Angelina Jolie has been visiting refugee camps in northwestern Pakistan, where the flood hit hardest. The heavy monsoon rains have killed more than 1,700 people and have affected over 18 million others.
When it was recently announced that a Florida church plans to burn copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Jolie told reporters in Islamabad, "I have hardly the words that somebody would do that to somebody's religious book."
Pastor Terry Jones is the Christian minister organizing the Quran burning. He's part of the Dove World Outreach Center, a small, evangelical Christian church in Gainesville, Florida with 50 members. He says he plans to go ahead in spite of criticism because of the church's anti-Islam philosophy.
Jolie has described the church's plan as a shameful act and many top US officials have agreed with the star. She and many others worry that this act could endanger US troops in Afghanistan and Americans worldwide.
The flood devastation in Pakistan has taken priority in the news lately so the planned Quran burning has not garnered much media attention as yet.
UN officials are hoping that Jolie's visit will help propel the fundraising campaign designed to assist Pakistan. On August 11, the UN issued an appeal for $460 million in emergency funds but only 64 percent of that goal has been reached. It's one of the worst natural disasters in recent years.
Jolie said, "I was shocked especially by how high the floodwaters went." She respectfully wore a long dress and wore a black scarf over her head in keeping with local Muslim custom. "In some of the people's houses, it was nine feet high."
"There's lots of speculation about why this one has not gotten the attention it deserves," Jolie added. "Even with all of the wonderful coverage, it is not getting the response that usually it's able to get."
Isn't it enough to see so many people suffering from a natural disaster? Why dream up ideas to inflict more pain? If someone decided to burn copies of the Christian bible, I wonder how that would go over. Not good, methinks.
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