Let me begin by affirming that it was wrong of Terry Jones to advocate the burning of the Quran. We who profess the name of Christ do not show our love to Muslims by blaspheming their holy book, nor do we honor our God by doing so. And it is absolutely horrible that Muslims in Afghanistan rose up in an angry response to Jones and killed Americans; it’s tragic that Americans died in the wake of Jones’ action.
However, there’s a distinction I think we need to recognize. Jones did not make the Muslims kill the Americans. As horrible as it is that Jones’ action led to the deaths of Americans, it was not really his burning of the Quran (or intention to do so) that caused their deaths. The Muslims who killed the Americans are adult human beings and responsible for their own actions. They, and they alone, killed innocent Americans, of their own choice. No one held a gun to their heads to make them do it. (That’s a very ironic statement, if you think about it, which contrasts the two actions.) There’s no reason those Muslims had to respond to the Quran burning with the murder of innocent people.
This is what we need to be careful about. Muslim extremists play a mind game with us. They blame *us* for their violent acts. They choose to injure and murder people, and then say it’s our fault. But it’s not. And if we allow them to convince us that we’re somehow responsible for their choices, then they’ve got us just where they want us, right by the balls (pardon the expression, but it’s apt). We need to remember that ultimately they and they alone are responsible for their acts of terrorism.