In the name of the Lord, innocent people are dying.
But Pastor Terry Jones knew that would happen when he burned a Quran, the Muslim holy book, and publicized his crass behavior. Shamefully, he just did not care.
Mr. Jones is the publicity-seeking crackpot in Gainesville who first threatened to burn the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 last year. His plan raised concerns around the globe, prompting high-level U.S. military leaders and even President Obama to plead with him not to act.
That worked until about two weeks ago, when Mr. Jones organized a mock trial of the Quran and proceeded to burn it. At least 24 lives have been lost to related violence in Afghanistan since. Mr. Jones remains unrepentant. But he should not turn to his Bible or beliefs to escape responsibility for those deaths.
He had been warned that images of a torched Quran would only feed anti-American sentiments, putting U.S. troops at risk and undermining hard-fought efforts to break down barriers with Muslims worldwide.
Any genuine religious leader would take those admonitions to heart. Not this man of God, though, who preaches mindless claptrap labeling Islam and the Quran as instruments of violence, death and terrorism. Mr. Jones forged ahead with the trial and had it streamed live on satellite TV — in Arabic, no less.
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