News / USA

    Florida Minister Cancels Quran Burning Protest

    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

    The Christian minister of a small church in Florida canceled on Thursday his plan to burn copies of the Quran that had been scheduled for Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.  The planned protest had sparked angry demonstrations by Muslims around the world.  

    The Reverend Terry Jones announced his change of heart at a news conference late Thursday in front of his church in Gainesville, Florida.

    Jones said he called off the Quran burning protest because he had secured an agreement with Muslim leaders in New York City to move the location of a controversial planned Islamic center and mosque away from the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks known as Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

    "The American people do not want the mosque there and, of course, Muslims do not want us to burn the Quran," said Terry Jones. "The imam has agreed to move the mosque.  We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday.  And on Saturday, I will be flying up there to meet with him."

    But the New York imam behind the Islamic center project issued a written statement saying there was no deal to move the Islamic center and mosque slated to be built two blocks away from Ground Zero.

    The statement from Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf denied that any talks had taken place with Jones and said no agreement had been reached.

    Reverend Jones' plans to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday had drawn worldwide condemnation.  President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and numerous religious leaders around the country spoke out against the planned protest and urged the previously obscure Florida minister to abandon the idea.

    Jones spoke to Defense Secretary Robert Gates shortly before his news conference.  Pentagon officials say Gates urged the minister not to go ahead with his protest on Saturday, arguing that it would put the lives of U.S. soldiers serving abroad at risk.

    Jones told reporters he has been praying on the issue.

    "I get a little bit emotional," he said. "This has been, of course, for us a very, very difficult, trying time.  We have been in very much thought and prayer over this whole period.  A lot of times we were asked, what would it take to call this thing off."

    Jones said an idea came to him while praying that he would call off the planned burning of the Quran, if Muslim leaders in New York City would agree to move the site of Islamic center away from site of the 2001 terrorist attacks in lower Manhattan.

    "The American people, as a whole, do not want the mosque at the Ground Zero location," said Jones. "That if they were willing to either cancel the mosque at the Ground Zero location or if they were willing to move that location, willing to move it away from that location, we would consider that a sign from God.  I will be flying up there on Saturday to meet with the imam at the Ground Zero mosque.  He has agreed to move the location."

    Jones appeared at the news conference with a local imam, Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida.  Imam Musri told CNN that he was acting as an intermediary between the Christian minister and Muslim leaders in New York, and that he would travel with Jones to New York City on Saturday.  But Musri also said no deal had been reached to move the Islamic center, contrary to the claim by Reverend Jones.   


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora