Don't Burn the Koran, READ It!

September 10, 2010
Lorie Kramer - Houston, TX

Here we are again, in the midst of a media frenzy; ramped up emotions, statements by military officials, "church" figures, national and international drama. Entire groups of people are being lumped into neat little packages and judgement is passed accordingly, and loudly. All this because a pastor of a church with a congregation of about 50 in Florida threatens to burn a Koran if the proposed mosque near the site of 9-11 is not re-located. Veiled, and not so veiled threats are made if one side, or the other, doesn't get their way. People all over the world are fussing about it.

This is the way the world solves problems anymore, apparently. No direct communication, no options for compromise. It goes straight to the hate, and the negative energy, and the implied violence, or outright violence. It's disgusting. It's almost like savages, barely humans, the way people treat each other anymore. But, what I find even more disgusting is how ignorant people are of the issues they are screaming about. I think the majority of the screamers in the US have read, at least part of, the Bible. The Rev. Jones' group most certainly has. But, what about the Koran?

You don't have to be Muslim to read it. You can even get it for your iPOD, these days....just like the Bible, and most other books of any importance. I have had a hard copy of the Koran for years. I am old fashioned - I like turning pages and knowing exactly what came off the press, before they get "Googleized". As long as you are reading that Koran or Bible in the United States, you are well within your right to do so; unlike being able to do the same with a Bible in other countries. In some other countries, you can't even take a Bible in with you; without it being confiscated and burned, or confiscated and thrown in the trash. Seems like a double standard in a way, eh? Kind of like Mexico complaining about US immigration laws.

Pope John Paul II making nice with the Koran.

In general, I have respect for the "Holy Books" of any faith, I think that is only right. I'm a "Golden Rule" kind of girl. (Not "he who has the gold makes the rules", the REAL one.) I don't have to agree or believe in anyone's God to be familiar with what their holy book says. I don't allow myself to form opinions based on quotes taken here and there from things. I need the context.

Learning more about the religion and culture of others helps create understanding and ideally less friction between groups. As long as there is mutual respect and acceptance, that is. But, when one group decides that all other groups MUST do it their way, at that point I draw the line. Our nation was founded on that line being drawn. I think that line is blurring, and it is not to our collective advantage.

Burners and stompers and screamers, is that what this world has become? IS every member of a group thinking the same way about things and all feel they have to scream about it?

I don't think so.

Somehow these screamers think that those kinds of actions are an effective problem solving tool? NOT!!!

I find myself wondering if all those screamers about the "rights" of the Muslims wanting THAT specific location, and how this is supposedly affecting their "religious freedom" if they don't get it; OR the screamers who are yelling that the building of the NYC mosque is insensitive, offensive, and undesired; have actually read the Koran. Even a little bit.

I'll bet the citizens of Michigan, especially around Dearborn and Detroit, know LOTS more about the Koran now than they did even 10 years ago. They've learned the hard way.

I'll bet the people who are having to put up with Shari'ah law in England know LOTS and LOTS more about the Koran now, too.

Here's an idea, don't be like our inept Congress members... actually READ the thing you are attempting to defend, or attack, or tolerate. It is not about agreeing or disagreeing with the contents, or believing in some or another "god". Its about having an informed position. Knowing what you are talking about. Familiarize yourself with the context, not just quotes pulled out of either book to use to make a point.

There are "radicals" in every religious and political group. They don't represent the mainstream, that's why they're called radicals. However, if the "mainstream" group members don't stand up and make known their opposition to the radicals in their group, the radicals become the only voice; so therefore, the group becomes associated with the radical behavior, because that is all anyone hears.

Of course, the media never helps any more, that's pretty much a lost cause about anything important these days.

So I guess the point would be, instead of suggesting book burnings, I vote for book READINGS, and LOTS of them. If one only reads that with which one agrees, how is one to determine that with which one does NOT agree? Imagine if We the People's representatives in government actually read bills before they voted on them, and even better yet, let US read them too? Imagine what kind of world THAT would create! Maybe a more respectful with much less screaming, and stomping, and burning, but with better understanding, and more standing up for what really IS in all our best interests.

Burning books is not in our best interest.

Lorie Kramer

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