UPDATE:

A friend of mine came to me two days ago asking me for my thoughts on the Park 51 project to which I replied back asking him what he thought of the National Qur'an burning day project. He said, neither I nor anybody in my church support such actions, this is not a reflection of our religion. I smiled back and said… aaah, now you know how it feels!

For the last few weeks, the media has been all over Pastor Terry Jones from the Dove World Outreach Center after he announced his intent to burn Qurans on September 11th 2010. Many people disagreed and were angry with Jones including the US Attorney General Eric Holder and General Petraeus who said that such an action would lead in to violence in the Muslim world.

ISNA, ICNA, and CAIR have been sending out emails asking people to be cautious of any similar acts throughout America.

Finally today, CNN announced that he called the whole thing off and my first reply was…chicken!

He claimed that the imam of Park51 announced that he is going to move the project from lower Manhattan but Park51 has denied that via twitter.

Anyway…I am happy this saga is over. I am going to celebrate Eid in more peace now alhamdulillah.

From Ify Okoye:

I just could not get worked up about this whole controversy. As I walked into class yesterday, one of my classmates said she had been thinking about me while watching the news about the planned Qur'an burning and thought to herself that “Man, I'm sure Ify must be mad about this.” But I surprised her when I said I wasn't and saw it as a free speech issue that didn't really affect me. And I asked her, “Would you be mad if someone said they wanted to burn the Bible?” She paused, not sure of her response but eventually offered a “No, not really.”

Allah has guaranteed in his book that he will protect it and one oddball pastor burning the Qur'an should not disturb the barakah and peace we've felt in the month of Ramadan, the month of the Qur'an, or dampen our plans for a joyous Eid this weekend, insha'Allah. However, I am thankful that the plan has been called off to spare us from having to witness scenes of angry demonstrations and/or violence. And how strange it is to see some of the same people like Sarah Palin who oppose the building of Park51 being forced to denounce the plan to burn the Qur'an. The displays of support from a wide spectrum of voices from the Vatican and other faith leaders to President Obama (no equivocating about the “wisdom” here) is heartening especially coming so soon after the prominent absence of moral courage and principled debate in the Park51 controversy.

What does offend me deeply is how this issue like the South Park cartoons or the movie Submission or Rushdie's book and other similar insensitive or inflammatory behavior or work is presented by some Muslims, the media and public officials as a “we should not do this or we might offend Muslims who will then go crazy and become terrorists and kill innocent people” argument. Muslims are no more prone to violence than others and can and should be required to be deeply rational beings accountable for our own behavior.

See this video: (Obama addressing this issue before it was called off)

Free Curaans to burn??

YouTube Preview Image

47 Responses

  1. Mainoooo

    Alhamdulilah. Regardless of chicken, I am glad this issue is over and we can now celebrate Eid al-Fitr with family and friends at peace without knowing that Allah’s words are being destroyed. This makes me even happy now.

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  2. Brother

    Well, actually I was offended that they were going to burn the quran. I saw it as a proclamation of their hatred of Islam and Muslims i.e. extreme hatred and disrespect. Although I acknowledge his right to do so, that is MY holy book their burning, and I don’t have to be happy or neutral with this action. Personally, I don’t understand why he would burn a book that praises Jesus given that he’s Christian.

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  3. Zarmeena

    “Finally today, CNN announced that he called the whole thing off and my first reply was…chicken!”???

    I didn’t want to read the article past this. Even if the writer FELT this, he should have kept his peace and not voice it, n definitely not write it, especially not on a forum like this! Inadvertantly, this reaction makes it a matter of ego rather than principal. If the pastor wasn’t backing down earlier because of his ego (assuming this was the case), then Muslims won’t be any better coming up with a reaction like this.

    Just say Alhamdulillah and then, thank you. No egoes attached. No bickering. No chicken shicken or anything.

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    • Sayf

      Yeah, no disrespect to Haytham, may Allah reward the brother – but that shouldn’t have gotten through the MM shura. It really should be removed.

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      • Haytham

        I’m typing on my phone…so I ll tell you why I said and keep saying he’s a chicken.

        I will also reply the original commentator.

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      • Haytham

        So here is why I called him a chicken:

        1- He repeatedly said that he is doing this burn because he doesnt want sharia law to take over America…. I dont see how did that change after he allegedly spoke to the Ground Zero Imam.

        2- He changed his mind one day before he wanted to burn the quran after he was made fun of by almost everybody in the media. If you haven’t seen Anderson on CNN smacking him around, then you must have seen Rick Sanchez. .. apparently he was put under high pressure.. and he apparently he couldnt take it so he chickened out

        3- He changed his mind after talking to the ground zero mosque Imam…felt like he is an important man… then changed his mind… just like a little kid who is mad about not being able to get some ice cream… but once you get it…. he quits being annoying!

        4- Finally, he logically didnt make any sense… so this whole thing was originated outta of angry emotions … and once those emotions were put to rest, he chickened out!

        As for Zarmeena’s comment…. my father used to tell me when I was little… “if you do something dont be afraid of its consequences… and if you are scared of the consequences of something, then dont do it”

        I think this applies really well in this case!

        Ego has nothing to do with this… if somebody goes on national media outlets saying he is going to do something as magnificent as burning the Quran…then he should bare the consequences!

        We dont live in a touchy feely world anymore… people must own up to their actions…

        Good night… and Eid Mubarak.

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      • Zarmeena

        How many times did the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. get back to someone in that manner?

        On a personal blog, sure go ahead do it. Free country, free speeach whatever you want to call it. You have all the right. On a blog that prides itself for ‘Muslim Matters’ – I suppose a higher personal caliber ought to have been portrayed.

        Besides, answer a bad with a good and you might win the bad over to your good side. Answer a bad with a bad – what’s the difference then?

        And then, what if, a man’s ego strikes back, ‘Oh they calling me chicken are they? I sure will show them how i go through with it now!!’ – this too can happen. He might as well go ahead and burn the Book and it won’t bring an ounce of damage to the Book itself. But it will stir alot of negative reaction. Muslims might or might not bomb more Americans or their cities, but in their fury they go round killing, destroying, torching and plundering their own people – case in point, the violent demonstrations that took place in Muslim countrues after the cartoons issue. Who got hurt? Only Muslims. Whose shops and bikes and vehicles were burnt? Those of fellow Muslims.

        Anyway. My point, why go around and force/corner the already arrogant man into another arrogance-ignited move by coming up with comments/reactions like ‘Chicken’, ‘Coward’ or anything.

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      • Ikhlas

        my above comment was for Haytham…He needs to start acting his age. He is a grown man, but sounds like a spoiled brat. MM should do themselves a favor and edit his post.

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      • Friend

        I think bro. hytham is right on. This fool chickened out under pressure….like a lil kid who got himself in trouble and was running around to find a way out. His excuses says it all.

        I don’t understand why you all on his case. …let the dude be.

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  4. Hussein Atheist

    He’s really a chicken………………………that was the best thing that a man will do in our life but f*** thats over

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  5. r lee

    THEY PREACH HATE AND WANT FREE SPEECH HERE BUT DON’T WANT OTHERS TO HAVE THE SAME RIGHT I BELIEVE IN YOUR RIGHT TO RELIGION BUT WHEN YOU STEP ON MINE AND AMERICAS WE WONT STAND FOR IT VERY LONG THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE IN THE TWO WELL FIGHT FOR IT AFTER AWHILE AND I HOPE THE CONSEQUENCES AREN’T WHAT I THINK THEY’LL BE

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    • Haytham

      ay man… who stepped on your right of religion?!

      And btw.. you comment is not making any sense!

      If I were you, I would retype your comment without the capitalization and lets see if we can reason with each other!

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      • r lee

        I would love to reason with you but your religion preaches hate and i for one am against it but wouldn’t back down

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      • Haytham

        but maan… how can you convict my religion without giving it the chance to defend itself?!

        Islam doesn’t preach hate… it is a balanced religion… so when one only focuses on one side, it obviously will look imbalanced and maybe a little hateful.

        I would love to have a private chat with you via email if you wish about this and maybe I can direct you to some sources that might give you a little clearer idea about what Islam really is!

        My email is haytham@muslimmatters.org

        peace out

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      • Zayna

        You might hate Islam, Muslims but seriously, why destroy a book? Book is knowledge, book is what leads you to light from darkness. Granted, many Muslims you have come across or read about may have given you this idea that Islam preaches hate, many history books also indicate Islam was spread in South Asia through bloodshed and violence, I won’t refute it or deny it. The beauty of a “book” is that it can be studied and interpreted in any way you like. Unfortunately, some people take things out of context.. when you translate something, and you add your little spice to it, and you have already have an idea as to where you stand.. things really get taken out of context, and you lose the beauty and essence of why, what and how. Many Muslims feel the same way you do.. “why back down”.. it goes to further prove my point, we are all the same.

        This weekend is a big for many people.. it is Eid for Muslims, Rosh Hashanah for Jews and Ganesh Chathurthi for Hindus. All three parties don’t get along, the common political enemy being Muslims.. but in many parts of the world, you would think its just one big celebration of life.

        Take it easy.. follow your heart then use your head to smooth it out.

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  6. r lee

    my email isnt working today but i will take you up on that and appreciate the dialogue

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  7. Riyaz Qureshi

    EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THE SAID PRIEST WAS INVITING TROUBLE FOR AMERICA AND IT WAS DUE TO BE CALLED OFF……

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    • Zayna

      umm.. inviting trouble? Pls be careful, how you phrase things. If the pastor had decided to go through with this act.. what would have happend according to you? Seriously, this type of mentality is what started off this Quran burning saga. Rise above it.

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  8. Christina

    The Preacher who wants to burn the Quran has the right to (freedom of Speech) but is it the right thing to do? Sounds like the just Mosque deal right?

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    • Friend

      As a Muslim…. I agree with you. The only problem now is…. unfortunately if Muslims back outta of the mosque deal….. the civil rights of “all” muslims through out America will be violated…while if this idiot burns the quran backs off… nobodies human, civil, or any other type of right is touched!

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    • Hassan

      So making a church is like someone burning bible? One thing is to accodomate people of faith to worship and other thing is to offend those people. Is that equal?

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      • asafa

        Why should anyone have their rights stomped on so as not to “offend” a religion? ANY RELIGION?

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  9. Christina

    The Preacher who wants to burn the Quran has the right to (freedom of Speech) but is it the right thing to do? Sounds identical the ground zero Mosque deal right?

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  10. Christina

    Well bring it on, you will lose in this country, I see many arab muslim nations burning the bible and the US Flag but thats okay?

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    • Ify Okoye

      Go ahead, I don’t care if anyone wants to burn anything, doesn’t hurt me in the least. Read, learn, and burn sort of rhymes but only two are positive and increase understanding. I intend to assert my rights and defend the right of others to assert theirs. Try and take those rights from me with some weak nonsense arguments and you’ll lose, not only the moral high ground but also in a court of law. That’s the beauty of this country.

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    • Bahader from Sweden

      Well Christina… I’ve personally never seen a Muslim or Arab (btw 15% of muslims are arabs) burn a copy of a bible… It’s forbidden in our religion.

      The second thing with the US Flag, I’m not saying it’s a right thing to do BUT what would you have done when they blow away you parents, children (while they sleep) or just goes out and invades your country with killing and raping of innocent people … (THAT for sure I’ve seen on TV!)

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  11. Syed J.

    Woh Zamane mein muazzaz they musalman ho kar
    aur tum quaar hue taarik e quraan ho kar.

    If anyone can best translate this piece of poetry from Allama Iqbal, pls do so.

    We’ve to first get the quran active into our lives. The people around do not know what kind of a personality is built when Qur’an inspires them.

    Sahaba RA, Masha Allah were walking qur’ans. Their learning effected themselves, their words, their deeds, and the community around them. People around were inspired because of that.

    Stop blaming others for the things happening to us.

    Koi andaaza karsakta hai uske zor e baazu ka
    nigaahe mard e momin se badal jaati hai taqdeeren.

    Again, if someone is a best translator from urdu to english please do so.

    We need to go and get beyond our halaqas, seminars etc..and get into the community at large..

    Feeding the poor, volunteering for non profits (irrespective of religion), taking care of the needy, and the list of service to community and humanity goes on where muslims can get out of their homes and serve..

    This is big time we start acting more and talking less. Its big time. We need to inspire people with our actions and what best way would it be if not the Qur’anic way, as the Qur’an describes a lot of good deeds which benefit mankind and that they are true noble actions.

    Read Quran, 2:177

    And Allah SWT knows best.

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    • Hassan

      Woh Zamane mein muazzaz they musalman ho kar
      aur tum quaar hue taarik e quraan ho kar.

      First it should not be “quaar”, its “khuwaar”, unless if someone is from hyderabad India, he/she would pronounce qa as kha and kha as qa.

      Translation:

      They (referring to salaf) were well respected in world being muslim
      and you (current generation) have been disgraced by leaving Quraan.

      Koi andaaza karsakta hai uske zor e baazu ka
      nigaahe mard e momin se badal jaati hai taqdeeren.

      Translation:

      Can anyone guess the strength and power of his arms!!
      The mere sight/vision of believing man can change fates

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  12. Saif Q

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    Excellent article and funny video!

    Although I would disagree with Sr. Ife with the fact that this issue shouldn’t affect/bother us and we should look at it as a free speech issue.

    From Imam Dhahabi’s al-kaba’ir:

    “Whoever fights them [oppressors] with his hand is a believer, whoever fights them with his tongue is a
    believer, whoever fights them in his heart is a believer, Beyond that, there is not a mustard grain of
    faith.” [Muslim]

    Sharh: This hadith proves that whoever does not condemn acts of disobedience in his heart or wish they would cease is devoid of faith. Fighting with the heart includes asking Allah Most High to annihitate the
    falsehood and its prepetrators, or improve them.

    Please don’t take this as a personal assault. I am just raising a discussion point. I am not saying anyone here has committed one of the kaba’ir!

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    • Ify Okoye

      Wa salaam alaykum,

      I agree we can dislike matters but that doesn’t give us the right to stop it in a country governed by Constitutional rights nor a license to act immorally out of anger. The haterade from the Christian right and others is nothing new, not newsworthy, and beneath the level of dignity for pious individuals. The ideas and intentions behind the act are repugnant and hateful and to be loathed but our responses should be better than that.

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  13. asafa

    Burn anything you want is what I say. He’s legally allowed to do so. Burn Bibles, Qurans, Harry Potter, representations of the Constitution. No matter what this man’s intentions are, religious laws do not apply except to followers of that religion (and even in some cases secular law must over-ride religious law).

    Remember the response of the media and ‘the internet’ to the Draw Muhammad Day? The intentions were to show how a religious law could not be forced upon others, no matter how great the insult could be perceived. Now, what’s the response? Sure people can hate on his intentions, but what about this lawyer in Australia who burned both the Quran and the Bible? Is he going to murdered for simply making a statement?: This book means nothing to me, and I don’t care what they, Christians or Muslims, say or do about my actions. This is my right.

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