UH students reflect on attempted Quran burning
Florida pastor Terry Jones backed down from his recent pledge to burn 200 Qurans on Sept. 11. His threat received massive media coverage around the world and stirred up a heated debate about American values and Constitutional freedoms.
As the crisis blows over, American people can now look back and ponder over what America has learned from such an event.
“Everything happens for a reason and I believe that such an event made us stronger as a nation,” psychology senior Nosheen Syed said. “We know that there will always be a small group of people everywhere who will defy all reasons and want to harm others.”
The news of the burning was met with outrage and criticism as it quickly spread through the world. Jones was pressured to abandon his plans by U.S. officials, including U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Barack Obama.
Jones finally agreed and gave a statement saying his church will not burn the Quran.
“From this incident we should learn to never allow one of our freedoms to eclipse another,” consumer science and merchandising junior Ayesha Shah said. “Freedom of speech should not infringe upon freedom of religion, belief and worship.”
Jones called off his plans as part of a deal he made with Muslim cleric, Feisal Abdul Rauf moving the cultural center near Ground Zero to another location, though Rauf denied making any such promise.
“A nation that claims to be ‘under God’ should display the characteristics that show the love of God, which definitely does not include the burning of any religious book,” graphic design junior Whitney Roper said.
Countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia held protests condemning Jones’ plans. At least two people were killed during the protesting in Afghanistan.
“Displays of outright bigotry only reflect poorly on our nation,” political science senior Andrew Hall said.
Even though Jones called off Quran burning, at least three copies of the Quran were still burned by individuals on Sept. 11. In response, the U.S. Constitution was burned by anti-Americans in London, according to the CNN website.
“This incident tells us that there is a dire need for informed inter-faith dialogue,” Syed said. “This will help eliminate and correct misconceptions…and make us, as a nation, more tolerant.”