Day 22: In which the Dove World Outreach Center cancels the Quran burning.

Consider this my official statement on the matter.

Let’s just jump right into it.

Allow me to begin by saying that I in no way support(ed? This present/past tense thing is going to be hard to deal with, just assume that my tense applies to before 5:30pm this afternoon) the Quran burning. I do, however, think that it’s really really cool that it’s happening in Gainesville, aka where I am, and is getting national exposure. I mean, come on! How legit is that? I proofed an article for The Alligator a week ago about this before anybody really knew about it; the next day, there were like four articles on the front page of Reddit about it. It’s so close, and therefore is/was very well-known around the campus.

Because to most people, Gainesville = the University of Florida, things started to get a little crazy here. Media started showing up and just-a-little-bit off-campus. UF was forced to actually release a statement today regarding the matter because it’s such a big deal (Interested? Read it here). Anti-Islamic-hate student groups have popped up out of nowhere and have been setting up everyday in Turlington Plaza. Saturday was going to be nuts because UF was increasing the security for the game by like infinity. Tons of people were talking about going to the actual event and protesting. My UF Facebook friends were all posting statuses and joining groups regarding the matter. It’s been kind of nuts.

I can appreciate, though, the conversations that this ordeal has inspired. I’ve had so many intelligent discussions with others regarding the matter — I’m impressed. I think because the event was 1) so close to us and 2) so nationally covered that basically all of UF’s students knew about it.

Additionally, this means that because I’ve not only talked about but also read about so many different viewpoints, I’ve been able to form a pretty informed personal opinion. Think about it — college students are like the most liberal group on the planet, right? So if the majority of people here are against it, you know something is seriously wrong.

I, PERSONALLY, cannot believe that somebody (furthermore — a group of people!) could be so mean-spirited as to destroy another group’s religious texts. Like, really? Burning a Quran is so disrespectful to everyone who is Muslim (and many who are not). First of all, it’s not every single person of the Islamic faith was responsible for 9/11. It was a radical group. Ra-di-ca-l group. Just like all Christians aren’t Westboro Baptists. Come on.

Secondly, it’s just rude. Did you know that Saturday is Eid? That’s so horrible.

Third, it’s really truly disrespectful to all of the victims of 9/11 and their families. That something so trivial gets so much more attention than the deaths of their sisters and brothers and husbands and sons kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

Which brings me to my next point — the media attention. There is no doubt that there are some insane Christians (read: Terry Jones) who legitimately believe in this concept (manifesto?), but as soon as the media got ahold of the details, everything blew up so much that I don’t really even think it’s about the burning anymore. I think that Jones + the Dove Center are just using this for attention… “any coverage is good coverage,” and stuff like that.

Seriously? I’m all for First Amendment rights. I’m all for symbolic speech. I’m studying Journalism, so trust me, I honestly value every single right allowed to us as US citizens. I really do. But this isn’t a case of free speech — it’s the perfect example of how people abuse our country’s guidelines! Just because you’re technically protected by the law doesn’t mean that you should do something that you know is INTRINSICALLY wrong.

You can’t tell me that legality trumps morality, because there is absolutely nothing that would justify this.

Yes, okay, we’re still upset about 9/11. I’ve got it. I’ve cried too. I’m an American, and a Christian. I’m pissed, I’m sad, I’m violated — but I would never even fathom supporting an event like this because it’s 100% not okay. Your citizenship may technically make you an American, okay, but it’s your actions (and in that, your REactions) that make you patriotic.

We actually just talked about this in my International Relations class last Friday — about the difference in actions when taken by international organizations versus nations (my Greek TA calls them “states” and it really trips me out). I spoke up and said that the reason the actions are often so vastly contrasting is because whereas international organizations act like businesses, logical and organized and objective, nations act like humans — primarily, emotionally. Think about it: if a terrorist group attacks the UN, it’s pretty bad, but the UN won’t lash back — they’ll attempt to resolve the issues diplomatically. But if terrorists attack a country, like the US, our immediate response is to fight back. We’re hurt — and the quickest way to heal is to initiate revenge. We don’t take the time to consider all of the possible options because we’re too busy trying to keep our masses from total psychological breakdown and keep ourselves safe from our now-emerging enemies. (Spoiler: the TA told me I was wrong.) (I still think I’m right.)

I’m rambling now to avoid doing homework, so I’ll wrap it up with a good ol’ TL;DR: Thank God (yes, God) that the Quran burning was canceled. You go, FBI! Terry Jones, you’re a dick.

Day 22: If everyone put the amount of cream cheese/buttercream frosting on their red velvet cupcakes that I do, the world would not have as much hate.

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One Comment to “Day 22: In which the Dove World Outreach Center cancels the Quran burning.”

  1. it is hard to read this when you are constantly wiping the tears from your eyes.

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