Criticism mounts of “anti-Muslim frenzy” in U.S., Koran burning plan under fire

September 8, 2010

koran burning 1U.S. religious leaders  have condemned an “anti-Muslim frenzy” in the United States, including plans by a Florida church to burn a Koran on September 11, an act a top general said could endanger American troops abroad. Christian, Muslim and Jewish religious leaders denounced the “misinformation and outright bigotry” against U.S. Muslims resulting from plans to build a Muslim community center and mosque not far from the site of the September 11, 2001, hijacked plane attacks in New York by Islamist militants. The Vatican has also condemned the Koran burning plan.

(Photo: Indonesian Care for Pluralism Movement protests against Koran burning plan, Jakarta, 8 Sept 2010/Crack Palinggi)

Tensions have risen with the approach of both the September 11 anniversary on Saturday and the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival that marks the close of the fasting month of Ramadan, which is expected to end around Friday. Passions have been further inflamed by Terry Jones, the pastor of a 30-person church in Gainesville, Florida, who has announced plans to burn a Koran on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Jones says he wants to “expose Islam (as a) violent and oppressive religion.”

Religious leaders, including Washington Roman Catholic Archbishop emeritus Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Dr. Michael Kinnamon of the National Council of Churches, released a statement on Tuesday saying they were “alarmed by the anti-Muslim frenzy” and “appalled by such disrespect for a sacred text.” Read the full story here.

General David Petraeus, the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement the Koran burning could “endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort” to stabilize the Afghan situation. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems, not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.” Read the full story here.

koran burning 2U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called the plan “un-American.”

“We are conscious that a number of voices have come out and rejected what this pastor and this community have proposed,” Crowley told a news briefing on Tuesday. “We would like to see more Americans stand up and say ‘this is inconsistent with our American values.’ In fact these actions themselves are un-American.”

(Photo: Afghans protest against Koran burning, Kabul, 6 Sept 2010 /Mohammad Ishaq)

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has also condemned the proposed Koran-burning, calling it disrespectful and saying it could put Western troops in Afghanistan at risk.

The Vatican weighed in on Wednesday, saying that the “deplorable acts of violence” committed on 9/11 “cannot be counteracted by an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community. Each religion, with its respective sacred books, places of worship and symbols, has the right to respect and protection.”

Meanwhile, families of September 11 victims are arguing whether to call a truce on the anniversary of the 2001 attacks on the United States as debate rages over plans for a Muslim center near the World Trade Center site. Read the full story here.

 The Muslim cleric leading the project reasserted that organizers would proceed with the Cordoba House center.  “More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners,” Feisal Abdul Rauf, a Sufi Muslim imam, wrote in The New York Times.


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this man have no knowledge’s and if he read his book well and know what is it ,he will not burn Quran ,and a wander how is he pray in church and is there any one from this town do the pray in this church, you know this man want to be movie star and all talk about him as hero but chose the bad case and man like him is harmful and he must judge because this a violation and he talk about toreros and what is he ? and i wounder how much they pay him to do this

Posted by k.d1960 | Report as abusive

Whilst i do not condone what Terry Jones, the Florida pastor, has asked people to do, and will be carrying out himself, i do however feel , as always, when it might upset Muslims, it gets out of hand. In London we have plenty of demonstrations by Muslims asking for people to be beheaded, and all non believers to be killed and burnt. We also see Muslims demonstrating when our troops parade when they return from conflict. We also see Muslims demonstrating when our dead soldiers are returned to this country, and driven in hearses through the streets of Wooton Bassett. One thing though that never happens, and totally disgusts me to the core, is that not one of them is ever arrested. We treat these people with kid gloves, they can virtually break the law, without a care in the world. One thjing is for sure, if i wore a placard through the streets of London, asking for all Muslims to be killed, i would be arrested in seconds. Terry Jones may be ill advised, but to burn a book, and receive worldwide condemnation, compared to the leniency shown to Muslims, is a joke.

Posted by TheHunter2 | Report as abusive

There is no “anti-Muslim frenzy” in the United States. One isolated minister wants to exercise his free speech by burning the Koran.

We need to convey to the world that, in the United States, unlike many other nations. Even abhorrent speech and despicable points of view are not restricted.

Instead of focusing on this act. We need to communicate to the world that America’s issue with Iran, with the Taliban, and with Al-Qaeda is not their belief in Islam. Atheist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and yes, Muslim Americans have issues with those entities failure to value human life, their intolerance of contrary opinion, and in their desire to impose their belief system by force.

Support the Islamic community center and chapel near the Trade Center site. Publicly disavow book burnings of any kind. Our culture accommodates freedom of religion – all religion. We defend freedom of speech. The American flag we saw burned in Iran could just have legally been burned in New York City. That is our strength. THAT is America.

