Burn the Quran? No, thank you

9 Sep

An open letter to Muslims of the world, from one embarrassed American

Dear Friends:

By now, you have heard about the plans of an American minister to burn the Quran on Saturday, September 11. I know it upsets you. It upsets me, too, and I’m not a Muslim. But rather than spend time trying to convince this individual that he shouldn’t burn a holy book, I’d like to try to explain what’s going on in our country. Maybe a little more “light” and less “heat” will help your communities understand us.

The simple answer is, we Americans are insane. There are over 300 million of us, and we disagree on a lot of things. We argue over the dumbest stuff–which lousy television show is better, which crummy movie deserved to win an award, which football team is going to win next weekend. Those things really do not matter, but we argue about them anyway.

Besides being prone to argue with one another, there are other reasons we are insane. We do stupid things in this country–and this preacher in Florida who wants to burn the Quran is a perfect example. We have a lot of freedoms here, and sometimes that means the freedom to be dumb. But the rantings and actions of this one guy do not represent all of us.

Yes, I know, a lot of our leaders are doing stupid things, too. For example, one of your faith’s leaders in New York City wants to open a cultural center near the site of the Twin Towers that fell on September 11, 2001–what too many people refer to as “ground zero.” Despite all the good that could arise from this center, our political leaders (who are also insane) are saying stupid things like “it shouldn’t go there.”

So how are you all supposed to deal with our insanity? Hopefully with signs of compassion. We should know better than to behave this way, but we sometimes forget ourselves. It must be tempting for you to give in to the urge to fight back. After all, we Americans are not doing a very good job of being good neighbors. But I’m hopeful that you can remind us what a great people–or a great faith–can do when their neighbors are acting foolishly.

Go on about your normal business, and forgive us for being foolish. Hopefully we will wake up and realize what we’re doing. In the meantime, your kindness and compassion will drive that lunatic in Florida who wants to burn your holy book even crazier.


One Response to “Burn the Quran? No, thank you”

  1. Paul September 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    along with power (freedom is a power, no?) comes responsibility. some can’t handle it well at all.

    hope you’re feeling better?

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