Burning the Quran between perceptions and realities

In the minds of hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, it’s not a coincident that a small extremist church in Florida wants to burn copies of the Qur’an, while a huge controversy erupted in New York over the plans to build a Muslim cultural center few blocks away from where World Trade Center once stood, and that German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, honored the Danish cartoonist who drew offensive cartoons of prophet Mohammad. Such issues receive widespread media coverage and are bound to increase stereotypes and misconceptions between the Muslim World and the West. It will also increase the level of hostilities and intolerance on both sides.

 Regardless if the pastor goes through with his intentions or not, he already poisoned the well and the damage to the image of the United States has already been done.

The pastor’s decision once again, cast the spot light on the cultural differences between East and West. As this case shows, the Western understanding of personal freedoms which are not only codified in the legal systems but also part of the political culture is radically different from that of the rest of the world.

In other parts of the world particularly in Muslim countries where the system of government is mostly authoritarian, this issue is deeply emotional and political. People in Muslim countries are disillusioned and baffled that the US government seems to be unable or “don’t want “to do anything about the intending burning of copies of the Qur’an.

Because the majority of Muslims around the world are governed by governments that dictate almost everything in their lives, they, therefore, have an expectation that the US government should stop this

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About AliYounes

Ali Younes is an award winning journalist and writer. He is a member of the Arab American Writers Group and an award winning journalist and media strategist.

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