Defining what it truly means to be Jerks for Jesus, The Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational church in Gainesville, Florida, is organizing a Qur’an burning. The event which they are calling “International Burn a Koran Day,” is to be held on September 11th 2010, interestingly enough.
Under the guise of memorializing victims of 9/11, these bozos are spreading a foul new brand of hate and intolerance.
This event is brought to you by the very same organization that held a rally on August 2nd in which they, oh so originally, named: “No Homo Mayor Rally,” to protest the election of Gainesville’s first gay mayor, Craig Lowe. Classy. Prior to staging the protest, the group fought to dismantle Lowe’s election campaign. I’d like to think that their creepy protests backfired and as a result helped secure Lowe’s election in some kind of divine intervention.
Maybe the Congregation of Dove World Outreach can get together with the fine folks over at Westboro Baptist Church and form a demented bowling league where they can hatch asinine evil plans over fried food and pitchers of soda.
On Dove’s website — which sells “Islam is of the Devil” t-shirts and mugs, they encourage people to attend their Qur’an burning event by saying:
“On September 11th, 2010, from 6pm – 9pm, we will burn the Koran on the property of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!”
Dove World Outreach first received media …
… attention back in July of 2009, when they put up signs in front of their church that read “Islam is Of The Devil” and then again in August of last year, when several children of the congregation were sent home from local Gainesville schools after donning bigoted shirts with the same message written on the back.
Surprise, surprise, Islam is of The Devil, is also the title of a book written by none other than Dove World Outreach’s pastor, Terry Jones. It sounds like perhaps someone is trying really hard to get enough attention, even at the expense of using children, to increase sales on his horrific book. Super idea.
In a disturbing Dove Center lunched YouTube video, Pastor Terry Jones can be heard stating:
“I mean ask yourself, have you ever really seen a really happy Muslim? As they’re on the way to Mecca? As they gather together in the mosque on the floor? Does it look like a real religion of joy? No, to me it looks like a religion of the devil.”
Wow, that is some heavy intellectual reasoning!
Even the National Association of Evangelicals is trying to get as far away as possible from the folks over at Dove World Outreach Center. They issued a statement stating:
“The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect,” it said in the statement.
In retaliation against the screwballs over at the outreach, the Islamic advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations, has launched a campaign to give out 100,000 copies of the Quran to local, state and national leaders. They are also asking Muslims and supporters to host “share the Quran” dinners to inform the public during the religious holiday of Ramadan which begins in August.
“American Muslims and other people of conscience should support positive educational efforts to prevent the spread of Islamophobia,” said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.
My initial reaction upon viewing the highly disturbing Facebook, YouTube, and web page of Dove World was one of utter disgust and anger. Upon pondering the notion that a group of people are so terribly misinformed and filled with rage, all I could, and can still feel, is a deep sense of profound sadness — and mostly I am grieved that I have to share the same corner of the world with these people. Above all I would like to meet Terry Jones’ parents so that we exchange a few words. I am perplexed over how anyone can come to a place in their lives where they feel it is okay to teach hate, or even pass it along inadvertently.
Not surprisingly, Dove World has recently become the subject of investigation over its alleged for-profit enterprise. Pastor Jones appears to be using his Looney tunes church as a tax-exempt business. Not only does he profit from its unpaid members, he also makes a buttload on merchandising and eBay sales. It sounds like there may be an ulterior motive other than spreading the word or Jesus, if you ask me.
Just stay far, far away from the Kool Aid, guys. I heard it gives bellyaches.