News / USA

US Minister Cancels Burning of Qurans

Dove World Outreach Center pastor Terry Jones (l) shakes hands with Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida in Orlando, 09 Sep 2010
Dove World Outreach Center pastor Terry Jones (l) shakes hands with Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida in Orlando, 09 Sep 2010
Kent Klein

The leader of a small Christian church in the U.S. state of Florida says he has canceled plans to burn Qurans on Saturday.  The minister's intention to burn the holy book of Islam caused international outrage, including condemnation from President Barack Obama.

The Reverend Terry Jones said Thursday he has called off his planned protest because he has reached an agreement with Muslim leaders in New York to move a planned Islamic cultural center and mosque away from the area of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

"The Imam has agreed to move the mosque," said Terry Jones. "We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday, and on Saturday I will be flying up there to meet with him."

However, a statement from the cleric in charge of the New York mosque project said there was no agreement to move the location.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Jones Thursday and urged him not to torch the Islamic holy books.  He told the minister his plan would endanger the lives of American soliders.

Jones' statements throughout the week that he planned to burn the Quran to protest terrorism set off angry protests and brought condemnation from world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

"What he is proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans," said President Obama. "This country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance."

In an interview Thursday with the ABC television program "Good Morning America," the President said burning the Quran would likely spark more violence and terrorism.

"This is a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaida," said Mr. Obama. "You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan.  This could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities."

Related report by Elizabeth Lee

Jones leads the Dove World Outreach Center, a Christian church in Gainesville, Florida, that has about 50 members and preaches anti-Islam philosophy.  

Some anti-U.S. demonstrations have taken place, in response to the Quran burning plans.  The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert, warning Americans of the potential for anti-U.S. violence.

Nations around the world condemned the planned event,  Pakistan, India, France, Britain and Bahrain among them.

The Roman Catholic Church expressed its disapproval, as did United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

"Such actions cannot be condoned by any religion," said Ban Ki-Moon. "They contradict efforts of the United Nations and many people around the world to promote tolerance, intercultural understanding, and mutual respect between cultures and religions."

The president of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, asked President Obama to intervene.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of free speech to every American, and prohibits the government from restricting the practice of religion.

Despite Mr. Obama's strong condemnation of the planned Quran-burning, he said it would be a valid exercise of free-speech rights under the U.S. legal system.

White House officials say the burning of the Quran would be a setback in administration efforts to improve U.S. relations with the Islamic world.

Also Thursday, the president extended a greeting to the world's Muslims for Eid al-Fitr, the end of the holy month of Ramadan.  In the message, he encouraged Americans to contribute to a relief fund for victims of the recent floods in Pakistan.  

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid