(Islamophobia Watch) -- Those behind a sign posted in front of their northwest Gainesville church, proclaiming in red letters "Islam is of the devil," say it's a way to express their religious beliefs and is a message of "a great act of love."Ah, Florida! How I so very much regret that, on the one occasion in which I visited your state, I had no time at all to visit charming Gainesville. I'd love to say that I might someday come, but, honestly, chances are slim.
(CNN) -- In protest of what it calls a religion "of the devil," a nondenominational church in Gainesville, Florida, plans to host an "International Burn a Quran Day" on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks. The Dove World Outreach Center says it is hosting the event to remember 9/11 victims and take a stand against Islam... --Read the whole sorry story here.
Nothing disgusts me more than the kind of bigotry displayed by the Dove World Outreach Center. I've ended decade-old friendships rather than tell a person twice that I don't care to hear any anti-Muslim bigotry.
Are there Tea Party people out there who will condemn this idiocy? How about Sister Sarah? Or Rush? How about Drum Major Newt? Or that up-and-comer Eric Cantor?
I'm not holding my breath...
If there are any Tea Party people who have open minds, I tell you now that Islam is not your enemy. If you hold the view that Islam is dedicated to destroying your way of life, such fears can easily be dispelled.
Take a look at Burkina Faso in western sub-Saharan Africa. The population of 15 to 16 million is some 60% Muslim, 20% Catholic, and 20% other, according to Wikipedia. It is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with very few resources.
But, you know what? Muslims and Christians live side by side without any "clash of faiths" bullsh*t messing things up.
My wife, Maty, as I have mentioned many times on this blog, lived in Burkina Faso for most of her life. She is a practicing Muslim. But she attended a Catholic school in Ouagadougou.
One of the biggest events in Maty's lifetime was when Pope John Paul II came to Ouagadougou in late January of 1990. Schools and work places were shut down. People lined the streets all along the route to the football stadium, which they packed to capacity and beyond, to pay their respects to the leader of more than a billion Christians. This, in a country that is 60% Muslim.
So, you see, Tea Party people, Muslims and Christians live side by side peaceably. They even go so far as to respect and honor each other! It is possible! You see? Just like they do in Turkey and Greece and Senegal and Iran and Pakistan!
Anyone who tells you that Islam is your enemy is either an ignoramus or is trying to distract you from something else.
Islam is not your enemy.