Nine years ago today I was a freshman in Mr. Andrzejewski’s class. I can’t remember how we found out, but I remember sitting at my desk as we listened to the radio, incredulous at first, then stricken. The rest of the day, all we could think of was the Twin Towers…terrorists…the planes’ passengers…smoke…bodies falling…papers flying.
In a magazine I found a picture of a house that had been spray-painted in red with the words, “GOD FORGIVES. WE DON’T.” I cut it out and pasted it into my journal.
I’m disappointed and rather disgusted that all this Koran burning rigmarole has impeded our ability to commemorate this solemn anniversary. Why are politicians allowing themselves to get so excited about it? WHO CARES? Look, the Afghanis are going to hate us no matter what we do. I can’t really blame them; I’ve read both Khaled Hosseini books…things sound pretty fucked up over there. Rioting is probably the only recreation they get, a break from the monotony of milking goats and oppressing women. Then Indonesia has to throw in its two cents. The Vatican also voiced its disapproval, which was noted by the two people in the world who still care what the pope thinks.
The only ones who have handled this situation at all gracefully are American Muslims, the majority of whom have simply ignored the passel of Jesus-crazed troglodytes who plan on incinerating their holy text. By participating in the kerfuffle, politicians and foreign nationals are simply lending credence and giving power to the Dove Outreach loonies, b/c now, whether they burn the books or not (and I guess by this point, it’s safe to say not), everyone knows about them. The publicity has allowed the transmission of a powerful anti-Islam message, particularly since Muslims in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, with their disproportionately violent tantrums, have allowed themselves to be portrayed yet again as unstable, unreasonable, intolerant and fanatical. How are we supposed to take these people seriously when they display the emotional control and reasoning skills of two-year-olds? You’d think they would be grateful. Yes, grateful. In order to enact book-burning scheme they have to obtain all sorts of Korans first. As in, buy them. Think of all the money Koran publishers and vendors are making! Now they’ll be able to pay for a daughter’s circumcision, or even support a third wife!
As for the Islamic center in Ground Zero…? Well, I can’t say I’m thrilled about the idea. Then again, if it were up to me, they would stop having to build Baptist churches and Christian Science bookstores as well. Still, it does seem a wee bit insensitive, rather like building a Serbian Cultural Appreciation center in Srebrenica.