Photo of the Day: Pastor Trades Prayer for Kerosene

Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

Prayer is not enough for Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida's Dove World Outreach Center. Believing that action speaks louder than heavenly entreaties, Pastor Jones donned judicial robes on March 20 and presided over his so-called Christian congregation of 30 persons in putting the Koran, the holy book of Islam, on trial.

Found guilty of being a "dangerous book"—Jones's term—a single Koran was doused in kerosene and burned in a barbeque pit. The sentence was carried out live on the Internet.

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Terry Jones looks at himself in the mirror after triggering the deaths of 20 people. (Photo: Phelan Ebenhack/Reuters)

Jones's holy book conflagration raised barely any smoke in the stateside media, but made for fiery headlines in the incendiary region of Afghanistan. This past Friday, April Fools Day, an incensed mob in northern Afghanistan's Mazar-e Sharif reacted to Jones's action by storming a United Nations compound, triggering a massacre that left 20 people dead.

“We’re not big debaters. We’re not very well-educated,” Jones's son Luke told the Washington Post. “We’re just simple people trying to do the right thing.”


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