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Pastor Terry Jones of the USA is back in the news, announced by the BBC as a ban is being considered for an entry in UK

Jan 26, 2011, 1:44 PM | Article By: Alhagie Ba Tarawale, Journalist/Researcher Tel: 7278341 or 6632915.

Stories written about him, unpublished and embargoed are being brought out for publication. This piece is one among several that had been embargoed but is now being published as Pastor Terry Jones bounced back in the news.

The author of this piece believes that the noise being made by Pastor Terry Jones is a smokescreen for implementation of ill-conceived ideas, which take the form of anti-holy Quran, anti-Islam and anti-Muslim campaign that erupted in the United States of America during the administration of George Bush Jr.

Though, the idea was not invented by him, it had been on the drawing board long before he came to power. Only prevented from surfacing by the severity of the Cold War as America could not comfortably fight in two fronts and it then needed as allies, the Arabs to defeat communism. That done, after the collapse of communism and upon the ascension to power of the Bush family, they orchestrated a policy of inciting western world against the world of Islam and creating enemies for Muslims.

The information available indicates that the campaign has in fact nothing to do with religion. For no person, good or bad, answering the description of followers of Christ, Judaism and Islam can in their true conscience hate and persecute one another.

For these three religions, all have divine origin, deriving their existence from God, the Almighty and affiliated to Abraham, the friend of Allah and father of Ismail and Isaac, the two brothers to whom Judaism, Christianity and Islam identify themselves.

It therefore makes no sense that one can love one religion and hate the other. Anyone claiming to be a Christian and a believer of the holy Bible and rejects the Torah/Quran is not a true Christian. He is a pretender with a mischievous agenda, hiding behind a religion.

The recent eruption of fracas in Egypt between the Coptic Christians and Muslims was caused by Coptic Priest whose remarks about the Holy Quran incensed Muslims. A religious person should not provoke people of other religion. The Holy Prophet Muhammed warned Muslims not to insult leaders of other religion. And Muslims, true Muslims do listen and adhere to this warning. 

The Holy Bible, the Holy Quran and the Torah have identical information and substance. If there is any difference, it is because of human interference.

 The holy Bible and the holy Quran both speak about the life and times of Mary and Jesus Christ. The Quran in its own part presents an illuminating and detailed graphic account about these two people (see Quran page 54, surah 3 and surah 19 page 300).The volume of  information about Mary and Christ in the Holy Quran by far, exceeds that of the size of information in the Holy Bible about the duo.

The Quranic version, original and authentic is one of the reasons that made some Christian theologians, among whom is Reverent Bosworth, to describe the Quran as a miracle, adding that it is the only inspired scripture that has come down to us intact as revealed to the holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

Reverent Bosworth claimed that there has not been any tampering of the Quran and the original purity of the language has stayed undefiled. The holy Quran, according to Reverent Bosworth, had been recorded in writing before the death of Mohammed and many had committed it to memory and the practice of memorizing it continues up to date.

Are we people of this generation, in particular, the like of Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters, far away from source, challenging the Bosworth version of the Quran. Another source that needs to be looked at is the universities of the western world, most of which have religion as part of their orientation and learning programme. These programmes include the ancient, medieval and modern religions. These universities do produce up to the present time, scholars that challenge part of the holy Bible. And these go a long way in attempts to prove their case. But no one as far as we are aware, has yet claimed to have discovered flaws or questionable insertions and contradictions in the Holy Quran.

Unfortunately, those who have a bone to pick with the holy Quran, Islam and Muslims are those with very little religious profile and are therefore the wrong people. These include members of the erstwhile USA administration of George Bush Jr. who spoke about fighting a war of crusade. Pastor Terry Jones and people of his mind who, without giving any thought to the consequences and implication of their act unwittingly, jumped into the George W Bush bandwagon. These, in our view, are the wrong people to speak about religion much more to campaign the incitement of hate against the book of Allah.

The incitement was chorused by Reverend Terry Jones, spread and escalated by him. 

