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

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Spanish Warrants Point to Russian Govt. Links to Organized Crime

    Links to several Russians, some of them reputedly close Putin associates, backed by ‘very strong evidence,’ Spanish judge says

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    Iraq needs stable, central government to push back against Islamic State, US says, but others warn that Baghdad may not have unified front any time soon

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora