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Enraged by Florida Pastor, Afghan Crowds Kill Foreigners

By Mark Potok on April 1, 2011 - 2:10 pm, Posted in Anti-Muslim

Is Terry Jones a mass murderer?

Probably not, under American law. But does he bear moral responsibility for the deaths today of at least a dozen people in Afghanistan, after mobs enraged by his March 20 burning of the Koran stormed a United Nations building and killed men and women inside?

That’s an entirely different question.

Jones is the wretched “pastor” who tried to hold an “International Burn a Koran Day” at the height of the Ground Zero controversy in New York last summer. He was finally persuaded not to do so after high officials including Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, personally asked him not to, citing the firestorm he predicted would erupt.

Even though Jones didn’t follow through that time, there were furious demonstrations then across Afghanistan, and at least five people died.

Twelve days ago, Jones and his tiny congregation at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., held a little-noticed mock trial and “execution” of the Koran. An assistant to Jones confirmed to reporters today that the group had burned a Koran and released a statement offering no regrets. Jones called the attack “very tragic” and said “the time has come to hold Islam accountable,” The New York Times reported.

Reports said that thousands of Afghans, emerging from Friday prayers in Mazar-i-Sharif, marched to the United Nations complex, where they overwhelmed guards and stormed through the compound. Early reports were confused, but it appears at least seven foreign workers were killed, including a woman. Their nationalities were not immediately known. There were also reports from local hospitals that five Afghans died.

The Times also reported that a prominent Afghan cleric who heads the Ulema Council, an important religious body where the Koran burning was recently discussed, called on American authorities to try Jones as a war criminal. He said that if that did not happen, violence and protests were likely to continue.

President Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the brutal mob attack. And, ultimately, responsibility for this atrocity obviously rests mainly with the murderers who committed it and those who encouraged them to act in  response to Jones’ provocation. But as barbaric as the crowds were, it’s hard to avoid assigning a great deal of the blame to Jones, even though his despicable actions are protected under the First Amendment.

And he’s not the only one. In the aftermath of Petraeus’ remarks last year, as the ThinkProgress blog pointed out today, many well-known Islamophobes criticized the general. Robert Spencer called his comments a “recipe for surrender,” while his partner in the Stop Islamization of America hate group, Pam Geller, wrote, “If we stop doing things they dislike, where will we draw the line?”

Hopefully, with people like Gainesville’s Terry Jones.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Damn Trotsky, you almost got it right this time. These people had plenty of good reason to riot, and yet stupidly chose a ridiculous justification instead of the dozens of more legitimate reasons.

    But alas, with you every silver lining has a cloud- The brutal conditions in Afghanistan have far more to do with the tribal and clan structure than Islam. Turkey, despite the advances made by the AKP regime, is still not nearly as “Islamic” as Afghanistan, yet in the eastern regions of the country where feudal relationships still exist, we see things like honor killings and blood feuds.

  • Nikita Vissarionovitch Trotsky

    The reason why Afghans have been going apes**t over the Koran burning is because their incompetent, ultra corrupt president Hamid Karzai needed something that would divert his subjects’ attention away from him and his narco trafficker brother. That, and the fact that Afghanistan also happen to be the most devout Islamic nation in the world, as it is exemplified by the brutal, slave like conditions of Afghan women and Christians (f there are any left alive).

  • Jonas Rand

    @skinnyminny – No, I’m not offended when the US flag is burned, I’m glad, because that’s what it deserves. I don’t think the incineration of a book, or a flag, or any symbol (that is, except a cross on someone’s lawn, which is offensive because it symbolizes, and with no room for other interpretation, racism with a clear historical context) should be excluded from the first amendment. If you want to be offended, then it’s your personal moral outrage, but it is free speech, and that ought to be taken to the limits. It is not anyone’s responsibility to apologize to prevent a mob of fanatical Taliban from “slay[ing] the pagans” after hijacking a rally. I don’t see why anyone would come out against a Qur’an burning anyway, what do they think will happen, that Holy Gawd! will appear from the heavens and unburn the Qur’an? If it was a rally against US occupation, then, fine, I would actually agree. But why make the Qur’an burning an issue? Religion, rabid nationalism, etc. are totalitarian ideologies and systems, and are bound to generate fanaticism. I do not sympathize with any of them (I am against all nationalism).

  • James

    Hello all, my first time here.
    Is anyone aware that Terry Jones website (http://www.doveworld.org/) utilizes Paypal for their online support?
    Why on earth would Paypal facilitate a hate organization such as this?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Good lord there is so much ignorance in that statement I don’t know where to begin. First of all, Hitler didn’t burn Bibles. Different people in Germany had different feelings about Christianity, but officially Christianity(albeit with pro-Nazi elements) was promoted. While Germans were not generally attacked, Japanese were rounded up and put into camps, many losing their property and businesses. Also, the UN did not exist in 1942- that is to say there were no UN officials to kill.

  • H Gilmer

    When Hitler burned Bibles and killed Jews did we attack Germans and kill them here in America and attack the UN which was started in 1942, hummmm we guess the Muslims are the haters

  • skinnyminny

    Okay,
    I understand all sides of this argument. But, let’s take this a step further – let’s look at this in a different angle. How many times do Americans get offended when are country’s flag is burned in that part of the world? How many Americans began to say that they hate us and they are enemies? Where am I going with this? We value our flag…they value certain things as well! The real problem here, most Americans don’t understand or know about the peoples and/or their culture. Personally, I think it is a lack of respect on Jones part, as well as provocation. I also think it is a form of abuse on Jones part – he knew full well, as if in premeditation, what would be the outcome. Look at it this way, Jones had the power to do or not to do what he did. Jones did it as if he intentionally wanted to cause a bad outcome, while using the excuse that he wanted to expose them. Well, that would be similar to something like this – this is just an example, a drug addict needed some money and a highroller wanted to make fun of him and told the drug addict that if he did something like, oh, let’s say, flash uncoming traffic, the highroller would give the addict money for his fix? Or, let’s say a person had a really bad temper, and someone who wanted to expose that person’s temper did something to provoke him!

    This is bad business for Jones, regardless if he had a 1st Amendment right or not – to me, it’s an abuse of power, and inciteful behavior, and I consider him to be not only a threat to himself, but others, as was proved at the UN facility.

  • Antonio Perales

    Sorry, we “Americans” are tribal, get over yourself.

  • Sam Molloy

    I stand corrected. The precept behind SPLC is busting the organization that promotes violence, when the courts just go after the one or two actual perps. Charles Manson never killed anybody.

  • Mike Menkes

    scraping the bottom again to find oppression I see….

  • Barbara

    I have to agree with Mr.Pat Buchanan and his points in his newest article,Tribalism. Read it. We can focus on what we think is irrational and cruel. But in the end, we need to understand our goal is not to bring Democracy to tribes. We are spending our wealth and our children’s lives in South Asia because we helped to build the nuclear program in Pakistan while lying to the American people for 20 years. This is the threat and this is the price we pay for allowing Government to operate without transparency and in secret.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Uh buz, you DO know what a ‘libertine’ is right?

    And you know your comment here is literally shooting the messenger?

  • Sam Molloy

    Gig is right, people have to be responsible for their actions. Still, that pastor is a nut case.