Because of his obscurity, we know very little about the background of this man. Terry Jones is first and foremost in his own potentially, damaging admission, said that he had never read the Quran or any part of it.

This Terry Jones, to me, a pseudo-theologian, considers himself qualified to pass judgment on the Quran and decides to persecute the holy Quran, Islam and the Muslims.

We here-in insert a piece borrowed from the holy Bible Act 94.2 reframed for our purpose; used here to convey a message. Terry Jones! Terry Jones! Why are thou persecuting the holy Quran, Islam and the Muslim Community? An identical question was put to Saul on his way to Damascus by the Holy Spirit.

 If religion was not the true reason for the campaign against the Quran, Islam and the Muslim Community then what is the true reason? Observers have noticed that there are some other reasons. Many a man, do vary in their outlook and so do versions. The version that saddles some minds is that all the noise has its roots in five areas: politics, immigration, education, economics and security.

Admittedly the United States is the country that has the highest single number of migrants; numbering about 12 million or even more. And these are from all parts of the world and are of all religion and all to a point are tolerated.

However, there is a single block of people among migrants being critically watched. These are the Arabs and other Asians of the religion of Islam. The West does not have any problem with Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Pagans, Atheist, and others.

These are accommodated because they do not practice their religion as Muslims do theirs. For Muslims pray five times in the day and don’t easily compromise and are misguidedly branded as fanatics and extremists.

The West, in particular, the USA continues to be in grief over its induction and education of a Pakistani national as a nuclear physicist who went back home and helped to build a nuclear bomb, a move considered by the West as not helpful to their course. As a result, all opponents of Muslims in the western countries wrongly believe that a Muslim should not have had a knowledge of high-tech much more a knowledge as high as that of a nuclear science.

For this reason, some people in the west are trying to make sure that no Arab has access to a knowledge that can be viewed as their own monopoly. The Arabs on the other hand, in particular those Arabs in the west on their own part don’t consider themselves as dangerous. They regard the West as a sanctuary to free themselves from the traditional Bedouin, nomadic, illiterate and impoverished life; the hallmark of the life of the rank and file of the Middle East.

It is therefore wrong to paint all Arabs with one brush just as it is wrong also to paint all westerners as anti-Arabs, anti-Islam and anti Muslim. On both sides there are bad and good people. So the act of some individuals of one side should not be read as peculiar to the culture and way of life of the religion of the other. Those Muslims in the west believe that the agenda of those campaigning against them are promoting an idea of pogrom of Muslims in the west or repatriation of Arabs and a ban for their entry in western countries.

All these maneuvers and schemes are led by a little known cleric named Pastor Terry Jones, who shocked the world through his announcement, declaring his intention and proceeded to identify a site where he had proposed in his own words, to burn the Holy Quran.

According to him, that incident was to take place on Saturday 11 September 2010, a Thanks Giving Day in the USA, the commemoration of the anniversary of the terrorist attack on New York City and elsewhere. September 11 is observed as a public holiday throughout the United States of America and observed by different people in different ways.

Christians who have God in their hearts choose the way of religion for their celebration, preaching peace, tolerance and forgiveness. Aside, people like Pastor Terry Jones have their own agenda, quite distinct from the official agenda; for he had wanted to observe the day differently.

For days in the run-up to the celebration, he had collected 200 copies of the Holy Quran, and said, he was going to burn. This was his own way of observing the day to manifest his dislike of Islam, The Quran and the Muslim Ummah. For his own belief is that those, about a dozen in number, who crashed aircrafts on buildings in New York and Washington D.C were Muslims and believers of the words of the Holy Quran.

These men, seven years ago, 2003 AD, threw away their own lives only to get at the lives of people through a suicide spree by the hijack of four aircrafts flying over the U.S.

This act shocked the whole world and the good people quickly showed concerned, solidarity and sympathy to America. The good people of America remain calm. And the George Bush administration tried to make a distinction between the terrorist and Islam. But it faulted and turned around at some point and identified himself with the anti- Islam slogan to justify the invasion of Arab and Muslim countries. As if different people have different agenda in their relationships with the Muslims and Arabs, the politicians, far-right extremists who had been defeated in the last American presidential election because of lack of democratic ideas, changed their tactics and their language by using Islam as enemy and branding the American president as a Muslim, a non-Christian, an Arab for their political purpose.

