What’s the American Way to Fight the Planned 9/11 “Burn a Koran Day”?

Flickr/ <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/27557398@N04/2568956062/">Doctor Yuri</a> (Creative Commons)

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

By now, you may have heard of “Burn a Koran Day,” the, ahem, brainchild of Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center and its Islam-hatin’ pastor Terry Jones. (No, not that Terry Jones. Thankfully.) Apparently the pastor is jonesing for some 9/11 headlines, so he’s exhorting his nondenominational Christian flock to show unity on the anniversary of the “attack on America” by going Fahrenheit 451 on Islam’s holy book. It’s a move that’s been widely attacked, even by such political quietists as Gen. David Petraeus in Kabul. (Jones’ book-burning campaign “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems—not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community,” says Petraeus.)

Enter the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which has been combating the spectre of old-school, end-times Christian proselytizing in the armed forces’ ranks since 2005. The group has vowed that for every Koran Jones’ minions char, they’ll donate a new one to the Afghan National Army…via Petraeus. Says MRFF in a press release:

After being contacted by scores of our active duty military clients asking us to do something in response to Terry Jones’s planned “Burn A Koran Day,” MRFF has decided that the most appropriate response would not be to try to stop Jones, but to donate to the Afghan National Army, as a gesture of good will and a statement of opposition to this entirely un-American act of religious bigotry, a new Qur’an for each one destroyed by Jones and his followers.

As if that wasn’t enough First Amendment-flexing for you, MRFF also plans to run a full-page ad in Friday’s Gainesville Sun, Jones’ local paper:

Kinda makes you proud to be an American, aywot?


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend