I’m off to Gainesville, FL this weekend for a long planned kayak trip with family and friends on the Santa Fe River. I’m thanking my stars I’ll be on the peaceful river on Saturday the ninth anniversary of the terrorist bombing in NYC, because if I was in town I’d be tempted to put myself in danger to attend the protest rallies against the Quran burning at the 50-member evangelical Dove World Outreach. Its Reverend (?) Terry Jones has created a tornado spinning round the world with his plan to burn the holy books of Islam as examples of terrorism and the devil. Already the news has taken the Muslim world by storm with counter burnings of the American flag and the effigies of Pres. Obama and Pastor Jones that fuel the possibility of inciting more terrorist attacks.
Even the pleadings of Gen. Petraeus and the denunciations of high US government officials, including Sec. of State Hillary Clinton have done nothing to deter Jones’ resolve. Okay, at least I can attend the counter protest, joining all the other religious and secular leaders, media, and the public together for a “Gathering for Peace” on Friday night, which has received little publicity in comparison to the Quran-burning spawned by Jones.
Here comes a news flash. Terry Jones must be getting intimidated. He’s had a meeting with the local Imam and makes an announcement cancelling the Quran bonfire after getting a promise that the planned mosque in NYC will be moved away from the “ground zero” neighborhood. What? This is hard to believe.
I keep the news on as I write. The twisting tornado of the media blitz continues. Another flash – Jones gets a call from Robert Gates, the Sec. of Defense, asking him to back down in interest of stopping the violence already started in the Muslim world. Flash. Now Jones says the Imam lied to him, and he’s changing the cancellation to a suspension! I can’t keep up and go to bed. Dreams of war and pestilence infect my mind.
Friday morning. With coffee in hand I turn on the news before I leave for Gainesville. Lo and behold, twisted pastor Jones is on network TV announcing his planned meeting with the NYC Muslims. If they agree to move the mosque he will return his suspension of the Quran bonfire to a cancellation. What kind of messages is Jones’ God giving him? What kind of cat and mouse game is the world playing? I can’t wait to float down the quiet Santa Fe R. meditating on the image of world peace and tolerance. I hope that when I return the tornado of hatred and ignorance hasn’t grown into a monster of a new terrorism.