  • Antonio Perales

    When I describe to a local cop what people with serious emotional problems have done in the building where I live, he quickly assures me that they are still responsible for a crime, however troubled or “wacko”. The Florida pastor has been quoted as saying that muslims “needed shaking up”, but he refuses responsibility for the deaths incurred. No surprise that his mind is full of religeous “rationales” for his actions. While I support hiring the handicapped I can see that the building manager where I live is way over his head, and seems to share the pastors mindset. He effects a religeous bent, quoting “Christian poetry”, and can never be convinced that he has done wrong, unless it’s if of negligable importance, and rarely even then. This is also referred to as a “pharaonic” personality, someone seriously sanctimonious. After a series of obviously poor choices in building managers, (well-meaning or not so well-meaning recent arrivals to the U.S., with poor language skills and no real knowlege of the culture here, or of it’s institutions), by the owner, a widow rich in property, but uneducated and quite aggressively inhumane, she gave up and handed the building over to a management company, with much the same results, except that she is sheltered now from the fall-out incurred by young male eastern college grads (New England, upstate New York).out for a “California holiday, and little interested in maintaining a safe, sane, sober and peaceful building, or daily delivery of mail. When in early 2004 the latest pick looked, acted and sounded as though he might demonstrate more even handed and thoughtful methods, I made sure to inform him of the then fourteen years of serious abuse by an ignorant, psychotic, and bigoted neighbor. To my dismay they were soon fast friends, both being of the same condition , and both constantly ravenous for friendships and therefor extremely ingratiating. Thereafter my frequent complaints about threats, spitting on my door, incessant curses and theft of anything I left unattended were completely ignored, these things just were “not happening”, I was told, or “I’ll talk to him”,or I was called a liar. When it was evident that neither Adult Protective Services of San Francisco, nor H.R.C., nor the police, nor ACLU could do anything for me, I began efforts to take them to court for a restraining order. The manager began to hold parties for my abuser, his also very cruel and hateful prostitute girl-friend and the woman’s child, therefore empowering them. The abuse escalated to unbelieveble levels and frequency. I got a R.O. on my neighbor, none on the woman, and the managers real estate management boss showed the judge his face and got him off. The abuse continued, and when I called the police I discovered that my case was not “in the computors”, and in any case I was told that “we can’t arrest people for laughing at you, or reapeatedly coughing around you, or frequently banging a shopping cart near your door”-.I went to the Sherrif’s office to correct this failure to enter my case into the system, only to be sent to the courthouse, to be sent to the police station. Only to repeat my efforts a time again. The abuser has somewhat let off, but still occasionally flares up at me, for the usual reason: none. When I left my glasses on a hall window sill, he disappeared them, and I heard him laughing childishly and maniacally about it the next day, after having denied taking them. I am 73 years of age. On not unrelated issues: take my word for it, San Francisco is definitely not a “liberal” city. Think about why the establishment here, or anywhere finds it useful to project this image, and why, and how it serves opponents of social change. Recently a young H.I.V. counselor and worker here from Mexico was happily quoted in the newspaper to the effect that “San Francisco is SO liberal!” I hope to think that my email gave this possibly well-meaning, possibly buttering up his “liberal” bosses, but politically careless and naive person something to think about. As for the Florida pastor he seems to be proof, if anyone needs it, that religeon and ignorance create a form of social “drunken driving”. It is just as well that his “church” is on the economic skids. And, while I am rambling a bit on topics, I agree with Marisa and Ruslan about their Afghan/Pastor Jones perceptions. And I encourage a good look-see into James Peck’s book Ideal Illusions (2010), characterised on the cover as “How the U.S. Government Coopted Human Rights”. There’s plenty on Human Rights Watch, to gain a good perspective about its origins, and seeming versus actual intentions. Saludos.

  • buz thompsom

    why don’t you libertines go burn an american flag. that will make you feel better. the person that is responsible is the guy that told Jones’s story. Had his acts remained unknown no one would have been murdered….

  • Terry Washington

    Whilst in the final analysis, those who killed the UN workers last week in Afghanistan following riots after word of “Rev” Terry Jones’s burning of a Koran are responsible for their acts, for “Rev” Jones to disengenuously adopt an air of “who ,me?” injured innocence(shades of Sarah Palin and her “blood libel” claim after the Tucson massacre) is ludicrous. Jones could NOT have been unaware of what was likely to follow his burning of a Koran( pace the “Danish blasphemous cartoons” controversy, claims of a Koran being desecrated in “Gitmo”);he was warned about this as far back as last September. In moral if not purely legal terms the blood of those men and women(Afghan and foreigner alike) is as much on his hands as it was their killers! I’ve noticed that whenever the American right wing is criticized for inciting or encouraging violence(pace the role”shock jocks” radio commentators such as Rush Limbaugh played in the run up to Tucson), it goes into a “poor us “mode of victimhood. According to US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, no one has the right to falsely yell “FIRE” in a crowded theatre; precisely what Jones did!

  • THINKWORLDPEACE

    Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right!

    “The Times also reported that a prominent Afghan cleric who heads the Ulema Council, an important religious body where the Koran burning was recently discussed, called on American authorities to try Jones as a war criminal. He said that if that did not happen, violence and protests were likely to continue.”

    The comment made by Afghan cleric is that he and by extension, his followers live in a vacuum if the response is to try this insensitive Florida pastor as a war criminial for burning the Quran. I do not believe that a message of retaliation raised to the level of murdering innocents is in anyway going to neutralize fears on either side or stop people anywhere in the world from speaking on behalf or in opposition to the Quran. It would seem to me that the best approach the Afghan government could take would be to denounce the acts of murdering innocents and try those responsible for their actions. Until murderous acts against innocents who voice opposition to the Quran are swiftly halted and those responsible brought to justice, the irrational acts will continue unabated.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Before everyone condemns the allegedly savage Afghans, let us remember that people in Afghanistan have plenty of reasons to want blood whether some kook burns a Quran on the other side of the world or not. In fact it was pretty stupid for these extremists to even bring that up. These murders were brutal but they could have just as easily said this was in retaliation for the thousands of civilians killed by NATO throughout the last ten years.

