The Qur'an Burning Pastor's Crocodile Tears

"This bit of self-delusion deserves extra scrutiny because it captures a strain of extremism we’ve been increasingly seeing: radical action as a reluctant obligation, an expression of fidelity to deeper principles. The fact that Jones is invoking the courts—when his show-trial stunt took place in a near-empty church and the "convicted criminal" is a book—is one sign of the psychosis at work. Bad craziness takes great pains to present itself as misunderstood patriotism these days. Playing the victim card will not be far behind. 

The fact that Jones’ greatest enablers in terms of getting his message out included the Taliban is also illuminating—extremists encourage each other, they fuel the cycle of incitement and serve as powerful recruiting tools. Islamist radicals want their followers to believe that Jones’ actions are indicative of all Americans, and the Terry Joneses of the world see the murders as evidence of Islam’s inherent violence—hate, ignorance and intolerance begets more of the same. Good people of all faiths and nationalities can get caught in the crossfire between the extremes."



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