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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid