Congressman Ron Paul today issued the following statement about a Florida pastor's plan to ban copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
A professed Christian pastor in Gainesville, Florida, Terry Jones, plans to burn copies of the Quran on 9/11. He indicts all Islam for 9/11 and argues that it is a hate-driven religion. He's convinced he's on God's side even though he is getting little support from other Christians, who believe that Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
General David Petraeus, our military commander in Afghanistan, strongly condemned Mr. Jones' plan, arguing it would be provocative, make his fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan more difficult and further jeopardize the lives of American soldiers.
I agree! This blame of all Muslims for the atrocities of 9/11 only makes things worse -- especially since it wasn't the Taliban of Afghanistan that committed the atrocities on 9/11. Under Jones' warped logic, we should have attacked Saudi Arabia since 15 of the 19 suicide bombers came from that country.
But while I am pleased to see General Petraeus recognize the danger of one type of incitement, he unfortunately fails to see the whole picture and understand that our policies of torture, targeted assassination, invasion of Muslim countries and unintended infliction of civilian casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are also provocative. Pictures of victims of torture as well as innocent people killed by drones and stray bombs are every bit as bad as burning the Quran.
In some ways, what Jones is doing may be minor compared to the resentment toward us as a consequence of what our government has done to thousands of innocent victims.
As I have said time and time again, Osama bin Laden wins by "proving' that America is an enemy of Islam and has an occupation agenda in the Middle East. And, we continue to walk into his trap and hand him up his best recruitment tool in his efforts to provoke hatred and terrorism against the United States.
If we don't want to incite radical Islamists, we need to stop these un-needed wars. It is high time we came to our senses, brought our troops home to defend our country and pursued a Constitutional, Pro-American foreign policy.