    People are quick to judge those Afghans living in a foreign land, because they apparently got so angry about someone burning a Quran. But NATO has killed far more innocent people in that country, and what is THEIR reason? There is none. In fact they are planning to leave and negotiations with the Taliban have taken place(they are expected to continue in the future as well). So let’s look at the score:

    Some Afghans kill some foreigners over a ridiculous publicity stunt in the States: SAVAGES!!!!

    NATO uses the world’s most powerful military technology to slaughter people at wedding parties from high above(AKA, like cowards): CIVILIZED! DEMOCRACY! HUMAN RIGHTS(by ‘human rights’ they mean backing a government which endorses spousal rape).

    In the end I think the lesson here was best said by Jesus: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    Connecting this with Jones is the stupid mistake of these enraged murderers. But we should see past that rage to the real source of all this- NATO occupation.

  • Marisa

    These Afghans killing people in retaliation for Pastor Jones’ book-burning are deplorable – AND SO IS PASTOR JONES. He is the typical extremist Christian who acts extremely NON-Christian-like.

  • Logic

    Holding Jones accountable for the Afghan mob killing folks ! He can be neither morally, criminally nor civily responsible. The fools who let their feelings override their logical senses are to blame…no one else. Holding Jones responsible would be like a kid going on the rampage and flattening all the tires on the city garbage trucks because his parents made him take the trash out everyday abd holding his parents responsible because little Johnnie should not be given trash chores, or tree huggers going on a rampage and holding Loggers responsible because they cut down trees to make boards to build homes. When will this foolishness end and each person be held accountable for their own actions?

  • Coyote Weeps

    Excuse the previous typos. Still getting used to tiny keypads.

  • Gary Hunt

    I find it interesting that Jones is the “bad guy” for burning a Koran. On the other hand, those who would randomly murder, yes, murder, foreigners, are, apparently, standing on higher moral ground than a man who burned paper and ink.
    Has political correctness gone so far as to put dead trees above live humans?
    Has political correctness gone so far that we must submit, by indignation against one man, to the will of those who would commit indiscriminant murder over paper and ink?
    I trust that many of those who have responded will reconsider their position, after considering the ridiculous perspective that they have taken in this matter.

  • Tricia

    Terry Jones (not a pastor by any stretch of the word) was looking for a reason to burn the Qur’an and the Afghan people/murderers were looking for a reason to kill people. They both found what they were looking for and we all have something else to blame on Islam.

  • Coyote Weeps

    So let’s put this into true context. Jones burns islams book and they several dozen people? And yet we are told they killed approx. 3000 of us. Then we have squandered our entire nation’s wealth to use to as of current having killed, or caused the deaths of over 100000 “innocent” Iraqi’s attempted to stea their resources and are still at many years later and yet we are bitching about Islam somehow being more evil than Christianity??? BOTH, like all organized religions are evil because they are based on power and myth having created in their time to keep uneducated populations from questioning their leaders. Here all on both sides of the world have been led into this fight over whose fantasy story is the best??? Damned that is stupid ajnd rather lacking in real morality. Until we ditch all these superstitions and realize that it is up to each and everyone of us to get along with each other these nuts will keep trying to push back to the dark ages.

  • Marcia

    Pastor Jones is a fool. But one has to worry about people who get so out of control over a book burning (yes, it was an insult and uncalled for) or a cartoon (Denmark) or a movie (Holland) they disagree with that they run amuck, destroy property, and kill people. We need to be careful in thinking any country is ready for democracy when what is considered “speech” leads its citizens to loss of control and violence.

    If someone in this country killed another over an insult, we would have no problem in placing the blame on the murderer.

  • Ben

    “And, ultimately, responsibility for this atrocity obviously rests mainly with the murderers who committed it and those who encouraged them to act in response to Jones’ provocation. But as barbaric as the crowds were, it’s hard to avoid assigning a great deal of the blame to Jones, even though his despicable actions are protected under the First Amendment.”

    This is just silly.

    Jones is a nitwit and a creep. That should go without saying.

    But he didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t tell anyone to commit murder. People in Afghanistan KILLED PEOPLE because someone burned his own property. That’s insanity. Suggesting that Jones bears any culpability is tantamount to saying, “You know those Muslims. They can’t help being savages. They’re basically animals.”

