Nationalist Anarchists to Burn at Least One Koran
|About to create a furor again.|
The group's leader, Andrew Yeoman -- whose true name is, ironically, Andrew White -- says he'll burn a Koran in solidarity with Pastor Terry Jones and his Gainesville, Florida-based church, which threatened to torch a bunch of Korans last year on September 11.
Surely readers remember this guy?
General David Patraeus had to step in, saying it was a poor decision to burn a religion's holy book for many reasons, in this case because it could compromise the security of American forces in Afghanistan.
Jones, who faced a severe backlash -- even from President Barack Obama -- backed down, only to follow though with his fiery actions last month in a bizarre "trial" and "execution" of the Muslim holy book. He had a fellow pastor burn a Koran in front of 30 people outside his church. Alas, Jones will be back in action on Friday, protesting in front of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich.
Recently, right-wingers have gone wild about Sharia law because of a widely misunderstood ruling by a Florida judge. Salon.com ran an excellent interview earlier this month explaining the backstory, and why the court ruling does not at all show that Islamic law is working its way into the U.S. judicial system.
But the issue has been heated enough that Tennessee and Texas legislators introduced legislation banning the use of cultural or religious laws in the United States. It has also prodded Chuck Norris -- yes, that Chuck Norris -- to write a series of articles on the issue.
Asked to give examples of what he views as the local Sharia threat, Yeoman points to the Islamic Finance Forum that was held this month at UC Berkeley.
Yeoman says he will probably be the only one at Friday's burning. So one Koran will apparently go up in flames.
But if we learned anything from BANA's last high-profile protest of the slasher film Machete -- where protesters had promised to come armed with machetes -- it's that they are usually a buzzkill. In that protest, it was only Yeoman and a couple of supporters with cardboard machetes, passing out pamphlets at a Livermore cineplex.
Anyway, Yeoman claims that this burning "is not against Muslims, or a religion. It's against a series of laws that prescribes death for homosexuality and dress codes for women."
When we noted that his actions could be interpreted as a sign of aggression, Yeoman responded: "That's an unfortunate side effect, and we have no problem with people following a religion of their choice as long as our local traditions and practices are respected."
You mean respected in that let's-burn-the-Koran sort of way?
Yeoman says he doesn't care too much if his actions harm America's mission in the Middle East.
"As antiwar activists ourselves, we're not really concerned with the U.S. military achieving their objectives -- it's really kind of irrelevant to us," he says. "What's more important is that Sharia law is unacceptable in San Francisco and across America, and we have certain rights that our people fought and died for and if we don't exercise it, will be taken away from us."
Specifically, the right to burn holy material.
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