THE IRON PEN by Daniel Hite

September 9, 2010

Mosque building = Koran burning?

Filed under: Islam,Liberty,mainstream media — danielhite @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , ,

Both the right to build a mosque in New York City and the right to burn books are protected by the First Amendment, but both of these current issues are extremely insensitive to Americans and Muslims, respectively.  Although the USA is not a theocratic government, we do generally acknowledge the Almighty (“one nation under God”) as well as understand that natural human rights are God-given (“endowed by our creator”) and do not originate with man or the state. Unlike man and state, God is ultimately sovereign.  Judeo-Christian ethics and principles are at the heart of our legal system and societal norms, yet as a body politic, we have enshrined our First Amendment rights of freedom from a national religion alongside of freedom of religious expression.  Christianity is not a political system and neither is America a theocratic “Christian” state per se, but Islam is a different matter.  At its heart, not only is Islam a religion but it is also a political system.  This fact alone sheds a totally different light on a potential mosque near Ground Zero.  How do Muslims around the world view this situation?  On the other hand, the public burning of the Koran (Qur’an) is certainly an incendiary act towards the current state of American-Islamic relations.  Although not an illegal act but an ill-advised one, I certainly question the rabid response of the media to make a federal case out of the actions of a lone pastor and his 50 congregants who absolutely do not represent mainstream (and most fringe) Christianity in America. I would certainly condemn the actions of this group, but to purposefully focus national attention on this act and juxtapose it to the New York City affair is just another media-devised horse and pony show to create news.  New York City and Gainsville FL can work out these issues without the media sparking fires of their own.  I very much doubt that Al Jazeera will be covering the Gainsville “spectacle” but I am sure that the AP, UPI and other news services will pass on the story and pictures and keep the embers alive for the world to see.  Mainstream media feeds on dramatizing events to capture attention and market share.  Will we be discerning enough to make the proper distinctions? Civility needs to reenter the public arena.

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