The Dove World Outreach Center in Florida plans to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in a most unusual, and controversial, way.
Pastor Terry Jones says he plans to hold a “Burn the Koran Day” this Saturday, September 11th.
“We think the message is that important,” says Jones. “We can not back down just because of fear, because if we back down, it won’t make Islam any more moderate,” said Jones.
UPDATE: Pastor Jones says the Koran burning will go on, despite warnings.
Jones’ disdain for Islam is no secret, as the Pastor has even written a book entitled, “Islam Is of the Devil”.
The church’s plans have instigated several threats of violence from the Muslim world. The latest came on Monday in Afghanistan. Hundreds of Afghans rallied outside a mosque in Kabul, burning American flags and an effigy of Jones while chanting “death to America.” Some also held signs threatening President Barack Obama.
Postings on a Islamic extremist website also threatened suicide bombings in Florida in response to the planned Koran-burning.
In fact, even Gen. David Petraeus, The United States’ top commander in Afghanistan, has added his voice to mounting protests and is putting pressure on Jones to call off the event.
General Petraeus said in a statement that burning Korans “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems – not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community. It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan. Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday. Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult.”
On Monday, some 500 people gathered in Kabul to protest the Koran-burning and to demand the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.
More in the video below:
Follow the whole Quran burning story on Blippitt here
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