The New ICBM

3 April 2011

That stands for Inter Continental Ballistic Moron, and it has a far greater range than the original ICBM. No doubt you’ve heard by now that the Good Reverand Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida, decided to go ahead with his brilliant plan to burn the Koran, which he did — well, it was barbecued, no word as to whether or not he applied his favorite sauce — and the immediate result was to get 7 U.N. workers killed by an angry mob on the other side of the world in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. Nice job, Terry!

I’m taking this personally, because FINCA has a branch office in Mazar-e-Sharif, and now I have to worry that any ex pats I send there could be in mortal danger. Of course, it could just be the beginning.

You would think by now that people would understand that some people in this world take their religion very seriously, and don’t take kindly to a full frontal, premeditated insult. I learned this in Somalia, about twenty years ago, when an American was killed in the wake of the publication of Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses”. I was advising the Somali Commercial and Savings Bank at the time on a microloan project, and one of the Somali bank executives asked me to bring him a copy of Rushdie’s book next time I came to the country.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” I asked, referring to the recent homicide.

“Oh, you’ll be fine,” he reassured me.

“But how do you feel about Rushdie? I mean, isn’t there a fatwah out with his name on it?”

“Oh, this man has to die,” my friend replied without hesitation. And then he repeated his request for me to bring him a copy of the book, as he professed to be interested in seeing what it contained that was so inflammatory.

Apparently one immediate consequence of Jones’ rash act has been a major reduction in his congregation, with a proportional drop in his income. His flock has flown, in other words, and taken their checkbooks with them.

Jones’ son, Luke, was quoted in the Post as saying: “We’re not very well-educated. We’re just simple people trying to do the right thing.”

That’s an understatement. The right thing being, I take it, getting innocent people killed overseas.

Here’s my advice, Reverand. The next time you feel like setting fire to something…….

I think I’ll quit before I say something I regret.

Rupert Scofield


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