The rumor spread that some Christians had desecrated a copy of the Koran. That's all it took for rioting to break out in a Christian neighborhood in Pakistan. According to media reports, dozens of homes were burned and people were killed.
Now, in response, the Christian schools in the city of Gojra are closed for three days in protest. But the protest, while attracting attention to the plight of the Christians, does little to mitigate the disproportionate response we've seen repeatedly exhibited by radical fundamentalist Muslims towards what they believe to be affronts to their religion.
Even had a Koran been damaged by a Christian (and there's no evidence of that thus far) it doesn't justify killing people and burning their homes. A perceived slight to the prophet Mohammad is, as are attacks on all religions, reprehensible. But it doesn't justify rioting in the streets as we've seen in the past. Protest - sure. But rioting? There's something uncivilized about that.
It's ironic that complaints about perceived intolerance over one religion results in intolerance towards another.
In Nigeria, Christian teachers are being killed by fundamentalist Muslims who believe that their teachings contravene those of Mohammad and must be stopped at all costs. Among the teachings the attackers find so reprehensible - that the earth is round.
We all know that the earth is round but they argue that the Koran says otherwise and therefore such teachings are blasphemous. Well, they are welcome to their outdated opinions, whether factual or not, but they have no right to kill those who believe otherwise.
Gladly, most Muslims profess tolerance of others and their beliefs. But that comes as little solace to the loved ones of those Christians who were killed in Pakistan and Nigeria in the name of religion.