News / USA

US Pastor Calls Off Quran Burning, Hopes for Saturday Meeting with New York Imam

A U.S. pastor who had planned to burn Qurans Saturday is pressing for a meeting with the imam seeking to build an Islamic cultural center in New York. The pastor wants the project moved away from the site of the September 11th attacks.

Reverend Terry Jones says he hopes to travel to New York Saturday, instead of going ahead with his plans to burn some 200 Qurans in front of his Gainesville church.

Jones said the original event was intended to honor those killed in the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, and to send a message to Islamic extremists, like al-Qaida.

But political and religious leaders around the world denounced plans to burn Qurans at the Dove World Outreach Center. President Barack Obama has said the event could spark new violence by Islamic extremists.

Thursday, Jones said he decided to cancel the event and go to New York to meet imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who is seeking to build the Islamic cultural center near the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks in New York. Jones said Friday that he had not yet secured a meeting in New York.

"We have not heard from the imam but we are still very hopeful that we will meet with him. We are still very convinced through the different channels that we have, which we cannot mention, that this meeting will take place," he said.

Jones cited recent polls that suggest most Americans oppose the plan to build the Islamic center near the site of the New York attacks, known as ground zero. Imam Rauf has said the project has the support of leaders from across the religious spectrum, and that it will have spaces for people of all faiths.

Also Friday, Jones met with K.A. Paul, a Christian preacher from India who is based in the U.S. city of Houston. Paul said he had worked for two days to convince Jones that burning Qurans was the wrong thing to do, and that Jones had finally agreed.

"There are three reasons I gave why he should not burn Qurans. Number one: it is to a billion and a half people a holy book. [He should try] not to offend all Muslims all over the world," he said.

Paul also said the event could endanger Christian preachers and missionaries around the world, as well as U.S. military personnel outside the country. U.S. military chiefs already have voiced concerns that images of burning Qurans could incite new attacks on U.S. troops, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Earlier, a group of religious leaders from Gainesville delivered a petition signed by 8,000 people asking Jones to stop any plans to burn Qurans.

Reverend Roland Julien, of St. Patrick Catholic Church, said there has been an outpouring of concern about Saturday's planned event. "It touches all of us. People from all over are calling us. They are calling any church in Gainesville, and saying what can we do to stop this act and live together more peaceably as brothers and sisters," he said.

Rabbi Dennis Shuman of the P'nai Or Jewish congregation said the planned event posed a dilemma to religious communities around the world. He said the key issue was how to address radical figures from any religion. "What we are witnessing in our world today is not a clash between different religions. But a clash within religions, between extremists and moderates," he said.

Local religious leaders say they are surprised at the international attention being paid to the Dove World Outreach Center, with its congregation of a few dozen. They say people around the world should realize that most people in Gainesville and elsewhere in the country do not support the church's plan to burn Qurans.

You May Like

Malaysian PM Ends Vacation Over Floods

Najib Razak had been criticized for golfing in Hawaii with US president while country suffered More

Photogallery Fear Amid Remembrances for Tsunami Victims

Across continent, services and tributes acknowledge 220,000 victims of 2004 Indian Ocean disaster; region remains inadequately prepared, experts say More

Liberia Lawmaker Denies Election Manipulation

Alex Tyler said he’s being used as a scapegoat by people who are refusing to accept defeat in the December 20 special senatorial election 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.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid