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September 8th, 2010
11:03 PM ET

Sarah Palin: Quran burning insensitive and un-American

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Yesterday, I called on Christian politicians who had opposed, on the grounds of “sensitivity,” the Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan to denounce the insensitivity of the pastor provocateur Terry Jones, who is planning to burn Qurans at his Gainesville, Florida, church on September 11.  I also called out Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich by name.

Today, Sarah Palin, at least, weighed in.

On Twitter, she wrote, “Koran Burning Is Insensitive, Unnecessary; Pastor Jones, Please Stand Down.”

On Facebook, she spelled out her position in more detail:

Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation – much like building a mosque at Ground Zero.

I would hope that Pastor Terry Jones and his supporters will consider the ramifications of their planned book-burning event. It will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don’t feed that fire.

I am still waiting to hear from Newt Gingrich.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Florida • Islam • Leaders • Quran

soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Abdullatif Ashanti

    Please excuse the mistakes in my post. terry jones will be the one to bring this country to ruin and this world of ours down. If it doesn't happen this way it will be because you will do Muslims and Muslim counties the way you did Japan. What other country has used nuclear warfare against another people of color and it's nation ? Here we go again !!! Malcolm X once said, "America has no moral standing..."...

    September 10, 2010 at 2:19 am |
  2. Abdullatif Ashanti

    Sarah ? I Don't believe nothing she says. Newt? Probably won't hear from him concerning this grave issue. But, right now the kicker for me is that former Presidents: The G.W. Bushs and Bill Clinton have not come out to condemn this man and his church's plan to burn Qur'ans. The last President Bush went on TV and said "America is not at war with Islam", or words to that effect. You want to call somebody out call these three guys out. I've searched on whether any of these guys have spoken out against what this terry jones is threatening, especially Bush, since he went national TV, as President and said what he said about this country not being at war with Islam. For him not to say nothing concerning this despicable planned act against Islam is tantamount to saying that America is at war with Islam. I Love this country ! It is the country of my birth. I've severed in it's armed service (Army, 1971-1978), I AM A MUSLIM AFRICAN AMERICAN, to be 62 years of age, come December, and I will die for Islam. The burning of The Holy Qur'an would be an act of War. You kill us, we kill you, you steal muslim land in Israel, you more of us than we kill of you. Insanity ! But planning to burn, literally, the most sacred object in Islam, even more sacred than the Kabah ! It is not insanity, it is demonic. What better way for the Devil to bring us as a species to ruin. Burn the Most Scared thing to a people and their religion–the Book we (Mulims), believe are the literal words of Allah (God). Shaitan (The Devil), will have wow. He has found his dupe. The one that this country and world of our's down. Allah-U-Akbar ! (GOD IS GREAT !).

    September 10, 2010 at 2:06 am |
  3. Ken LeBert

    What is WRONG with some of you people? Appeasement NEVER works. We catered to a few illegal immigrants years ago, and look what happened. Jimmy Carter tried to appease Iranian thugs. How did that turn out ? Now our govt. drops to it's knees and grovels toward Mecca every time some rag-head whines, and I PROMISE you that policy won't work either.
    What next? Every American will have to tune in to a govt. channel every mourning to find out whom not to offend today ?

    September 9, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
    • Laursaurus

      Important point, Ken. The Islamic world judges compromise as hopelessly weak. The imam refuses to relocate because it will only be seen as defeat to the Muslim world. They will respond with violence. Hello! That's a terrorist threat! There is no such thing as tolerance and we are idiots to believe it's a virtue. So it's a bald-faced lie that erecting a shrine to the diabolical world view that justified 9/11 located directly in the path cleared in the wake of it's murderous destruction is gesture of peace. This was a heinous assault on our secular society. They deeply detest our American culture and the legally-protected liberty we cherish. The majority of Americans who comprehend exactly what this means are logically opposed. The mass murder of 3,000 innocent civilians caused the legacy of fear. What happened to our vows to never forget what happened on 9/11? Well, at least most of us clearly remember how our naive trust in humanity allowed it to happen. How dumb can some of us be to go back to that clueless state of bliss?

      September 10, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  4. Laura

    NYC could have made the decision not to extend the permit even it were a Mosque. And we all know why, mainly the right, keeps calling it a Mosque. But people who should no better are doing it to. It's to scare people. Because ignorant people are scared of Muslims and think all Muslims are at all times plotting to kill us. What is your point exactly? And yes I do know "the story" of Cordoba Spain... it's called history. And some of the history is bad... some good. Just like every society on earth, including our own. Yes, terrible things happened when the Moors invaded and Islam ruled, but some pretty awful things happened when the Christians were in charge too. Ever heard of the Spanish Inquisition? But during the good parts, the big 3 faiths lived together without much problem and it was a center of science, the arts and scholarship. I'm sure that was the period the Imam was considering in naming the center. Again, what is your point?

    September 9, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  5. Hobo

    Laura, just a question. If this is not a mosque then preventing it from being built is not a first amendment freedom of religion issue, correct? Just as cities every day make decisions on building and not building, New York City could make the decision to not allow this to be built, correct? One other thing, if this "Mosque" is about healing as the Imam claims, why does he want to call it Cordoba House? Do you know the story of Cordoba Spain?

    September 9, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  6. Hobo

    Newt Gingrich did denounce this on Hannity's show yesterday.

    September 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.