The Dove World Outreach Centre, a church in Gainsville, Florida, has announced that it will burn copies of the Qur’an on Saturday 11 September to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The stated purpose of this action is to raise awareness of the ideology and teaching of Islam and to warn against its dangers.
I can't imagine why it would want to engage in such a provocative action. It would be as offensive to Muslims as burning Bibles would be to Christians.
I yield to no-one in my belief that Islam is a false religion and that some interpretations of it are vicious and wicked. However, Muslims are human beings who, without Christ, are destined for God's wrath. The Biblical and Christ-like way to oppose Islam is by speaking the truth in the power of God’s love, and by extending that love to Muslim people even when they are hostile to us.
Already Muslim militants in Indonesia have promised to kill Indonesian Christians if Qur’ans are burned in Florida, and the history of anti-Christian violence in the country suggests that this is not an idle threat. Local Christian churches in other Muslim majority countries are likely to be threatened by this provocative action.
I urge the Dove World Outreach Centre and its supporters to refrain from burning Qur’ans on the anniversary of 9/11. Rather, all Christians should pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world, and that the hatred and violence that endanger them may be overcome by the grace and love of Christ.