Saturday, 11 September 2010

Terry Jones & the Qur'an (Koran)

In recent news, a pastor from a church in USA announced that they would be burning the Qur'an, the Muslim sacred book, on the anniversary of the Sep 11 attacks. Ps Terry Jones from Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, used their church website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote this "International Burn a Qur'an Day," to remember 9/11 victims and to take a stand against Islam. They were also protesting a controversial mosque project near Ground Zero in New York.

This caused an international backlash and widespread media coverage, including statements from US President Barack Obama and other world leaders and a personal phone call from US Defence Secretary Robert Gates to Jones. Several protests were staged across the world, especially in Muslim countries e.g. Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A day before the 9/11 anniversary, Jones announced at a press conference that he was calling off the event, as he had struck a deal on the Ground Zero mosque project after a meeting with Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida. He claimed that the imam in charge of the project had agreed to move away the project. However, after the news conference, Musri explained there was no deal about the mosque, and that he had only agreed to travel to New York with Jones to meet with the imam overseeing the project. In New York, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the leader of the Islamic center project, said that he was surprised by Jones' announcement, as he had not talked to either Jones or Musri, and no such deal was discussed or agreed upon. Jones eventually travelled to New York, but no such meeting with the imam took place. In a NY interview, Jones declared that there would be no Qu'ran burning, "not today, not ever."

See related articles
Church plans Quran-burning event (CNN, 30 Jul 10)
National Council of Churches deplores intention of US pastor to burn Koran (CNA, 9 Sep 10)
World condemns US pastor's plan to burn Koran (CNA, 9 Sep 10)
Pastors nixes Quran-burning, claims NYC mosque deal (AP, 9 Sep 10)
Muslims urged to exercise moderation (CNA, 10 Sep 10)
Interpol warns of global attacks if Koran burned (CNA, 10 Sep 10)
Gates phoned Florida pastor to say US soldiers at risk: Pentagon (CNA, 10 Sep 10)
Jamiyah Singapore calls on Muslims to uphold harmony, unity (CNA, 10 Sep 10)
Pastor puts Koran-burning on hold, eyes NY mosque deal (CNA, 10 Sep 10)
Fla. pastor issues new demands (USA Today, 10 Sep 10)
Lessons from the whole Quran episode (CNN, 14 Sep 10)

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