Regardless of your views on first amendment rights, or the fact that Quâ€™ran burning could just as easily be flag burning or Bible burning, or the comparison that you could draw to Nazi Germany or Maoâ€™s Cultural Revolution, the last question to ask would be: why would the media give someone so insignificant, so much spotlight?
Reverend Terry Jones plans to commemorate the Sept. 11 attacks by staging a Quâ€™ran book burning on the lawn of his church. Jones said in a Guardian video, â€œThis message is not a message of peace, itâ€™s not a message of love, itâ€™s a message of warningâ€¦â€
Many officials have condemned the actions of Jones, the head of the Dove World Outreach Center. But it was an outspoken Hillary Clinton that summed up the sentiment held by officials. In an Associated Press article, Clinton said, â€œIt is regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Fla, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distrustful, disgraceful plan and get the world’s attention, but that’s the world we live in right now. It is unfortunate, it is not who we are.”
According to the Washington Examiner, General David Petraeus, leader of the ground troops in Afghanistan said, â€œImages of the burning of a Quâ€™ran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan â€“ and around the world â€“ to inflame public opinion and incite violence. … Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations… Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”
If any of this sounds familiar, last yearâ€™s media darlings, the Westboro Baptist Church, protested on their platform ofâ€¦ just about everything, spewing hate filled rhetoric about the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, gays, and America in general. The media arrived with cameras in hand, treating the infamous group like celebrities â€“ we thought the world was coming to an end. But now the group is barely a vague memory.
It seems like the louder these fringe groups yell, the more attention audiences are forced to give them. Whether or not these groups are correct is not the question, but how society should deal with them is. I am not suggesting censorship, but instead choosing not to listen. Instead, I am suggesting to do nothing.