    And someone wants Jones tried for war crimes?!

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    I really hate seeing people do this- Terry Jones knows he can provoke this kind of response, and these poor people are playing right into his hands. But on the other hand, I don’t live in the conditions these people have to deal with every day.

    When there is no hope, people reach out to religion more fervently.

  • Chris

    No, no, no, no, and no. No. There should never, EVER be a “but” after the phrase “free speech.” Is there an ethical discussion to be had? Absolutely. But what he did was protected first amendment speech. Boom. Done. End of discussion. Now, we can then talk about his views (which I consider abhorrent) and whether he ethically must take some responsibility for the murders. But framing it as “I believe in freedom of speech, but…” is the same weasel-worded bullshit that anyone who wants to suppress a viewpoint uses in American politics. I am a big supporter of the SPLC, and I know that this isn’t some grand commentary, or attack on free speech. But I refuse to allow the people on my side to slide on issues like this, when we take the other side to task on just such issues.

  • CM

    No question, the murders committed in Afghanistan in response to Terry Jones’ inflammatory stunt are inexcusable and deserve universal condemnation. That said, it’s important to note that this violent outburst is occurring in a nation that is in the throes of a guerilla war in which anything and everything can be made an excuse, by those so inclined, for violence against Americans and other Westerners. In the dozens of other Muslim nations around the world, the reaction to Jones’ provocation appears to have been complete indifference.

    And even in chaotic, war-torn Afghanistan, most people did not commit acts of violence, even among those who did express outrage. According to Rafiq Sherzad, reporting for Reuters: “Hundreds held peaceful protests in neighbouring Laghman and nearby Paktia provinces. … About 20 people have been killed and nearly 150 wounded over three days of protests in north and south Afghanistan that degenerated into violence, although other large gatherings in some parts of the country ended peacefully.”

    So let’s not make hasty generalizations about Muslims, Christians or religion in general based on the reprehensible acts of a few. That, itself, would be irrational behavior.

  • http://twitter.com/holizz Tom Adams

    People should not be afraid to be critical of any religion or idea. By saying Terry Jones is responsible, you validate the actions of those who are actually responsible, as if the natural and inevitable result of criticising Islam is death.

    It was not Terry Jones that killed those people at the UN. It was not Islam. It was not an idea. It was people.

  • Concerned Citizen

    This man should be commended for exercising his 1st Admendment rights. Our founding fathers would be smiling.

  • majii

    The sad part in all of this is that Jones is now vowing to put the prophet Mohammed on trial. This will likely lead to further protests in Afghanistan and more deaths. I now understand why he was kicked out of Germany and barred from entering the UK.

  • Ted baldwin

    Jones bears no responsibikity for the murders. It is perverse to suggest so.

  • http://www.brendahomesinwilkesnc.com Brenda Wayne Wyatt

    Relegion is a personal choice. I am spiritual, I have the beliefs that our spiritual choices are ours to make and should be recognized as all. I have the Bible and The Koran in my house. Religion is a Spiritual choice and should stay that way.

  • Sheldon L. McCormick

    The Koran burning spectacle by “Reverend” Terry Jones in Afghanistan and its violent, lethal results is nothing new. Klan recruiters (Kleagles) and leaders and other radicals have used public acts to stirr the fury, emotions and passions of people, among their supporters or enemies, to gain publicity, members and their dollars. George Lincoln Rockwell,who was thefounder and leader of the American Nazi Party from 1958 until his slaying by an ousted party member August 25,1967, knew this very well and managed to rile thousands of Americans as blacks and other oppressed minorities protested for their rights during the late 1950s and 1960s. One, during the 1961 Freedom Rider protests. As a counter demonstration and fund raiser for his party, he sent the Hate Bus, a van with provocative slogans on it and swastikas led to a riot and its “storm troopers” being arrested by police in 1961. The neo-Nazis were released, but in order to prevent more violence, National Guard troops escorted the Hate Bus out of town. Jones, like hateful rabble rousers before him, rouse those inclined to violence, then rails against the victims of it. When one flies a Confederate flag in a black community, were a Nazi swastika or burn the holiest text of millions of Muslims and end up causing needless injuries, deaths and property damange in ours or another country and creating more anti-American sentiment in other nations the results are like stored petrol, dynamite and blasting caps and a lit match. Disaster. Jones’ maliciousness has not let nothing positive in today’s problem-plagued world.