America is claiming to be going back on its values. What are the values these extremists are crowing about? 

For Terry Jones and his faceless supporters took the anti-Islam propaganda to a very high level, threatening to burn the book of Allah.

The reaction to this announcement was overwhelming. The peace loving people of the world, including His Holiness the Pope,  the Arch Bishop Canterbury, senior Rabbia of the Jewish community of the USA, Imams and others all quickly stepping-in to stop the Pastor from carrying-out his threat.

The intervention was a partial success for the Pastor agreed to drop his threat, saying he was going to put it in hole ostensibly in compliance with the request of President Obama. Be that as it may, it did not stop others highly charged to go ahead with the plan to burn the Quran.

The statement of Mr Jones seriously offended the sensibility of the whole Muslim Community, covering Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, America prompting leaders especially that of Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population about 250 million to warn of serious consequences if that threat was allowed to materialize in the USA.

And in Africa, President Yaya Jammeh made his voice heard, added to that of the President of Indonesia and several others. The air raid in America opens a terrible can of worms and American Intellectuals, university academicians, church and civil leaders, politicians have still not told the world why Islam the religion of peace, and Muslims who have surrendered themselves to Allah and the Holy book of Allah have been picked for a fight, persecution and summary execution for the crime of about a dozen men who have perished in the inferno and have been condemned by Muslims. Muslims are oppose to an act of suicide, considering it as a sin and hell fire being the punishment for it. How then do you single out Islam, the Quran and Muslims for the act of those already condemned by Muslims.  

The full biography of Pastor Jones is not available. Nonetheless, knowledge of his own background is deducted from his own utterances. He is a stock of the Anglo-Saxon pedigree (the name Jones implies).

He, in the full glare of the world press confessed that he had never read the Holy Quran and did not claim either a possession of knowledge of any part of it.

The Question then is, what is his problem with the Holy Quran? In honesty he has no problem with any part of the Holy book for he does not know what is in the Book. Yet, he threatened to burn it. Perhaps his quarrel with the Book is his inability to read it. But whose fault is it? Let him go to a Quranic school and learn the orthography of the alphabets with which the Quran is written.                                                     

One thing is clear, he has shown personal grievance about something else other than what he is proclaiming and this, he cannot disclosed openly and using the Holy Quran as a scapegoat.

And observers of his mental position do not credit it as sparkling and he is basking himself deep in the anti-Holy Quran campaign which he spread in the whole of United States of America resulting in a dark situation for the Muslim Arabs in America and elsewhere.

This sort of scenario is not new in America. In the 60s there was a MacArthur, a senator who went round the United States of America smearing, brushing people with black paint, accusing everybody of being a communist.

This did a lot of damage to the standing of a lot of good people in America. Almost everyone was afraid of challenging the senator as he had a free ride in the country.

Opinion is that Pastor Terry Jones is a repeat of the event of the 60s. For he is denouncing the Quran and nobody in America, as far as we are aware, is prepared to challenge him theologically, politically and academically. The only difference between Senator MacArthur and Pastor Terry Jones is that one speaks about communism and the other speaks about religion. But both can generate discord. The lives of 7 million Muslims in America have been exposed to hate and danger by the propaganda campaign of the Pastor.

What good people did on the 11 September was to preach peace and tolerance emulating, Jesus Christ when he said, when one is given a blow on one cheek, give the other cheek to the aggressor.

That is the true heart of all Christians, tolerance and forgiveness. But that is not the heart of Terry Jones and his supporters.

