The Reverend Terry Jones down in Florida has cocked a loaded gun. Unfortunately, the weapon is pointed directly at the head of members of the United States Military and Foreign Service Personnel serving abroad.
To understand the enormity of the insult of his proposed book burning to adherents of the Islamic faith, one has to understand that to Muslims, the Koran is not only a holy book, but is also viewed as the highest form of the Muslim art of calligraphy.
The western equivalent of this act would be the burning of Leonardo's "Last Supper" along with a incredibly rare copy of the Hebrew Torah and a copy of Guttenberg's original printed bible. This one crazy man's act is the equivalent of declaring war on Islam, not on radical terrorists, but on Islam itself.
Book burning in itself is a hideous act. Books are the means by which this civilization passes the knowledge of our past to future generations. I am reminded of Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451. In this classic novel, the government burned all books and to preserve the knowledge, individual memorized books to pass on to future generations.
Exactly what is Terry Jones trying to accomplish? Will burning the Koran make the United States safer from radical Islamists? No, it will actually make it easier for that militant faction to recruit new terrorists by convincing young men that we, in the United States, are looking to eradicate their religion and culture. Will the burning of the Koran make terrorists less likely to attack the United States? No, according to the Pentagon, the State Department and the President of the United States it is an act guaranteed to bring retaliation upon our own vulnerable troops posted throughout the Middle East. Will this bring us better relations in the Arab world? No, it will make relationships with the allies we do have in that area of the world more fragile.
The only persons who benefit from this proposed horrendous act is the Reverend Terry Jones, the head of a small community church with less than fifty congregants and the sly politicians who want to ride his coattails. This mail order minister is looking to make a name for himself by putting his country at risk and making a mockery of the intent of first amendment rights. It is one thing to call fire on a street corner. It is quite another to yell fire in a crowded theater.