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Church rebuffs military concerns on Quran burning

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Christian minister said Tuesday that he will go ahead with plans to burn copies of the Quran this weekend to protest the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks despite a warning from the top U.S. general in Afghanistan that doing so would endanger American troops.

Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center said he understands Gen. David Petraeus' concerns, but plans to go forward with the burning this Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the attacks.

He left the door open to change his mind, however, saying that he is still praying about his decision.

Petraeus warned Tuesday 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 told the AP in a phone interview that he is also concerned but wonders how many times the U.S. can back down.

"We think it's time to turn the tables, and instead of possibly blaming us for what could happen, we put the blame where it belongs — on the people who would do it," he said. "And maybe instead of addressing us, we should address radical Islam and send a very clear warning that they are not to retaliate in any form."

Jones, who runs the small, evangelical Christian church with an anti-Islam philosophy, says he has received more than 100 death threats and has started wearing a .40-caliber pistol strapped to his hip.

The threats started not long after the 58-year-old minister proclaimed in July that he would stage "International Burn a Quran Day." Supporters have been mailing copies of the Islamic holy text to his Dove World Outreach Center to be incinerated in a bonfire that evening.

The fire department has denied Jones a required burn permit for Sept. 11, but he has vowed to go ahead with his event. He said lawyers have told him his right to burn the Quran is protected by the First Amendment whether he's got permission from the city or not.

Muslims consider the Quran to be the word of God and insist it be treated with the utmost respect, along with any printed material containing its verses or the name of Allah or the Prophet Muhammad. Any intentional damage or show of disrespect to the Quran is deeply offensive.

In this progressive north Florida town of 125,000 anchored by the sprawling University of Florida campus, the lanky preacher with the bushy white mustache is mostly seen as a fringe character who doesn't deserve the attention he's getting.

Still, at least two dozen Christian churches, Jewish temples and Muslim organizations in Gainesville have mobilized to plan inclusive events — some will read from the Quran at their own weekend services — to counter what Jones is doing. A student group is organizing a protest across the street from the church Saturday.

The Vatican newspaper on Tuesday published an article in which Catholic bishops, including Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, criticized Jones' plan.

"No one burns the Quran," read the headline in Tuesday's L'Osservatore Romano.

Jones, who has about 50 followers, gained some local notoriety last year when he posted signs in front of his small church proclaiming "Islam is of the Devil." But his Quran-burning scheme, after it caught fire on the Internet, brought rebukes from Muslim nations and an avalanche of media interview requests just as an emotional debate was taking shape over the proposed Islamic center near the Ground Zero site in New York.

The Quran, according to Jones, is "evil" because it espouses something other than the Christian biblical truth and incites radical, violent behavior among Muslims.

"It's hard for people to believe, but we actually feel this is a message that we have been called to bring forth," he said last week. "And because of that, we do not feel like we can back down."

FBI agents have visited to talk about their concerns for Jones' safety, as multiple Facebook pages with thousands of members have popped up hailing him as either a hero or a dangerous pariah.

His plan has drawn formal condemnation from the world's pre-eminent Sunni Muslim institution of learning, Al-Azhar University in Egypt, whose Supreme Council accused the church of stirring up hate and discrimination and called on other American churches speak out against it. Last month, Indonesian Muslims demonstrated outside the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, threatening violence if Jones goes through with it.

"Whenever there's a perception that America is somehow anti-Muslim, that harms our image and interests around the Islamic world," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim civil rights group that has worked to discredit Jones and counter his message.

http://enews.earthlink.net/article/us?guid=20100907/3a1b680a-3bbb-4ccb-9d42-f2f4797c0f4b

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Yes, let's show how much better we are than the extremist islamists by burning books. I'm sure it will show to the world how cultured and sophisticated we are, and how much we value free speech and freedom of religion.

/sarcasm

And people wonder why I get more frustrated by the stupid people of my own religion, than at the millitant athiests.

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I'm not even sure what to post here-- a generic derision of his actions, a multiculturalism joke, a proclamation of embarrassment, an apology on behalf of believers-- the list is practically endless. But I think the article just simply speaks for itself.

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Burning books or anything in that matter just shows how much of an ass you are. It's no different then when our local music shop owner burned a pile of Slayer CDs because they were too demonic. It's just fucking stupid *especially since he bought the CDs, so they'd still get the money*. I understand that 9/11 was a bad, but seriously, the way most get so bent out of shape over the entire race/religion SERIOUSLY just makes matters worse.

-Blur

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Stupid people / groups will do stupid things, and this is more than likely just an attention grabbing move, I'd say its working rather nicely. Although I agree with the general sentiment that their stupidity is going to either A. put people in danger or B. get people killed. Of course as others have said, it plays right into the hands of the extremist's propaganda.

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Totally against book burning here, it's been synonymous in the past with censorship, and is about the death of ideas.

