Burning the Koran is unintelligent

To be sure, Christians are not the only religious minority being persecuted around the world. In Chinese, the Falun Gong followers have experienced the ire, violence and irrationality of the Chinese establishment. The practices against this group are abhorrent. In China the Uighur (Muslim minority) suffer great persecution. In fact, just today we read of about 20 Uighur who were killed by police in the Xijiang Province. Now the police claims that this was a violent mob attacking civilians, but it is a known fact that the Chinese government is notorious for treating this group harshly because of their independence stance and refusal to assimilate to Chinese ways. (For a different view on how the Chinese government is accommodating to the Muslims in China, go here). Of course the oppression of Tibetan Buddhist is also an undeniable fact of our times.

In the case of “Sufism,” a mystic brand of Islam, the persecution comes from all sides. Both Sunni and Shia persecute Sufis, whether in India, Pakistan, the Middle East or Iran. In India Sufism has been basically eradicated and violent attacks by Muslim extreme groups continue almost on a daily basis. Iran persecutes Baha’is and throughout history Muslims have persecuted Christians who have persecuted Zoroastrians who have persecuted Zoroastrians splinter groups.  In ancient times the Sephardic Jews were expelled from Catholic Spain but before that happened the Rabbinical Jews expelled the Karaite Jews from Spain. And the circle of hate goes on and on.

I don’t know about you but I get so tired of “religious wars.” I know that the “war” for those of us who live in the West is mostly one of words, but for many people in other countries it is a matter of life and death and somehow it must stop. That is why I get so infuriated whenever I hear anyone talking about burning the Koran. How can anyone be so stupid? Just today we learned about more troops being killed in Afghanistan over what has been called an “accidental” burning of copies of the Koran. How can you burn copies of the Koran “accidentally” in a military base? I am not buying. At the same time, I cannot condone the violence. But I do understand that for Muslims burning the Koran would be like burning the incarnate Christ for Christians. But how many people get that? I wouldn’t kill for Christ, because he would be slightly against it (:)), but I would raise a hell of a stink.

So I offer these posts over the last couple of days as tools to help us understand better what is going on in our world. I remain vehemently opposed to violence and I wish preachers of religion would refrain from encouraging people to other human beings just because they are different. Nothing could be more contrary to the teaching of Jesus.

Ivanildo C. Trindade