RUSH: Where is this pastor? The guy that wants to burn the Korans, he’s in Gainesville, Florida? On 9/11 between six and nine p.m. he wants to burn the Koran. So a lot of people are reacting to this. Hillary Clinton said this yesterday in Washington about the idea.
HILLARY: The news is carrying reports that a pastor down in Gainesville, Florida, plans to burn the Holy Koran on September 11th. I am heartened by the clear unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.
RUSH: And then the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, held a press conference yesterday in the city and said this.
BLOOMBERG: In a strange way, I’m here to defend his right to do that. I happen to think that it is distasteful. I don’t think he would like it if somebody burnt a book that in his religion he thinks is holy, but the First Amendment protects everybody. And you can’t say that we’re going to apply the First Amendment to only those cases where we are in agreement.
RUSH: Okay, so Hillary finds it reprehensible, Bloomberg finds it reprehensible, but he doesn’t think it’s worth enough to stop it, First Amendment. So the pastor down there in Gainesville seeking prayer and guidance whether they should burn the Koran. I like to put stories like this in perspective. The reason I want to put stories like this in perspective, when I was over in Hawaii with my golf buddies, I forget what it was, but I went on a tirade and a rant one afternoon. We’d finished playing golf, we’re out on my buddy’s deck, we’re waiting for dinner to be fixed, and somebody said something about something in the news, and I said, ‘I don’t believe it! It’s the media. I don’t react to anything in the media. It’s all fake. It’s all trumped up. The media is not about what’s news anymore.’
The media is not sitting around watching what’s happening and reporting it. They’re moving agenda items and so forth and so on, and I wasn’t even gonna talk about this, but I got sucked in by it. I decided I’d go do some research on this. And I have two stories. First, Monday, May 4th, of 2009, this is Al Jazeera: ‘A former Afghan prime minister has called for an inquiry after Al Jazeera broadcast footage showing Christian US soldiers appearing to be preparing to try and convert Muslims in Afghanistan. Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai said there must be a ‘serious investigation’ after military chaplains stationed in the US air base at Bagram were filmed discussing how to distribute copies of the Bible printed in the country’s main Pashto and Dari languages. … Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai told Al Jazeera from Kabul on Monday: ‘This is a complete deviation from what they [the US military] are supposed to be doing. I don’t think even the US constitution would allow what they are doing … it is completely against all regulations.”
So Al Jazeera, back in 2009 was accusing our troops of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity by printing Bibles in native languages, and they were being taught in seminars how to do the conversions. Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai said, ‘This is very damaging for diplomatic relations between the two counties … everyone knows people are very conservative here, very faithful to Islam. They will never accept any other religion. … Someone who leaves Islam is sentenced very severely — the death penalty [is imposed]. There must be a serious investigation now that it has come out into the public and [into the] press.’ So they were demanding an investigation of the US military for trying to convert Muslims to Christianity in Afghanistan 2009. And Ahmed Shah Ahmedzai said, ‘Look, they’re not going to shift, if they do, they get killed. Somebody who leaves Islam is sentenced to death.’
‘Sayed Aalam Uddin Asser, of the Islamic Front for Peace and Understanding in Kabul, told Al Jazeera: ‘It’s a national security issue … our constitution says nothing can take place in Afghanistan against Islam. If people come and propaganda other religions, which have no followers in Afghanistan [then] it creates problems for the people, for peace, for stability.” This was all on Al Jazeera. ‘The footage, shot about a year ago by Brian Hughes, a documentary maker and former member of the US military who spent several days in Bagram near Kabul, was obtained by Al Jazeera’s James Bays, who has covered Afghanistan extensively. … It is not clear that the Bibles were distributed to Afghans, but Hughes said that none of the people he recorded in a series of sermons and Bible study classes appeared to able to speak Pashto or Dari. Hughes said: ‘The only reason they would have these documents there was to distribute them to the Afghan people and I knew it was wrong, and I knew that filming it … documenting it would be important.’ … Questioned about the footage, Greg Julian, a US colonel in Afghanistan, told Al Jazeera: ‘Most of this is taken out of context … this is irresponsible and inappropriate journalism. This footage was taken a year ago … the bibles were taken into custody and not distributed.” The Bibles were taken into custody. These are the Bibles reprinted in native languages, taken into custody and not distributed.
Now, that was from May 4th of 2009. Reuters the next day, May 5th, 2009: ‘Bibles in Afghan languages sent to a U.S. soldier at a base in Afghanistan were confiscated and destroyed to ensure that troops did not breach regulations which forbid proselytising, a military spokeswoman said. The U.S. military has denied its soldiers tried to convert Afghans to Christianity, after Qatar-based Al Jazeera television showed soldiers at a bible class … U.S. Central Command’s General Order Number 1 forbids troops on active duty from trying to convert people to another religion.’
Do you know how they destroyed the Bibles? They burned ’em. They did. The US military burned the Bibles in a foreign language. Now, I’m just trying to bring a little perspective to this. I can now confirm the Bibles shown in Al Jazeera’s clip were in fact collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed. Now, you compare and contrast this event with the current outrage over some crackpot’s plans to burn a couple Korans in Florida on September 11th. State Department spokesman called the pastor’s idea un-American. Do you remember any outrage when the US government destroyed Bibles in order to avoid offending the sensitivities of Muslims in Afghanistan? I don’t think you remember that, do you? You’re probably just hearing about this for the first time. The pastor in Gainesville has 50 congregants. That’s how many people in his flock at his church in Gainesville.
RUSH: By the way, has the ACLU weighed in yet on the Gainesville pastor who wants to burn the Koran? Why not? I mean, if the ACLU would be consistent they’d move in there and defend this Gainesville pastor’s right to burn the Koran. Maybe the ACLU’s finally found a religious text that they want to protect. Who knew?