Pastor Terry Jones Islamophobia’s Surprising Origins in Europe

At the Daily Beast Leon Dische Baker writes of the Islamophobes’ Islamophobe, Pastor Terry Jones: “His symbolic struggle against radical Islam is actually a tangible struggle against his own obscurity.”

Meanwhile, aside from the depths of his psyche, the origins of Reverend Jones’s Islamophobia surprise. In another Daily Beast article, Baker wrote:

“Islam is not going to back down!” [Pastor Jones] warned. “As the people in Germany know.” Several voices in the front row shouted enthusiastic “yeahs” in response, and their accents were German. There are nine German emigrees at Dove Outreach, two of whom are pastors. Terry Jones himself spent 30 years in Cologne, as a missionary and church leader. When he returned to the U.S. amid accusations of financial and labor abuses, a small German contingent followed him. They brought baggage: a deep aversion to everything Islamic.

“Our campaign against Islam started in Germany,” the pastor’s son Luke, 29, assured me in a thick West German accent. He wouldn’t specify what forms the campaign took there. Like other members of Dove Outreach, Luke comes from Cologne. More specifically, he stems from the Kalk district of the city—an area with a large Turkish population.

There are two ways to take this: relief that Pastor Jones’s Islamophobia is not home-grown; dismay that he’s proved such a hospitable host for an infection that’s seen its worst outbreak in the United States.