A few days ago, Phil wrote about the problems of writing online articles which might be aimed at a local audience, but which may have a worldwide readership.
Once I could pick my target audience. Magazines and newspapers knew who their readers were, radio stations knew their listeners, everything could be targeted and tailored for the audience. We don’t have that luxury any more. I need to remember whenever I publish something it could go anywhere.
At first this might seem no more than a little problem for writers and bloggers who have to be careful about what they commit to paper or the internet, but as this article shows, the consequences can be far more serious.
Apparently a Christian Group in the US have decided to burn copies of the Qur’an on the anniversary of 9/11. Now, apart from this being a rather infantile act, it does actually have rather serious consequences.
The group, don’t seem to have understood for a single moment what the Qur’an means and signifies to Muslims. As a number of scholars have pointed out, in Muslim thought, the Qur’an is more akin to Jesus, the Eternal Word of God, than it is to the Bible. Burning copies of the Qur’an is extremely offensive.
And who is likely to suffer for this offensive, childish act? Certainly not the rich and well protected Christians who perpetrate the act; but this is likely to be a very uncomfortable time for believers in Iraq, Indonesia, India…
The irony of all this is that the group who are planning to burn the Qur’an are called the Dove World Outreach Centre. They certainly don’t seem to have adopted the Dove as a symbol of peace and their knowledge of the world seems to be very, very limited.