Welcome to the American Revolution II

Welcome to the American Revolution II
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
"We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method..." and warned about what he saw as unjustified government spending proposals and continued with a warning that "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, April 1, 2011

Burned Koran: Florida Church Demands Retribution

April 1, 2011, 6:03 pm
A Koran Burning Ignored in the U.S. Was News in Afghanistan and Pakistan

As my colleagues Enayat Najafizada and Rod Nordland report, thousands of protesters, enraged by the burning of a Koran at a Florida church, overran a United Nations compound in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday, killing at least 12 people.

The incident that so enraged Afghans, the burning of a Koran after a mock trial in a small Florida church on March 20, was barely noticed in the United States but widely reported in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The presidents of both countries have called on the United States to arrest Terry Jones, the pastor of the church.

Mr. Jones presided over the “International Judge the Koran Day” event, after which one copy of the Muslim holy book was “executed,” on camera, before 30 congregants. Britain’s Channel 4 News reported that the Web video of the burning Koran was shown on television in Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent days.

Feelings were running so high in Pakistan last week that condemnation of the Koran burning by a State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, was broadcast on Pakistani television:

Earlier this week, a Pakistani news agency reported that Pakistan’s interior minister, Rehman Malik, “said Pakistan has taken up the recent desecration of the Holy Koran by lunatic priest Terry Jones with Interpol.” Apparently not realizing that Mr. Jones is not a Roman Catholic priest, Mr. Malik reportedly asked Interpol “to take up the matter with [the] Pope,” arguing that “the priest must be treated as terrorist as he was fanning religious hatred.”

This raw video of the chaotic scenes after Friday Prayers in Mazar-i-Sharif, showing protesters at the compound and shots being fired in the air by the security forces, was posted online by Tolo TV, an Afghan television station that reportedly broadcast video of the Koran burning in recent days:

More raw video, posted online by Britain’s Channel 4 News, appears to show Afghan victims of the violence being carried from the scene by anguished friends and relatives.

A colleague in Afghanistan explains that the second clip includes video of a man crying for his brother, shouts of “Death to America,” and men swearing: “we will fight the infidels” and “we will take Americans out of our soil.”

After images of a man smashing a gun against the pavement, the video ends with an interview with a man in a white cap who seemed to blame the local security forces for the descent into violence. He said:

We had a peaceful protest. We went to the UNAMA gate. We took three weapons from the people there; we took out the magazines from them, took all the bullets out and threw them away in order to prevent violence. … But these cowards – wild, internal enemies of our country – shot and killed or injured 10 or 12 of our own people. … I saw four people with my own eyes: two of them had died and two others were injured.

Pastor Who Burned Koran Demands Retribution

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Before a Koran was burned at his modest church here on March 20, the pastor Terry Jones held a self-styled mock trial of the holy book, in which he presided as the judge from the pulpit. The prosecutor was a Christian who had converted from Islam. An imam from Dallas defended the Koran

Sitting in judgment was a jury of 12 members of Mr. Jones’s church, the Dove World Outreach Center. After listening to “evidence” and arguments from both sides, the jury pronounced the Koran “guilty” of five “crimes against humanity,” including the promotion of terrorist acts and “the death, rape and torture of people worldwide whose only crime is not being of the Islamic faith.”
The Koran’s “punishment” was determined by the results of an online poll. Besides burning, the options had included shredding, drowning and facing a firing squad. Mr. Jones, an evangelical pastor, announced that voters had chosen to set fire to the book, according to a video of the proceedings.
Unlike the worldwide outcry that greeted the pastor’s plan to burn 200 copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, the event last week at the 50-member church was largely ignored by the national and local new media. As of 2 p.m. on Friday, the video of the Koran’s burning on the church Web site had been seen only 1,500 times.
“The local strategy of everybody was to ignore this,” said the Rev. Lawrence D. Reimer, pastor of the United Church of Gainesville. “It’s just a horrible tragedy that this act triggered the deaths of more innocent people.”
In the weeks leading up to Sept. 11, Mr. Jones had prayed about his plans to burn Islam’s holy text and eventually backed down. He acknowledged at the time that he was stunned by the potential consequences.
Some church members were surprised by the violent reaction in northern Afghanistan on Friday, in which at least seven United Nations workers were killed, said Fran Ingram, an assistant at the church. She explained that it was decided in the weeks leading up to the burning that a jury of churchgoers and volunteers would hear both sides before deciding what to do.
Mr. Jones declined a request to be interviewed. In a statement, he demanded that the United States and United Nations take “immediate action” against Muslim nations in retaliation for the deaths on Friday in Afghanistan. At least 12 people were killed when thousands of protestors stormed a United Nations center in the northern Afghanistan city of Mazar-i-Sharif.
“The time has come to hold Islam accountable,” Mr. Jones said.
He also called on the United Nations to act against “Muslim-dominated countries,” which he said “must alter the laws that govern their countries to allow for individual freedoms and rights, such as the right to worship, free speech and to move freely without fear of being attacked or killed.”
Some members of the Dove World Outreach Center said they feared they would be attacked.
“We have a huge stack of death threats,” Ms. Ingram said. “We take precautions. I have a handgun. A lot of us have concealed weapons permits. We’re a small church, and we don’t have money to hire security.”
Before the March 20 service, Mr. Jones asked if the church’s Web site was streaming the event, according to the video. He was assured that it was. Mr. Jones then gave the “defense attorney” and anyone else who might be offended the opportunity to leave.
“It is not that we burn the Koran with some type of vindictive motive,” Mr. Jones said. “We do not even burn it with great pleasure or any pleasure at all. We burn it because we feel a deep obligation to stay with the court system of America. The court system of America does not allow convicted criminals to go free. And that is why we feel obligated to do this.”
On the video, a pastor named Wayne Sapp is seen igniting a kerosene-drenched copy of the Koran with a plastic lighter. Pastor Jones and members of the church watch the book burn for several minutes while several photographers snap pictures.
Finally, Mr. Jones says, “That actually burned quite well.”

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