  • KaffirFalcon

    “If we stop doing things they dislike, where will we draw the line?”

    “Hopefully, with people like Gainesville’s Terry Jones.”

    Wrong. We draw the line with Islam. You can insult and make fun of religions whose followers are not likely to explode into lethal outbursts of rage even at the rumors that their “holy” book was desecrated, like Mormons, Catholics, Jews or Buddhists. The “South Park” creators and producers can readily attest to that. And thank you so much SPLC and Mr. Potok for inadvertently revealing and confirming just how much Islam is not compatible with the Western values, such as free speech and freedom of expression. You’ve actually admitted how the more devout and pious Muslims are, the more they are willing to kill (and be killed) for their religion. And it doesn’t matter if you choose to not post my comment. That’s fine by me. I just hope that it went by you.

  • Jonas Rand

    B. Allan Ross – that is idiotic. Who are they to murder people because they are offended? Someone, half-way around the globe, burned a book. A murderous, bloodcurdling book about a warmonger termed a “Prophet” (btw, while Jesus may have been more peaceful than Muhammad, it was the god that was murderous and genocidal in the Bible), that is. People protested it, and killed for it?
    My suspicion was that “Qur’an burning protest” was just the excuse for murder, and that they had planned it all along. There is so much more important in Afghanistan than a hypocritical asshole fundamentalist thousands of miles away who burned a book. Like, for example, the armed Afghan version of a bunch of Terry Jones clones, the Taliban, and the equally corrupt, nepotistic, “narco-kleptocracy” (used by John Kerry to describe Noriega in Panamá) that is the Karzai regime.

    I’m sorry, but in no sane person’s mind can offense cause murder. So either they were insane fundamentalist fanatics or their real motive had nothing to do with Terry Jones. This should be treated just as if someone were to go on a murder spree because of the “Piss Christ” artwork – don’t blame Andrés Serrano (who is, incidentally, a Christian himself). Terry Jones was as responsible for this murder as the Qur’an is for breeding these mental cases – i.e. not at all.

  • http://none D. Evensizer

    Some observations:

    The Pastor Jones is merely “kooky”. He is not responsible for these mass murders. The Imams who drove through the streets with loudspeakers incited the crowds to violence.
    And you are comparing burning a book to the severing of human heads?
    To suggest that cutting off the head of some random foreigner in response to the little drama involving burning a Koran is ‘Just what these people (Muslims) do” is a sick and twisted view of reality.
    Actually, they do it because they know they will get a free pass from the liberal Western media, who would rather place blame on the “religious right” than face up to the medieval barbarity of the ongoing Islamic Jihad.
    In Saudi Arabia, for example, you CANNOT even OWN a BIBLE. Think about that. You cannot wear a crucifix in public, or you will be subjected to arrest and torture, with no legal recourse, because THAT is Sharia law, my friend.
    So ask yourselves this: With whom would Jesus be most upset? (It is plain with whom YOU are most upset!)
    For myself, I do not believe in the barbaric sacrifice of UN workers to the God of Islam or to Sharia law.

  • Charles

    Reprehensible and offensive, but no murderer. Yes, he has that right and I must defend it if I wish it preserved for my benefit.
    I find excusing the murders more offensive, but no less privileged.

  • Jack Walker

    Terry Jones is clearly a publicity-seeking pinhead, but don’t the mullahs who inspired the crowd to attack and kill innocents also deserve to be tarred with the moral responsibility brush?
    Why is it that actions like this, when committed in the name of Islam, are excused from that little thing?
    Is moral responsibility only an encumberment of the West and Christianity? By implying that tenet does not extend to Islam, which calls Jews and Christians “peope of the book” – a clear indication of the connection between the three religions – aren’t the apologists themselves actually defaming Islam?

  • gig

    So using your logic, the Southern Poverty Law Center bears some responsibility for the killings of anti-gun proponents by pro gun nuts, because you oppose gun rights and acted against them.

    You also bear responsibility to the killings of abortion providers by anti-abortion nuts, because you have acted against the anti abortion activists.

    You incited all these nuts to act by your opposition to them.

    See how stupid your argument is?

  • Marl Loren

    “And, ultimately, responsibility for this atrocity obviously rests mainly with the murderers who committed it and those who encouraged them to act in response to Jones’ provocation. But as barbaric as the crowds were, it’s hard to avoid assigning a great deal of the blame to Jones, even though his despicable actions are protected under the First Amendment.”

