Virtually the whole Muslim world is exercised by the threat of one Terry Jones to burn copies of the Quran on this year's anniversary of 9/11. (See, for example, 'Muslim and Arabic news media react to Koran burn plan' and 'The cost of burning the Quran'.)
Terry Jones is a nobody. He describes himself as "pastor" of the so-called Dove World Outreach Center, a small evangelical "church" with a congregation of 50, based in Gainesville, Florida, USA.
Until now, nobody had ever heard of Terry Jones or his Dove World Outreach Center. Judging by his appearance and his utterances, he seems like a sad, primitive, individual who would not have looked or sounded out of place a couple of dozen dacades ago. Basically, white trash, a God-squadder apparently with very little grey matter between the ears.
In fact, nobody would have ever heard of Terry Jones or his flock of 50 had it not been for my Muslim brothers and sisters and the media, from domestic outlets to international broadcasters such as the BBC, Aljazeera and CNN, giving him the publicity he craves. Thanks to them, this pathetic idiot is now an international figure with heads of state and other senior politicians queuing at his hovel's doors, pleading with him not to burn the Quran.
But what is all the excitement about?
Muslims are upset because they say that burning the Quran is a gross insult to Islam, and the media claim – well, some are attracted by stories that have a potential to engage the intellectually challenged, while others are excited by the possibility that burning the Quran might result in violence against Americans and other Westerners in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere where Muslims are predominant.
We're now used to the dumbing down trend in the Western media, so I will say no more about them. But what about my Muslim brothers and sisters? Why are they so angry?
Sadly, the anger of Muslims at the prospect of a half-wit burning copies of the Quran is a manifestation of the intellectual depths to which they have sunk, thanks to their primitive educational systems and authoritarian regimes that discourage any form of debate or curiousity beyond that of the most basic type. To many Muslims, Islam now boils down to a set of rituals, which they perform without actually knowing why, and dress restrictions that have no basis in religion. As for fundamentals such as justice, equality and the quest for knowledge, forget it.
Consequently, it is perhaps not all that surprising that my Muslim brothers and sisters are expending so much hot air because a second-class twerp has threatened to burn copies of the Quran. For it seems to me that along with justice, equality and the quest for knowledge, Muslims have also forgotten who exactly they worship: God or paper? If it is God that they worship, then why get so exercised by an ignoramus burning paper on which the Quran happens to be written? After all, don't Muslims also burn – no, blow up – copies of the Quran, destroy God's holy places of worship and kill fellow Muslims when they attack Sunni and Shi'i mosques in Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere? Well, in case some of my readers have been on Mars for the past few years, the answer is yes, in the thousands.
If, on the other hand, my Muslim brothers and sisters have abandoned God and in fact worship the paper on which the Quran is written, then I fully understand their anger. But I won't be joining them.