The news recently reported that a church in
Florida plans to burn the Qur’an on 9/11, to remember victims of the attack on the , and to “take a stand against Islam” (see http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/07/29/florida.burn.quran.day/index.html?iref=allsearch#fbid=q324o5eIM2a&wom=false). (Fortunately – from my perspective – a number of other Christians have denounced and opposed plan – see also http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/07/30/national-association-of-evangelicals-denounces-churchs-quran-burning-event/?iref=allsearch.) Twin Towers
I would simply like to comment here that what I see in this group’s denunciation of Islam as “the religion of the devil” and the Qur’an as an evil book that should be burned, is an extreme example of the worst kind of ethnocentrism, that in which a group, believing themselves to be rightly following God, takes into their hands the prerogative (which I believe the Bible teaches belongs to God alone) of judging and condemning others. This certainly seems contrary to Jesus’ exhortation to “love your neighbor as yourself” (how would they respond to Muslims burning the Bible or the Cross?); and Jesus even said, beyond that, that his followers should “love your enemies.”
It is "natural" for people to protect their own group and fight against all others. Religious wars are one example of this, and are a blight on human history. Jesus, however, calls his followers to rise above parochialism and ethnocentrism, above defining and defending our own in-group, to a life of loving the different other as oneself (witness that the example he gave, in his famous parable, was of the despised other – the Samaritan – proving to be the loving neighbor to the injured Jew). And it seems logical to assume that loving one’s neighbor (or even one’s enemy, which Jesus also commanded) would not manifest itself in trashing the neighbor’s religion or burning their holy book.