If I were to ask you who Terry Jones was you would probably think of this Terry Jones, of Monty Python Fame.
There is however another Terry Jones who, until recently, enjoyed a well deserved obscurity as the Pastor of a tiny church in Florida called The Dove World Outreach Centre. If you look at this site it is clear that the DWOC is nothing unusual across the Atlantic. There are thousands of such small, and not so small, churches across the USA pushing this type of unsubtle evangelism, usually headed by some foam flecked ranting pastor of borderline sanity. Some of these have become big names, and acquired considerable wealth, such as that execrable fraud Benny Hinn.
So why has Terry Jones and his DWOC suddenly shot to prominence. On his site he makes no effort to hide his islamaphobia, promoting his book “Islam is of the Devil”, (yours for just $12.95) and he has announced that on September the 11 he is going to publicly burn a number of copies of the Koran. The purpose of this apparently is to "make a statement to honour those murdered on that day,"
Pastor Jones has considerable support from like minded individuals across the USA, who have been incensed by the proposal to build a mosque on the site of the twin towers. What strikes me most about these people is the sheer hypocrisy. Such hatred and antipathy from those who follow a religion supposedly grounded in forgiveness and tolerance.
I have no particular love for islam, or christianity. I view all religions with deep but equal contempt. But the reality is that Pastor Jones’ actions are likely at a stroke to undo much painstaking work by American and British servicemen to secure the hearts and minds of the, mostly muslim, people of Iraq and Afghanistan. It will make the soldier’s job harder and more dangerous.
Pastor Jones can not, and should not be stopped in his intended stunt. It is his right to express his views, and he is at liberty to do as he pleases with his own property.
Perhaps though there is one way in which Jones can be made to reflect. I don’t know his Email address as his site for some reason is off line. I suspect his site has crashed. But if and when I can, I think I will email him to remind him of what it says in the bible at Judges Ch 6. V31.;
If he whose altar has been destroyed is a god, let him act for himself!" And perhaps I will also inform him that, in the interests of balance, if he goes ahead, then on the day that he is burning korans I will burn a bible. Or I would if I had one.