When was the last time we saw an issue on which President Obama and armed right-wing extremists could find some common ground? Did anyone imagine Sarah Palin and Angelina Jolie sharing a side in a national debate? How about Glenn Beck and the media outlet of the Communist Party USA?
And what if someone told you six months ago that the Ku Klux Klan would one day stand in agreement with the Reverend Jesse Jackson to denounce someone who wants to set an iconic religious object on fire?
The summer of 2010 has been an eventful one for issues relating to American Islam, and it was all set to come to a dramatic close this Saturday, September 11. Pastor Terry Jones and the small congregation of the Gainesville-based Dove World Outreach Center had planned to commemorate the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by burning around 200 copies of the Qur'an.
Reportedly, Jones may cancel the protest and head up to New York to try to convince Imam Feisal Rauf to relocate the Islamic center slated for construction two blocks from Ground Zero.
Everybody who is anybody has come out to condemn the burning. Gainesville authorities announced their commitment to enforcing the city's open-air burn ban. Dove's service provider pulled the church's website. And Jones inspired at least one copycat in Springfield, Tennessee. (Meanwhile, Westboro Baptist Church, perhaps the original shock-protest congregation, complained that nobody seemed to care when they burned a Qur'an back in 2008. They plan to reprise that protest now that Dove may back down.)
As the world unites to denounce Dove's incendiary intentions, Muslims are preparing for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that starts when Ramadan ends this evening. Reports ...