    No, Mr. Potok, the murderers where not mainly responsible, they were ENTIRELY responsible. Terry Jones is responsible for his own actions only, not the responses of murderous thugs who feel they’ve been offended. To what length do people have to go to avoid such offenses before they stop cowering?

    I do not approve of Jones’ actions, but they in no way justify, or even explain, savage, murderous responses. The explanation for those lies wholely within the twisted minds of the murderers.

  • Difluoroethene

    Since his actions have placed American lives at risk and damaged America’s credibility abroad, couldn’t Jones be found guilty of treason? His actions seem like the textbook definition of what treason is.

    Is it possible for the SPLC to charge Jones with treason, or does only the government have the right to do that?

  • Buck

    I’d say he and the Afghans involved share responsibility. While Jones certainly could have anticipated what would occur given the history of the religion whose nose he was tweaking, the people involved share equal responsibility for being just as crazy as he in their beliefs. Religion is truly the root of all evil and certainly folks like those engaged in killing innocent people in Afghanistan are just as evil as folks like Terry Jones. Personally, I am insulted when other liberals and progressives give Islam carte blanche to engage in any heinous acts in “retaliation” of something another religious zealot from another sect says or does.

  • J.E. Cook

    “President Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the brutal mob attack. And, ultimately, responsibility for this atrocity obviously rests mainly with the murderers who committed it and those who encouraged them to act in response to Jones’ provocation. But as barbaric as the crowds were, it’s hard to avoid assigning a great deal of the blame to Jones, even though his despicable actions are protected under the First Amendment.”
    I agree with President Obama and Ban Ki-moon, and with Mark Potok, up to a point….”ultimately, responsibility for this atrocity obviously rests mainly with the murderers who committed it and those who encouraged them to act in response to Jones’ provocation”.

    While I absolutely agree that Jones is disgusting, but to blame Jones is no different than to say it’s OK to lay blame on Muslims for the atrocities that Americans perpetrate on them, because we’ve been ‘provoked’ by the 9/11 attacks, beheadings of Americans, etc, etc, etc.

    There has to be personal responsibility, even by the Afghans. To expect less from them is to say they are ‘less than’ we are – less civilized, less mature, less deserving of respect.

  • inny miller

    Thank You B. Allan Ross,
    You took my seething feelings and expressed them perfectly.

  • Kevin Young

    Terry Jones sure knows how to see the sliver in his neighbor’s eye while refusing to see the logs in his own eyes.

  • Barthik Hartman

    “No, the Framers never meant for the First Amendment to force this nation’s armed forces to protect someone who intentionally sabotages the safety of all other Americans worldwide. It is the act of an embedded enemy.”

    You’re being stupid. Should we arrest Kurt Westergaard?

  • Darryl Hall

    This shows the true issue; the intolerance of most religions, including Terry Jones’ Christianity. Some may say Islam is currently the most intolerance, but history will show us that neither Christianity or Islam is innocent. Terry Jones’ actions are immoral and wrong, and the reaction in Afghanistan is the same. Is any religion worthy of our admiration when most are creations of superstitious people from long ago.

    Truly, never has an Age of Reason been needed.

  • B. Allan Ross

    Yes, Terry Jones, the human being on Earth despite any imaginary American “exceptionalism”, is guilty of purposefully inciting mass murder internationally.

    He intentionally did recently what people all over the world managed to convince him not to do the last time he set out to intentionally demonstrate that he and everyone else knows how to incite Muslims to violence, possibly even to murder, especially in those Islamic countries that the U.S.A. has invaded and/or currently occupies.

    Terry Jones’ intentional provocation, with full foreknowledge of what would occur even if he had no specific details, is a crime which has effects that go beyond our borders in the U.S.A. He has the right to do it in the U.S.A. Does he have the right to stay in the U.S.A. while he continues to intentionally put U.S. military people and civilians worldwide in immediate, deadly danger? To create an imminent threat where none existed?

    No, the Framers never meant for the First Amendment to force this nation’s armed forces to protect someone who intentionally sabotages the safety of all other Americans worldwide. It is the act of an embedded enemy.

    Are the U.N. or Western justice going to interrupt him or let him stay free to keep inciting more murders of more innocent people? Or should we wait, counting on Islamic justice to remove him some time soon from being able to intentionally antagonize and incite to murder? Were I he, I’d go for the Western.