Friday, 10 September 2010

Qur'an burning? Been there, done that, say Westboro Baptist Church

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Among the many, many people upset with Florida pastor Terry Jones' plan to set fire to copies of the Qur'an on the anniversary of 9/11 are the Westboro Baptist Church, who are complaining about the fact that they burned Islam's holy book back in 2008 and no one paid any attention.

I suppose you could argue that they have a point – why, in 2o10, does one obscure and ignorant leader of a minuscule congregation attract world attention for intending to combine God's word as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad with a box of Swan Vestas, when an equally, if not more, ludicrous sub-sect went all the way and unleashed hell fire two years ago to no avail?

But fear not - with Jones' now putting his plans "on hold", the Westboro gang are stepping forward to show him how it's done, announcing on their website (via PDF, as they seem to insist on doing) that, as "False prophet Terry Jones caved—like all false prophets do, and like we told you he would", they would hold a Qur'an burning session on the anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow.

It's a predictable move – having seen all the press Jones has been getting, they're after a piece of the action. It'll be interesting to see if they get it – if they don't, it would be a good thing, but it would raise questions about why Jones' plans gained so much attention. What makes him any different from the Westboro Baptist Church? And if they do get noticed, and we find ourselves watching President Obama calling on the Phelps family to reconsider, we will know that the world truly has gone mad.
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