Burning the Qur’an and Religious Intolerance in America

On 18th December 1499, seven years after the treaty of capitulation of the Muslim kingdom of Granada, Cardinal Ximeners of Toledo forcibly converted and baptized three thousand Muslim citizens and then proceeded to burn thousands of copies of the Qur’an in a huge public bonfire.

Of course, there is no comparison here on the scale and level of the actions of the Catholic Cardinal Ximeners which were part of systematic medieval inquisition program that sought to eradicate Islam and Muslims presence from Spain, and the actions of Rev. Terry Jones, the pastor of Dove World outreach Church in Florida, who plans to burn copies of the Qur’an this Saturday on the ninth anniversary of September 11. Jones motives are not that different from those of Cardinal Ximeners except that converting people and burning religious books are not part of America’s state policy.

But the two events are similar in that they both signify religious intolerance and hatred one would have thought our contemporary world have passed up as a relic of the age of ignorance when mass slaughter of Jews, Christians and Muslims was a state policy.

This is why it is important to make a moral stand against such actions which if continued to be heated on some sullen fire, will easily become monstrous.

But, we should not be fooled to think that the intended stunt by Jones was born out of a vacuum in this country. Jones represents an archaic and indoctrinated hatred to Islam that spans the United States into other countries based on misconceptions, stereotypes and past conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims. Add to that the dreadful anti-immigrant wave that sweeps the United States today in the midst of economi.

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About AliYounes

Ali Younes is an award winning journalist and writer. He is a member of the Arab American Writers Group and an award winning journalist and media strategist.

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