Quran Burning: Palin Takes a Stand, Jolie Comments, Pastor Won’t Back Down, and FBI Investigates
We are two days away from the anniversary of September 11th, and the tragedy of that day is being completely overshadowed by the media stunt being created by Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center.
But, it comes as no surprise that where there is a media stunt, you’ll find Sarah Palin eventually.
As Jessica mentioned yesterday, Republicans for the most part have stayed mostly silent on the event, although Traditional Values Coalition, a group that took an active part in the Park51 protesting, as well as stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment, has issued a statement condemning the event. But Palin can never resist a camera, and has taken the time to put in her two cents.
Yesterday, I called on Christian politicians who had opposed, on the grounds of “sensitivity,” the Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan to denounce the insensitivity of the pastor provocateur Terry Jones, who is planning to burn Qurans at his Gainesville, Florida, church on September 11. I also called out Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich by name.
Today, Sarah Palin, at least, weighed in.
On Twitter, she wrote, “Koran Burning Is Insensitive, Unnecessary; Pastor Jones, Please Stand Down.”
On Facebook, she spelled out her position in more detail:
Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.
I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire.
I am still waiting to hear from Newt Gingrich.
President Obama has now officially declared the act “destructive” in a new interview, according to ABC News:
A Florida pastor’s plan to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 could result in “serious violence” against American troops in Pakistan and Afghanistan and would be “a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda,” President Barack Obama said in an interview that aired today on “Good Morning America.”
“If he’s listening, I just hope he understand that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values … this country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance,” Obama said. “As a very practical matter, as commander (in) chief of the armed forces of the United States, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan.”
Meanwhile, the pastor of “church” is standing firm on his commitment to the spectacle.
The leader of a tiny US church says he is determined to burn copies of the Koran on September 11, despite pleas from the White House, the military, the Vatican and Angelina Jolie.
“We are still determined to do it, yes,” the Rev Terry Jones said.
With this much of a media frenzy, and the potential for eventual violence, it is no surprise that the FBI has opened a case file on the church, although there is no actual investigation at this time, according to Newsweek.
The FBI has evidently been paying attention to the uproar surrounding the Quran-burning plan for several weeks; an “Intelligence Bulletin” issued by the Jacksonville office on Aug. 19 refers to scraps of information suggesting that Muslim extremists would like to “retaliate against Florida Group’s Planned ‘International Burn a Koran Day’ Scheduled for 11 September 2010.” A government official following the developments, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, says that the FBI’s current monitoring of events does not constitute an “investigation” of Jones or his church because authorities at this point do not believe there is any federal law under which an FBI investigation could be launched.