International Judge the Koran Day … and the execution: burn it!
Yesterday we put the Koran on trial. The event is over, the Koran was found guilty and a copy was burned inside the building.
This was not done without the vehement and passionate objection of Sheikh Imam Mohamed El Hassan from Texas, who had taken part in a five hour debate modeled on an American trial.
With heavy police presence in the neighborhood around the church, including helicopters flying over the site at times, and our own security team surrounding the event, Dr Terry Jones presided over the trial as ‘judge,’ keeping order during the intense discussion between Imam Mohamed El Hassan, Mr Ahmed Abaza, and the five expert witnesses Mr Abaza had called to speak. Using both Arabic and English, key points about the violent and oppressive, as well as the peaceful teachings of the Koran were discussed by both Muslim and ex-Muslims, while the room of about 50 people listened and watched carefully.
The trial was broadcast live via The Truth TV, which has 20 million viewers via satellite and internet around the world. There were some technical challenges. There were several other film crews documenting the event.
At the end of the trial, The Truth TV chose not to show the burning ‘execution,’ but our ustream channel picked up the last minutes of the evening:
The key points from our closing video clip:
Dr Terry Jones:
“America, in my opinion, has always been a country to stand up for what is right, not only for what is popular. But we have become a nation that stands for what is popular, that tests the wind to see if people like it, don’t like it. In our churches we have become politicians and not pastors. What do the people like, what do the people want? And that is what we do.
“I would like to emphasize that we are not a fast food restaurant. We do not try to find what the people want and then we give it to them. We try to find out what is true, and then we try to stand to that truth, no matter what the cost is, no matter if you loose your job, or you don’t loose your job, whether you loose your life or you don’t loose your life, whether people like you or they don’t like you. Your job is to find out, to the best of your ability, what is the actual truth, and then you follow that truth and you let God take care of everything else.
“This has been set up like an American court. Whether you have liked it or not, we have been trying to follow that example. In an American court, you cannot be found innocent or guilty without a consequence. If you are found innocent, then the consequence, of course, is very comfortable. You get to go home and are free. At the same time, if you have been found guilty and have been charged with a very serious charge, as we have done today, you have been charged with murder, if you have been convicted of murder, you do not get to go home.
“It does not matter if you are loved, your Mummy and Daddy love you, you do not get to go home because you have killed someone, you have been convicted of murder, and because of that, you will face punishment. You will go to jail. You will possibly some day be electrocuted or you will be shot up with poison because you are a murderer, you have been convicted of murder, you will not get to go home. That is what justice is. That is why today, if the Koran is found guilty, we cannot just simply forgive. We cannot just simply say we have a verdict. That is it, we don’t do anything else, we have had a happy trial. We must have a consequence. The Koran, then, must symbolically, through some type of action, be punished.
“I hope that is understandable. On our website we had four choices of punishment: the Koran, if found guilty, will be burned, drowned, shredded, or face a firing squad. The public chose, overwhelmingly, the punishment of burning. It is a symbolic act of its guiltiness. If you feel that is wrong, if you do not like that, if you would like to distance yourself from that, that form of punishment, that is also perfectly okay. As we say, we live in America and people are free to do as they please within the confines of the law. If you do not agree with our trial and our burning, we live in a free country, then all you have to do is put together your own trial.
The Koran has been accused of four different crimes against humanity:
1. The Koran is charged with the training and promoting of terrorist activities around the world. To that charge the Koran has been found guilty.
2. The Koran is charged with the death, rape, and torture of people worldwide whose only crime is ‘not being of Islamic faith.’ To this charge the Koran has been found guilty.
3. The Koran is charged with crimes against women, against minorities, against Christians, and with the promoting of prejudice and racism against anyone who is not a Moslem. To this charge, the Koran has been found guilty.
“So in accordance with our courtroom law, and having the example of American law, the Koran must be punished. Some people desire that the Koran be banned. That would of course require another court case and more evidence, and is a very unusual request, especially in a land of freedom. It is not a totally impossible request. Around the world, certain books that are taken to be very harmful and very dangerous, for example, Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, is banned in Holland and in Germany, so it is not a usual act, it is not a common act, but it is something that could possibly someday in the United States take place, if the Koran was proven to be of that harmful a nature.
“We will burn the Koran. We know that there are people in this room and around the world who are not in agreement with our action. That, for us, is absolutely no problem. We live in America, it is a free country, you have every right to agree or disagree. As far as our friends, and I consider them close friends, as far as Truth TV, Truth TV is very much opposed, not to the trial, obviously, not to the aspect that the Koran is obviously very guilty, that the Koran is guilty of all of these charges, but they are against the actual burning of the Koran. So the actual burning of the Koran will not be live streamed by them. That is why we have the our own live stream for this part of the event.
“I would now like to turn it over to Ahmed so he can express his feelings about this matter. “
“Thank you Dr Terry. You know, it is not about a feeling, it is about our goals. Our goal is to burn the Koran in a Moslem’s mind and a Moslem’s heart. Not just to burn the paper. You can burn millions of copies tomorrow. So we are not part of this not because we are with the Moslems. No, we believe we have to clean the ideas of the Koran from the Moslems. That is why I asked if you could end with calling the Koran to be banned. So our goal, and what I carry all these years, and us as ex-Moslem people, is to destroy the Koran’s heart. We judge the Koran as false, but not the paper. Thank you.”
Dr Terry Jones:
“Thank you very much. I would like to emphasize that is absolutely no problem for us. I would like to emphasize that us and Truth TV, I believe we are on every topic concerning the Koran in 100% unity, except this particular aspect of the burning. As we have said, the Truth TV is definitely against the burning of the Koran. That is actually fine. So they can, at this time, discontinue their live stream and those who want to can leave the room.
“Let me emphasize again that it is not that we burn the Koran with some type of vindictive motive. We do not even burn it with great pleasure, or any pleasure at all. We burn it because we feel a deep obligation to stay with the court system of America. The court system of America does not allow convicted criminals to go free. The punishment was chosen by the people. If anyone, including our defense attorney and his family feel highly offended and angered by this action, they are more than welcome to leave at this time. We would excuse them. We thank them very much for their participation. Anyone else who is angered and offended by this action, you are more than welcome to leave.”
A few people did leave the hall. The rest watched in silence as the kerosene soaked book burned.
The book burning starts at 16:51 into our video clip.
NOTE: The mock trial of the Quran took place on March 20, 2011.