By Freedom Road Socialist Organization
The Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) denounces the planned burning of the Qur’an by a racist and reactionary church in Gainesville, Florida. We are outraged. Our organization is united with others, determined to stop this evil act with all the means available. We promise to do all in our power to shut down the Qur’an-burning by Terry Jones and his Dove Church.
Terry Jones is a bigot, a racist and a pro-war supporter of imperialism. He preaches hatred for Muslims and love for the U.S. wars against Arabs and Afghans. Jones, like many Tea Party supporters, wants more war and killing by the U.S. in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East. They want to see the U.S. and Israel attack Iran. Jones cheers for the genocide in Iraq and wants the U.S. occupation to continue forever. Jones praises Israel, as it oppresses and murders Palestinians. Jones wants to oppress and exploit the rest of the world for the benefit of the rich and powerful here. Jones stands for everything we oppose.
Burning of the Qur’an is certainly a bigoted act against Muslims, but in the U.S. it is also a conscious act of racism against Arabs, South Asians and African-Americans. This is a continuation of the racist attacks we have seen so much of recently. From the furor over the building of mosques in New York, Kentucky and Tennessee, to Arizona’s racist laws against Chicanos, Latinos and undocumented immigrants, to the nationwide police brutality epidemic – like the University of Florida police shooting the face of African graduate student Kofi Abu-Brempong. Revolutionaries must oppose white chauvinism and national oppression in all its forms, including anti-Muslim attacks.
It should be stressed that the problem with the Qur’an-burning is a lot deeper than a lone nut with a few followers in Florida. The U.S. ruling class and its representatives in government have consciously and consistently promoted anti-Muslim bigotry. Look at the way that important politicians have dealt with the issue of the plan to build a mosque amongst the strip clubs and bars near where the World Trade Center was, or how racism and Islamophobia is used to justify U.S. wars and support for the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
We call upon all revolutionaries and progressive people to actively oppose the Qur’an-burning. We support freedom of religion and respect that the Qur’an is sacred to many people. Please join comrades and friends across the country organizing protests in solidarity with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Act now to stop Jones and his hateful followers. Join us in the fight to end racism and oppression.