone to pick … or a real book to burn.

According to The New York Times, Jones organized a “”trial”” of the Quran in his church, complete with a jury of 12 church members. Can you guess the “”conviction””? The Quran was “”convicted”” of five crimes against humanity, namely killing people for no reason other than because they weren’t of the Islamic faith. As “”punishment”” the Quran was soaked in kerosene and burned. Jones followed it all with this defense, which deserves a line-by-line analysis.

“”It is not that we burn the Quran with some type of vindictive motive,”” Jones said. “”We do not burn (the Quran) with great pleasure or any pleasure at all.””

Really? It seems like that may be your only motive. I would say that the “”jury”” is still out on whether or not you enjoy it, Mr. Jones.

“”We burn (the Quran) because we feel a deep obligation to stay with the court system of America,”” he said. “”The court system of America does not allow convicted criminals to go free.””

Wait, did you just call the Quran a convicted criminal? How can an inanimate object be convicted of a crime? A conviction by a kangaroo court of 12 “”jurors”” with their minds already made up is hardly a conviction. And, to touch briefly on that reference to the courts, did you really just compare you and 12 fanatics to the American court system?  

The American court system goes through an extensive and legitimate process to try and convict people (not objects) of crimes. Our court system doesn’t round up 12 admirers, call them a “”jury,”” and hold a trial in a church that looks like a warehouse.

Jones’ burning resulted in a violent protest in Afghanistan on a United Nations compound and the loss of 12 lives. Now, I’m never one to indirectly blame anyone for a horrible tragedy. Thus, I strayed away from blaming Sarah Palin for the Tucson tragedy on Jan. 8. What happened in Tucson was the choice of a single individual, just as is the case with what happened in Afghanistan. Were those in Afghanistan incited by Jones’ actions? They cite his book burning as their motive. Nonetheless, Jones’ actions are thoughtless and ignorant.  

Disregarding whatever repercussions may occur from his actions, Jones’ behavior is unacceptable, ignorant, hateful and prejudiced. As much as it pains me to see him get continued media coverage, even if it is from a college sophomore opinions columnist, this simply cannot be ignored and must be condemned.  

 

— Storm Byrd is a political science sophomore. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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