With the passing of the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, cooler heads may have prevailed amidst the heated rhetoric surrounding this convergence of faith and politics. Does an imam not have a right to build a mosque near the grounds of the fallen towers? Does a pastor not have a right to burn Qur’ans to express his views about religion with regards to the attacks? A blitz of press coverage fed on a nail-biting countdown leading to, fortunately, a less explosive outcome. The imam took a more open stance negotiating the construction of his mosque. The pastor held off on the Qur’an burning.
In the days leading up to these events, leafing through the finals chapters of a novel, I could not help but draw some albeit remote parallels. Most disturbing was the dialogue of one of the fictional characters, a hard-line Christian televangelist promoting a right-wing politician running for office. The character could not hide his slanted view that Islam has a direct role in terrorism, even as he tried finagling his way around his limited role in promoting his senatorial pick. (Alert: This is very twisted!) 
"We are surrounded by enemies of the state, my friends, and at their mercy when they explode bombs among us without warning. Those bombs are political statements in the mind of a terrorist, but the evil behind them is religious in nature, being as it were inspired by a certain religion that is not our own."
"We know something bad is smelling up the planet but we dare not speak its name because to do so will create riots and revenge attacks and outrage that will spill innocent blood. Because evil does not like to hear itself spoken of with disdain. Evil is offended by that. Evil, the practitioners of that other religion would have us believe, is sensitive, and will have its finer feelings offended by a bold statement of truth!"
And yet, reading “Callisto”, I could not help but think about the recent spate of events. There obviously are those who believe Islam had a direct tie with the 9/11 attacks. This would include the would-be Quran-burning pastor and perhaps some of the protestors of the mosque near Ground Zero. So is there or is there not a cause-and-effect relationship here? Is it because they were Muslims that the attackers dove into the towers? Does the holy book contain terrorist propaganda that would deserve it to be burned en masse? Perhaps, we should all read the book to make such a judgment. (I know, for the Bible-taught, it was tough enough getting through Genesis.)
While the Quran itself is supposedly legit only if written in Arabic, it has been translated in many languages worldwide, English included. Who’s going to enlighten us then? Perhaps, the news media should. That should serve well to neutralize the bad press they received in firing up such a frenzy to begin with. (Imagine FOX5 News’ 24/7 covering this.) How about featuring a verse-a-day of Qur’an in your daily broadcasts or publications? You can include commentaries from two perspectives, one imam and one pastor. Certainly, that would make the “bold statement of truth” more accessible to all of us – doubters, believers, haters – even if just to forestall the next possible conflagration on this matter.
Then there are public open spaces such as parks and plazas – and museums! (Talk about accessible!) Holland Cotter  of the New York Times is on the same track with me on this one. Reviewing Sandow Bark’s work, ”American Qur’an” , he writes:
For information value alone, and entirely apart from recent threats of book burnings, it would make sense for our museums to offer Koran-related exhibitions.
(See related article, "When Bells Toll, When Minarets Rise")