At the same time, a lot of Muslims see the book as holy, and will not just take personal offense (they should), but also religious offense to this. Such as with the Mohammad cartoon. To these people I say chill out. The book is not holy to everyone, and should not be holy to everyone. But yeah, wish they wouldn't burn it.

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"Hey guys! Our religion is so much better, we're grouping extremists and regular people into the same group and trying to offend both!"

I want to find this place, bring a hundred bibles, and just torch them in the middle of their burning.

While completely nude.

With a pentagram on my chest.

And just run around slapping people and say "THIS IS WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE" to everyone.

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And christians like I wonder why we're ridiculed on the internet...

Book burning is killing literary art, quran burning is against freedom of religion; which is a huge part of why this country was formed in the first place; and making yourself look like a jackass in the media is just plain idiotic. I truly scorn people like this.

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So this guy is basically going "Radical Muslims? Pfft. Us Christians invented extremism." I hope I'm not the only one who sees the irony in condemning extremism by committing extremism. Also, protests of this sort could probably be classified as hate speech anyways, which would make it unprotected by the First Amendment.

The really odd thing about this is that, unlike most idiots of this caliber/persuasion, this Jones douche seems to be able to actually tell the difference between "Muslim" and "Islamic Fundamentialist," but he simply doesn't care. Which is... progress?

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I want to find this place, bring a hundred bibles, and just torch them in the middle of their burning. While completely nude. With a pentagram on my chest. And just run around slapping people and say "THIS IS WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE" to everyone.

I would so wish I could join you, sounds like a ton of fun.

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"Hey guys! Our religion is so much better, we're grouping extremists and regular people into the same group and trying to offend both!"

I want to find this place, bring a hundred bibles, and just torch them in the middle of their burning.

While completely nude.

With a pentagram on my chest.

And just run around slapping people and say "THIS IS WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE" to everyone.

I proposition for freedom of speech and religion and whatnot we burn copies of every religious scripture we possibly can obtain all at once. Like, for every religion all at once.

Why pick on one religion when the only liable way to handle this is to burn everything? That's fair.

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Because that would just be super assholish.

Just like how hating every race equally doesn't make you not raciest.

Trust me, I don't want burning any religious scriptures here but I mean a back-and-forth war against religions won't help anything and the only way to really work it is burn them all or burn none since if you burn one in particular it speaks hate against certain individuals and I would rather someone who hates everyone than hates one or a few people for some nonsense reason like religion or race. This priest's idea is stupid and won't help anything nor does it represent anything. 9/11 was 9 years ago, it was bad, but that gives us no reason to burn another religion's holy documents and blame it on 9/11 nine years later.

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Trust me, I don't want burning any religious scriptures here but I mean a back-and-forth war against religions won't help anything and the only way to really work it is burn them all or burn none since if you burn one in particular it speaks hate against certain individuals and I would rather someone who hates everyone than hates one or a few people for some nonsense reason like religion or race. This priest's idea is stupid and won't help anything nor does it represent anything. 9/11 was 9 years ago, it was bad, but that gives us no reason to burn another religion's holy documents and blame it on 9/11 nine years later.

To be honest this entire thing is stupid and actually goes against Gods will (as Christians SHOULD believe). The Bible quite clearly states other people are to be respected no matter how much we disagree with them . Jesus puts emphasis on Loving your Neighbor (and enemy to boot).

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.

God loves your neighbor enough to die for them. You are God's ambassador, representing God to your neighbor, for the purpose of demonstrating His love.

What are you doing to show God's love to your neighbor? Love without actions is dead.

I'm sure there was some scripture on faiths that was an extension of this but internet searching fails me on this one. All the same, disrespecting people and burning their prized objects certainly is not "Love" : [

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It's amazing the shite that turns into news nowadays.

In all seriousness, though, this nutjob bookburner is exactly that, a nutjob. Heck, the community as a whole where he's at considers him a right-wing fringe character hardly deserving of the attention. To add further shock, he's already defying the law as he failed to get the required burn permit, so it would be justified to bring in a fire brigade to hose the fcuktard and his bonfire before the police stroll in and arrest him for the unpermitted burn, not to mention incitement to riot.

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"We think it's time to turn the tables, and instead of possibly blaming us for what could happen, we put the blame where it belongs — on the people who would do it,"

Like those dastardly Islams who didn't do anything and the people actually responsible being a bunch of extremists who wanted to be incredible dicks, who just so happened to be Islamic.

When you slap a lion in the face, it is your own fault for getting mauled, not the lion for not appreciating your lovely gesture.

This guy has become the very people who committed 9/11. An extremist asshat who ends up pissing off an entire country while making a bad name for his own country. Ironic, no?

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This universe gets more fucked up, it seems. That is an extremely unintelligent move, burning the Koran. If it's super sacred to Muslims, it should not be burned at all. Burning books is not the answer. Burning books is outdated. These dumb asses better not burn the Koran.

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