Here’s the scene.
Some small-town religious extremist kicks up a bit of a local stink by publicising a book-burning ceremony. A Qu’ran-burning ceremony to be precise. Well, whatever floats your bateau. A newshound out for a controversial story gets wind of this sorry little episode, and blows it up into something it should never have been; cue the president of the United States getting into a lather and half of the Muslim world taking to the streets – as if they needed an excuse to burn American flags and self-flagellate. It’s not as if these guys have to take a day off work or anything – the rape victim they have to stone can wait a day after all.
I don’t find the reaction to this non-story by Islamic extremists in anyway surprising – if they were to look at themselves closely in the mirror and concentrate just a little, they’d see that this so-called “pastor” is singing from the same hymn sheet, though to a slightly different tune. Burn this, burn that. March here, march there. It’s like a scene from some Monty Python film, made funnier by the fact that the chief protagonist happens to also be called Terry Jones.
What is slightly more disturbing is that educated people are taking these loony tunes way too seriously, when they should all be thrown into the same joke basket and roundly mocked. When I first saw a photograph of Jones and his greying handlebar moustache, all I could visualise was the Village People accompanied by some buck-toothed mongoloid hick maniacally strumming his banjo. Instead, we have that fool Obama getting in on the act and dishing out more silly statements that only serve make the whole thing more significant than it really is.
The president of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, warned in a nationally televised address on Friday that Mr Jones’s plan threatened world peace.
In a speech marking the end of Ramadan, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said: “I’m of course aware of the reported cancellation of the deplorable act by Terry Jones. However, none of us can be complacent until such a despicable idea is totally extinguished.”
Some people should just take a reality check, President Yudhoyono included. Pastor Terry Jones may be a threat to the daily schedule of the receptionist of his local psychiatric clinic, but a “threat to world peace”? The very suggestion is laughable. Inconsequential small-town attention-seeking loudmouth with a congregation of fifty wages silly ideological war on one and a half billion Muslims. World peace is threatened. We just need the comedy punchline.
Those of you who might read this blog on a regular basis will know that I am not the greatest fan of our Islamic friends, and would prefer that the extremists among their number toddle off elsewhere – taking their intact Qu’rans with them. The likes of Pastor Terry Jones and some self-flagellating, flag-burning clown on the streets of Kabul are one and the same – rabble-rousers with little or nothing else better to do that need any old excuse to spout their nonsense and indulge in a spot of unhealthy pyromania.