It is doubtful if Pastor Jones is concerned about the security, safety of people in America, especially the Arab/Muslims minorities, for we are told that out of America’s population of about three hundred million; about seven million are all Arab/Muslims. Is the Pastor not aware that he has unleashed thugs against Muslims? Already we have seen violence been meted-out to Arab Muslims as part of the Arab/Muslim phobia. It is unbelievable that Jones is a man of God. A man of God does not fan trouble. What is expected of him in a tense situation like 9/11, is to preach tolerance and peace.

The line adopted in presenting his version, is that the noise and the anti-Quran and anti-Islam campaign in America has very little connection with religion. Religion is a smoke screen. The actual fact of the noise relates to immigration, job security, economics and politics.

The adventure of Pastor Jones brings to mind, history. Surely, memory is not short to forget the event of the beginning in the 30s of the Nazi party and the Torah. Pastor Jones and several people of his calling; politicians, intellectuals, state and civil leaders and infact the masses of the people be it in USA and Europe have without any doubt at one time or the other studied history of Europe. The area where in the past, rivalry between nations and countries continued unabated and where nations considered themselves too good racially and too strong militarily that they could do anything with impunity.

 As a result a lot of deplorable things happened, giving rise to events that caused people of high profile to give factual knowledge of past events. One such person cautioning the people of the world was the celebrated British historian, Edward Gibbon. He tells us that history is a strange thing, but stranger is that those who study it do not benefit themselves from knowledge of the subject and they invariably pay a heavy price. One case in point, which the world is presently witnessing is the Ivorian leader, President Laurent Gbagbo who we are told is a professor of history. See what he is doing! 

History is documentation of events - good or bad – on social, cultural economics, military, agriculture, education, prosperity, disaster, etc. of the world or a particular country.

It also records the rise and fall of people citing in particular the manipulation and maneuvers leading to the downfall of actors. If leaders ignore record of their predecessors, thinking they are too clever and will not be caught in a cobweb, they are making great mistakes. Pastors Jones and all who applaud him must have read about the burning by the Nazi party of Hitler of the Torah in Germany in the 30s.

This act was part of the Nazi party demonstration of their dislike and hatred of Jews and the escalation of their anti Semitism. A campaign fueled by the high level of doses of indoctrination, the members of the Nazi went through.

The effect of which was to make them feel they were the superior race in the world, leading them among other things to go house-to-house searching for and collecting all copies of the Torah, throwing them in streets and squares and setting them on fire.

In self-gratification, the Nazi thugs walked in the streets, singing and chanting anti-Jewish slogans. Exactly the sort of thing Pastor Jones is doing with his supporters.
These Nazi thugs and their leaders drunk with their belief of superiority woefully failed to draw a distinction between the Jews as a people and the Torah as a book from Allah. 

Whatever problems Germans had with the Jews should not have led them to burn the Torah. And it is known the reason for fighting the Jews was not religion but economics, the same reason for fighting the Arabs and the Muslims in America. A Jew friend of mine confided in me his knowledge of what was the practice in Germany at the time. He said the prison gates were always wide open ready to receive Jews, sometimes very influential ones for refusing to give bribe to top officials. This was the plight of Jews. The climax of all anti-Semitism was the burning of the Torah. While the Germans were burning the book of God the Nazi party continued to boast and using the Iron Cross as an identification of their commitment to Christianity. Their actual motive was not religion, but economics and politics. And so is Pastor Jones and his people.

But God is never in a hurry to act. He abides by his own timetable. And no event can cause him to change that timetable as an immediate response to an act.

The Germans continued in that spirit of Supremacy and as the time of retribution drew near, Satan pushed them into declaring war. As the Torah was on fire all over Germany, there was now at the time of retribution, fire all over Germany. The houses, the people, everything was inflame through the bombardment of Allied Forces.   A German visitor to my house told me, how his father died in one of the allied air raids on Dresden. So, we now quote Professor Trevor Rupper, in his book entitled, the ‘Last Days of Hitler’. He said, “Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

The Americans must take leaf from what happened in Germany in the 30s, the burning of the Torah. Now the Americans are burning the Quran, a book of God that has nothing to do with them. It has not created any trouble for them. It has not created any problem for them. They just want to do it out greed.

Thank you for reading the story.