No country or religon has a monopoly on religious nutcases, writes Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times.
So much was read into the announcement by Pastor Terry Jones that he would burn the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 that this formerly obscure preacher must be delighted. His Koran-burning announcement set off a global debate about Islamophobia. Editorials were written about the clash of civilisations.
And the world’s politicians — starting with Barack Obama — lined up to persuade the old boy to throw his match-box away on that day.
Jones wants us to notice. That’s why he announced his intentions well in advance. And that’s why he has gone on TV denouncing Islam. In the process, he has converted himself from a previously obscure figure to the lead item on news broadcasts all over the world. We have elevated him from small-town weirdo to global champion of redneck ignorance — and he didn’t even have to burn the Koran. All he had to do was threaten to burn it.
In that sense, he is no different from Osama bin Laden who kills people and then puts out videotapes bragging about the murder. No religion and no country has any monopoly on religious nutcases. And sadly, hatred always finds a market.