As we come down from another year of mourning and remembrance for those who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, I can’t help but look back on the events leading up to this years memorial, in particular the pastor in Florida who threatened to burn copies of the Quran in protest of the Muslim religion. While this act is a ridiculous display of ignorance and hate, my issue here is not with the act itself, but with whether or not the media made it a bigger deal than it would have been had the church not received press coverage. This church is no more than a pin-prick on the map of the United States. They are located in Gainesville, Florida and the congregation consists of only 50 people. Why then, did this group of people receive national attention? Their radical views represent such a small portion of the population of the United States, but with all the attention these people received it was made to look (to the rest of the world) like much of the United States thinks this way, thus perpetuating the already unflattering world view of the U.S. in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also gave this pastor delusions of power, as he was quoted as saying that “he was promised that a planned Islamic center and mosque would be moved away from New York’s ground zero,” in order to prevent the burning of Qurans. The imam planning the center however, was quick to deny any sort of deal, saying that “[he] personally believe[d] the mosque should not be there, and [he] will do everything in [his] power to make sure it is moved. But there is not any offer from there (New York) that it will be moved. All we have agreed to is a meeting, and I think we would all like to see a peaceful resolution.” Do you believe that the media should regulate the amount of coverage it gives and issue because of the possible repercussions or consequences?
Here is a link to the article in case you would like to read more into the issue. — Josh Becker