A Florida pastor is going forward with plans to burn copies of the Koran despite a general’s warning that doing so would endanger American troops. Christian leaders are also pleading with the Pastor Terry Jones to back off.
In an email to the Associated Press General David Petraeus said “Images of the burning of a Koran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence.”
Jones is standing by plans to protest the September 11th attacks by leading his congregation of about 50 at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville in burning copies of the Koran Saturday, the 9th anniversary of the attacks.”What we still feel that we must send a clear message to radical Islam,” Jones said.
Protests in Afghanistan Sunday included burning posters with Jones’ image on them. In Washington Tuesday, strong words from an interfaith group that included fellow evangelical Christians.
“To those who do this, you bring dishonor to the name of Jesus Christ,” said Richard Cizik of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.
What’s unfolding in Florida is a far cry from what Heartsong Christian Church in Cordova, Tennessee is doing. “We follow Jesus and he tells us to love our neighbors,” says Pastor Steve Stone. Pastor Stone’s church is lending out space to local muslims as they await completion of a new Islamic center.