Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Florida Minister Pressured Not To Burn Quran : NPR
The leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy said he was still praying about whether go through with his plan to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, which the White House, religious leaders and others are pressuring him to call off.
The Rev. Terry Jones said he has received more than 100 death threats and has started wearing a .40-caliber pistol strapped to his hip but still did not back off his plan Tuesday to burn the book Muslims consider the word of God and insist be treated with the utmost respect. The 58-year-old minister said the death threats started not long after he proclaimed in July that he would stage "International Burn-a-Quran Day."
Supporters, though, have been mailing copies of the holy text to his church of about 50 followers to be incinerated in a bonfire on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Gen. David Petraeus took the rare step of a military leader taking a position on a domestic matter when he warned in an e-mail to The Associated Press that "images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan - and around the world - to inflame public opinion and incite violence."
Jones responded that he is also concerned but is "wondering, 'When do we stop?"' He refused to cancel the protest at his Dove World Outreach Center but said he was still praying about it.
"How much do we back down? How many times do we back down?" Jones told the AP. "Instead of us backing down, maybe it's time to stand up. Maybe it's time to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behavior."
Jones gained some local notoriety last year when he posted signs in front of his church declaring "Islam is of the Devil." But his Quran-burning idea attracted wider attention. It drew rebukes from Muslim nations and at home as an emotional debate was taking shape over the proposed Islamic center near the ground zero site of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York.
This type of ignorant bigotry is just plain dumb! It is constitutionally protected but this man and his church is spreading hate, defiling Christianity and putting American soldiers in danger. This is not the first time this fool has attacked Islam. What an idiot!
John H. Armwood