Home Grown Intolerance (The United States' most popular export)

I want to start off by saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In this great country those opinions and their expression are by and large protected by the touchstone document of our nation. I would never insist on the censorship of any action or statement that is protected by the constituion of the United States of America. My intension in writing this piece is for it to serve as a commentary. Nothing more nothing less.

9/11
9/11
Dove World Outreach Center promotional image
Dove World Outreach Center promotional image

September 11, 2001

It takes only a moment to change the course of human history. Similarly, that moment can affect the course of one human's life within that vast history. I lost more than most on that morning. I lost guide to my actions, a mentor to my emotions and a brother to my father. My uncle Douglas J. Stone was murdered along with many others by Muslim religious extremists. This action, motivated by hate and intolerance, sent shockwaves through the American psyche, and the aftershocks are still being felt nearly a decade later.

The anniversary of September 11th has been for me a time of remembrance. It has been a time to embrace your fellow man and celebrate the lives of those who were taken from us. While losing so much, I have gained perspective. Over the years my personal anger has faded to reveal a reverence that is not unique to Americans that suffered as I have. This reverence will never allow us to forget or forgive. MORE IMPORTANTLY, the memories embody an extreme distaste for any further bloodshed American or otherwise. I can say with finality and a clear conscience that what I have been through, I would not wish upon any man. This has taught me Tolerance.

Thus it troubles me deeply to read about the Gainesville, Florida based Dove World Outreach Center, who plan to burn copies of the Quran in remembrance of those who died during the attacks. (from DWOC Facebook page) " On September 11th, 2010, from 6pm - 9pm, we will burn the Koran on the property of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!"

I have a number of questions to the members of the DWOC. How dare you? How in the name of Christian morals and values preach the very intolerance and hatred that motivated the attacks that you are standing against. How can you in good conscience use the memory of innocents, including my family, in hate filled propaganda? Clearly, no member of this so called outreach program has ever felt the loss that I have. None of them have collapsed to the floor of their sanctuary and held on to memories tight enough to break the bones in their hands. They have not felt the heartache of an empty seat at Christmas, or an empty coffin at a funeral. If they had, they would be unable to speak, overcome with a sense of pain previously unknown.

However intense my moral outrage over these statements and proposed actions may be, it comes second to damage done to the image of America. International media outlets have already begun to report the intensions of this organization. As a result protests have already begun. According to Yahoo news on Monday several hundred Afghans rallied outside a Kabul mosque, burning American flags and an effigy of Dove World's pastor and chanting "death to America." Members of the crowd briefly pelted a passing U.S. military convoy with stones. This incident has already caused irreparable damage to our standing in the world. Some might say that is an embellished statement, a small group of extremists could never change the way the world views an entire country or group of people. To that I would ask how the Taliban has shaped the world's view of Afghanistan?

The international media allows for a direct market for the exportation of American Intolerance. Although there is nothing close to a majority of Americans who feel burning a sacred text is appropriate, It is nonetheless branded as "American" in the headlines and sound bites.

To the members of the Dove World Outreach Center I implore you to reconsider your decision to take these actions. Your immoral actions reflect badly on and embarrass most Americans. Our country was originally a sanctuary from religious persecution and now you are creating an image of just the opposite. I defend your right to freedom of expression, however with that right comes responsibility. And that is to not speak for or over those who also have that right as well. In the eyes of the world you are speaking for all Americans, and for it the world wants "death to America." For this you should be ashamed.

If this event is to continue as planned my moral outrage will be combined with millions of others, and you will be labeled and persecuted for the bigots that you are. Do not shame the memories of the innocents who have died, with hatred that lies in your heart. A moment can change human history. This is yours. Make the right decision and call off Burn a Koran Day.


Darin G. Tabor


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Comments 13 comments

Jeff Berndt profile image

Jeff Berndt 6 years ago from Southeast Michigan

Well said. On a philosophical level, all the "Burn a Koran" hate-fest will do is make it seem okay to hate your neighbor, which is kinda the opposite of Christ's teachings. On a more pragmatic level, even General Petreus has asked these folks to call off "Burn a Koran Day," as he says it will further endanger our troops abroad.

So which is it, Dove World Outreach center? Do you merely hate Islam, or do you also hate our soldiers?


darry40 profile image

darry40 6 years ago from Orange County Author

Thanks for the comment Jeff. It is beyond me why an organization would not head the warning of one of the most decorated generals of recent memory. Not only are their intensions morally wrong but stratigically stupid. You hit the nail on the head.


Berwari 6 years ago

Those brave American men and women who spent long tough and critical periods in Iraq endeavoring to change people's mentality and those who are still serving people in Afghan should be respected. This is America and Christ's teaching NOT hate humanity and human being. Many young american sacrificed and went away from their country for bringing everlasting justice. thus I am asking you to call off "Burn a Koran day"


Revolutionary 6 years ago

It still amazes me that a country based on immigrants has so much hate.


darry40 profile image

darry40 6 years ago from Orange County Author

Berwari thanks for the comment. You are absolutely correct in that the young men and women who have already sacrificed so much for this country will be put in greater danger due to the actions of a few ignorant members of our society.


darry40 profile image

darry40 6 years ago from Orange County Author

Revolutionary, always a pleasure to hear youir opinions. I agree that a country formed of all races creeds and color should in theory at least be more tolerant. But so many times we find that many are still filled to the brim with hate.


Muhammad Al Muntacer 6 years ago

So you want to burn the Holy Quraan ?

The Jpanes Nation is preparing also to burn your stupid Roman Zionist satanic book typed and edited by the killers of Jesus and John the Baptist

And Muslims will wake up to make you pay the price of all your bluffs and all your crimes, we have all our time, you will laugh today in front of an exemplary of Uraan burning but tomorrow will be our turn to laugh in front of your bodies burning


darry40 profile image

darry40 6 years ago from Orange County Author

Muhammad,

Clearly you did not read the article. So before you and the Jpanes Nation get too excited and start burning bodies, perhaps you should read what's in front of you. Usually before I make people pay the price for all of their bluffs and crimes I give a mild attempt to figure out their opinions. For everyone reading this let it be a lesson in equality; It does not matter if your christian, jewish, catholic or muslim you can still be a moron.


Alejandro 6 years ago

Thanks for your article. Thinking about the victims of 9/11: there have also been many muslims in the towers, so this catastrophy is definetly used as an alibi for letting loose a wave of hatred on a minority. The US have long been a symbol of justice, democracy, humanrights, aso, but nowadays the image is different. The "new" US is famed now, for infringement of civil liberties, warmongering, economic destabilization of lower and less income countries, censorship and selfrighteousness on behalf of defenseless children and women. Nobody with half a brain believes in US-world-politics anymore, everybody knows the US fights for money not justice. But that leads away from the topic. Burning the Qu'ran is just plain stupid.


darry40 profile image

darry40 6 years ago from Orange County Author

Alejandro, Thanks for taking the time to comment. You are correct that a minority group within America has been an unjust target as well as a scapegoat for the prejudice that has been seen. However I have to disagree with your portryal of a "New US" in modern International politics. While Bush era policies have certainly stained a once emaculate resume. There has been recent steps in correcting these misgivings. Pulling all combat troops out of Iraq, reduction and eventual elimination of all enemy combatants held in Guantanamo, and renewed effort to communicate with "not so friendly" nations are all evidence of a change in attitude. So keep your chin up, justice will come around.


Mgatchalian 6 years ago

A pioneer of wisdom, Heraclitus once said, “The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny ... it is the light that guides your way”. The tragic event of 9/11 caused this great nation a tremendous amount of grief and sorrow. Its’ citizens have shed tears for the loss of their brothers and sisters. If we take part in the burning of the Quran, what does that say of us? Aren’t we then just like those who have caused this nation great pain? What right have we to inflict suffering unto others because of their beliefs? Because we have suffered, it does not give us an excuse to exile those that we believe have caused our pain. I hope that at the end of the day, we use our better judgment… We must learn from our pains and remember that prejudice is not the answer.


darry40 profile image

darry40 6 years ago from Orange County Author

Mgatchalian, thanks for the comment. I agree with you that burning the quran would reflect badly up on us. From an ethical standpoint you are absolutley correct. Predjudice is not a solution. Serious predjudice such as this could potencially disrupt our precarious position in the middle east. Not to mention the damage to our nation's international credibility. Hate has no place politics. The essence of political engagment is comporomise. And if the nation is seen to be filled with hate there can never be compromise.


darry40 profile image

darry40 6 years ago from Orange County Author

I want to thank everyone for an outpouring of support. I am glad to say that one day after 9/11 there were no korans burned by terry jones and his organization. He officially cancelled International Burn a Koran Day and has told Today Show corresponents that God does not want him to ever burn a quran. I am certainly pleased with that result, as I am sure you are as well. However there have been many reports of Americans burning them despite the cancelling. Some are posting videos of the burnings on youtube and other websites. This is no less unacceptable. The wounds that these acts cause are not mendable. They are heniaus and do not reflect american values. bittersweet.

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