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A church's Koran burning would flout US strategy on Islam

The planned burning of Korans by a small Florida church led by Terry Jones ignores US success against terrorism by working with Muslims and seeing Islam as peaceful.

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Soon after the 9/11 attacks, President George Bush made a strategic decision that the United States would embrace an interpretation of Islam as a peaceful religion. And that the US would also work with moderate Muslims to counter jihadists who distort their faith’s teachings.

Those who support a burning of the Koran – as the Dove Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., has planned to do on this 9/11 anniversary – obviously didn’t get the memo. Nor did those who still paint Islam as a threat to the world or to their own religion.

A debate over Islam’s true theology is one thing. But for nine years, the US has made a very pragmatic choice not to be afraid of Islam as a way to undermine those plotting another 9/11 attack.

It has worked. Fear, after all, is a tool of the terrorist. And the majority of the world’s 1.57 billion Muslims reject jihadist justification of violence. In fact, the majority of Muslims who want Islamic rule in their country support a democratic means to achieve it.

The tide of history is toward peaceful Islam, despite parts of the Koran (like the Bible) that can be read as inciting violence against those outside the faith.

President Obama has gone even further than Mr. Bush. He (a Christian) joined the mayor of New York City (a Jew) in supporting the right for a Muslim center and mosque to be built a few blocks from ground zero.

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