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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Sep 9, 2010

The First Amendment and the Attempt to Burn the Quran

Recently, the American media, as well as the media in Islamic countries, have been criticizing a statement made by Terry Jones, an evangelical pastor of a church in Florida. Terry Jones declared publicly that on September 11th he will burn the Quran as a sign of protest against Islam. Such a public declaration created a negative response worldwide and in the U.S. as well.

Many high-ranking American officials warned the evangelical leader of the consequences of his actions on the U.S. and American soldiers in particular in Islamic countries. General David Petraus, the military high commander of American forces in Afghanistan, warned that the burning of the Quran will threaten the lives of American soldiers in war zones. High American officials in the State Department, the Justice Department as well as several Christian leaders condemned such an act. Outside the U.S., the Vatican and Al-Azhar warned about the consequences of this evil act intended by Jones.

Despite the outrage at the global level against what Jones intends to do on September 11th, he so far has not been convinced to stop his preposterous act, even when this act will threaten the lives of American soldiers and American interest in general.

Mr. Jones is undermining the First Amendment. I am wondering if Mr. Jones has ever read the content of the First Amendment, which notes the following:

"The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The Amendment prohibits the making of any law "respecting an establishment of religion", impeding the free exercise of religion, infringing on the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. (wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). I doubt very much that Mr. Jones has read the content of the First Amendment that he is undermining.

It is sad to say that there are unfortunately groups of people who use their religion for personal gain. This is prevalent especially among some evangelical leaders like Terry Jones, who have been using their misinterpreted Christian beliefs to promote Islamophobia. Similar things unfortunately prevail among some of the followers of Islam, such as bin Laden, who declared war against all Christians and Jews and calls them enemies of Islam. The irony of this is that bin Laden and his al-Qaeda and other few Jihadists do not represent the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. However, they use Islam as a shield to justify their selfish personal and political philosophy. I see no difference between such groups and the ignorant fanatic religious leaders like Terry Jones. I wonder if Mr. Jones is familiar with the teachings of Christ. "Love thy neighbor as you love thyself" or "Turn the other cheek". Mr. Jones, Christianity calls for peace and forgiveness, not violence.

There are also those of the Jewish faith who follow similar patterns of behavior, using Judaism to justify their own personal philosophy of their interpretation of the Torah. Recently, it has been reported that Rabbi Yosef Ovadia, the founder of the ultra-orthodox Shas Party, in his weekly sermon in 2001 called for "the annihilation of Arabs" and said it was "forbidden to be merciful to them". Furthermore, recently he expressed the wish that "all nasty people who hate Israel, like Abu Mazen (Abbas) vanish from our world and may God strike them down with the plague, along with all the nasty Palestinians who persecute Israel." (www.bbc.co.uk/news, 9/1/2010).

Furthermore, in another article by Max Blumenthal titled "Terror/How to Kill Goyim"(Outlook Web,9/8/2010),stated that, "Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, the author of a new book, "Torat Ha'Melech" or "The King's Torah", he states that non-Jews are "uncompassionate by nature" and should be killed in order to 'curb their evil inclinations'. The emphasis in his version of the Torah is how to kill 'Goyim'".

This Rabbi and others in Christianity and Islam use religion for personal gain or popularity and tend to mislead their followers under the banner of religion. Mr. Jones is waiting to hear from God regarding his threat to burn the Quran. I hope he will sober up and wake up from the religious hallucination he is in and save the lives of innocent Americans.

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