Pastor Jones Holds Nation Hostage

We don’t negotiate with hostage-takers.

Someone should tell that to Pastor Terry Jones.  Whether or not he torches a stack of Korans on Saturday, September 11, 2010, he has succeeded in holding the country hostage.  His terms:  a phone call from Barack Obama.

This little-known Gainesville, Florida preacher set social media on fire when he proclaimed September 11, 2010 as “International Burn A Koran Day.”  What started ostensibly as a ploy to block plans to construct a Mosque in NYC near the site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, has taken on a life of its own, one that is shockingly void of any respect for the memory of the 3,000 lives lost nine years ago.

Jones wants a call from the White House, the State Department, or the Pentagon.  So far, the response from the White House is unanimous.

General David Patraeus emphatically said the preacher’s Koran-burning will “very likely put our soldiers in jeopardy,” stating that it will be “detrimental and dangerous to U.S. troops” in Afghanistan.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the act “disrespectful and disgraceful” and “un-American.”

So far, Obama has not given in to the preacher’s demands.

Earlier this week he appeared on Good Morning America.  In his usual casual style, he referred to the book-burning as a “stunt,” one that would become “a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda.”  He urged Jones to listen to his “better angels.”  If he intentionally chose his words in an attempt to deflate the situation, he failed to do so.

Jones repeatedly cites the right to burn the Korans “because we live in America.”  But his tactics, regardless of his intentions, are indeed very un-American.  His thinking is frighteningly similar to that of the al-Qaeda terrorists who murdered thousands of Americans on American soil. If his true intentions were to avert the building of a Mosque near the Twin Towers, he has failed miserably. He has, however, managed to do a great disservice to the victims of 9/11 and their families.

Jones’s book-burning is on-again, off-again, but rest assured, the world will be watching this Saturday.

Let’s hope we all find a moment to honor those we lost nine years ago.


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