Gun-toting Florida pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, is standing by his single-mindedly awful plan to burn Korans at his church on September 11 despite General Petraeus’s concerns about how the event will impact the safety of American troops — and Americans in general. The fact that General Petraeus has to even address such an individual is patently ludicrous. And yet, here were are.
Yesterday, Afghans protested Jones’s event by burning American flags, shouting “Death to America,” and burning an effigy of him. Thousands also protested outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta on Sunday.
But Jones, who wrote a book called Islam Is of the Devil — and whose organization has come under fire for operating a for-profit furniture business called TS and Company (here, listed on eBay) despite the church’s tax-exempt status — seems hellbent on taking this special moment in religious intolerance and using it to promote himself.
“What we are doing is long overdue. We are revealing the violence of Islam that is much, much deeper than we’d like to admit,” Jones said in an interview with ABC News.
Meanwhile, General Petraeus makes the point that burning Korans “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems — not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.”
Fanatics aren’t reasonable, however, and neither is Jones, who says he doesn’t understand why Christians are urging him to cancel the event.
“We can not back down just because of fear, because if we back down, it won’t make Islam any more moderate,” he said.
(Oh, yeah, and get your “Islam Is of the Devil” T-shirts here, just $20 plus shipping and handling.)
The Christian Science Monitor gives perhaps the best picture of this guy, who was pretty much destined to creepy cultish dealings and backlash within his own organization — his own daughter is speaking out against him, alleging “mental violence” and backbreaking work in the furniture store to garner profit — before he took advantage of the current religious climate to garner the attention of the media:
Mr. Jones who seems to spend much of his time inside a dank, dark office with a poster from the movie Braveheart and a picture of former President George W. Bush, appears to be largely oblivious to the potential consequences of his plans.
Jones’s Facebook page “International Burn A Koran Day” offers lots of hate, as well as an array of nipple pics. How very Christian.