Posted by PatientType | Report as abusive

I say, Go for it! These people come in to the USA with more privileges then they would ever get in there own country. They own most of the convenient stores which they refuse to hire american persons. America was founded on christianity, and freedom. When have you ever heard of a christian church organizing death to innocent people? What would happen if Americans built a church in there country?? They would burn it down or blow it up. So why should we be ok with them building there freek show church where we lost thousands of innocent Mothers,Fathers, brothers, sisters,husbands and wives.
I say load them all back up on there camels and send them home!!! We need to start standing up for our country!!!

Posted by armytroops | Report as abusive

Dear armytroops, have you ever heard of the Crusades? More people have been killed in the name of Christianity than can be counted. “Our Country” is a country of people from other places. Unless you are a Native American your family immigrated here at some point. Freedom of religion is an important part of what America is supposed to stand up for, now would be a great time to stand up for it!

Posted by Marla | Report as abusive

Let’s see, it is OK to burn, stomp on and disface our national flag or our own Bible by ‘anybody’ including illegals in our country, but it is ‘controversial’ to exercise our ‘freedom of speech’ by burning a book from another country’s political realm? Well, Burn, baby-Koran burn! Maybe I will start my own book burning club.

Posted by TeaBaggerInCody | Report as abusive

I love how a Imam was beheaded and set on fire in Iraq and there are no worldwide protests about that but god forbid someone offends Islam and the protesters come out of the woodwork.

Posted by USAalltheway | Report as abusive


“More people have been killed in the name of Christianity than can be counted.” Nice, sweeping statement. Let’s try more people have been killed in the absence of any religion…Let’s review recent history…Nazi Germany where the National State was the religion..millions slaughtered…Russia’s Stalin…untold millions killed in the name of a religion free State…China’s Maoist state…again millions slaughtered in the name of the supreme State….Cambodia’s Pol Pot regime….does the Killing Fields ring a bell? I can go on with South American Dictator’s both Communist and Facist..Cuba, Venezuela…

Posted by taiman0817 | Report as abusive

Let’s look back at the history of islam and look at the number of people who have been murdered in the name of islam. Take for instance a couple who followed mohammed and admitted to him they had sex before being married. He had them executed. Look at all of the people murdered by mohammed and his followers while he was alive. They murder people for “insults” such as the cartoons and they murdered Van Gogh in the name of islam.
In between those murders when mohammed was alive and the murders of Christians after the cartoon publication, millions of people were murdered.
In fact more muslims have been killed by muslims than by anyone else.
look who the muslims are targeting in Iraq, other muslims. It was muslims who blew up a muslim shrine and it is muslims killing the police and Iraq military.
Yesterday hristian leaders were murdered in Indonesia over the planned koran burning in Florida. How wrong is that?
Yesterday in New York City a man was filmed burning pages out of a koran while saying “If they can burn our flag we can burn their koran”.
I am not saying I agree with koran burners but murdering people who had nothing to do with it is wrong. Where are the mass protests against muslims who did it?
If they truly want to be seen as a peaceful religion they had better stop killing people in the name of their religion.

Posted by cashman57 | Report as abusive

It is NOT OK to burn a country’s flag, or a Bible, Qur’an, Tora or any other religious text. But you have the FREEDOM to do that here in America. Notice I used the word FREEDOM rather than RIGHT. I think people get confused with the word RIGHT. Just because you have the RIGHT to do something does not mean it is the RIGHT thing to do, so I prefer the word FREEDOM instead. No one told Jones he “couldn’t” burn the Qur’an, they told him he “shouldn’t”. Unfortunately the damage had already been done.
Now, to all of the Muslims who are protesting. It is NOT OK to burn or blow up a building or kill people, even if someone on the other side of the planet threatens to burn your holy book. Someone in America threatens to burn your Qur’an, so you burn down a Christian Missionary School and stage violent protests in the thousands? How can you expect the world to believe that Islam is a religion of peace when time and again you prove it to be otherwise? I wouldn’t like it if you burned a Bible, but I wouldn’t go out and start shooting everyone who looks like a Muslim or blow up a Mosque. You want world opinion to change in favor of the Muslim religion? Start tracking down and prosecuting the terrorists yourself. Show the world that you really are for peace and stop turning a blind eye to the radicals who are doing these things in the name of YOUR religion.
And finally, yes, Christians did kill a LOT of people, mostly Muslims, during the Crusades, but that was almost 2000 years ago! NONE OF US WERE THERE!

Posted by dstnwst | Report as abusive

“my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.  O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. Isa:3:12 How true today in the English speaking world. Wise leaders of which we seem to have few in Church or government would insist on laws making it illegal to express intimidating offence at another’s criticism of their religion. Freedom to speak against a religion, even one’s own, is essential for democracy and the preservation of freedoms. It is a fundamental practice within the Bible itself; it is always speaking against false religion. Not all religions are good many are evil and false. It was the false religion of the Pharisees that crucified Jesus. The practice of making it illegal to speak against religion is the fast track to fascism. It needs to be remembered that Roman Catholicism, when it ruled the earth has rightly been called the most despotic regime that ever ruled the earth. People who get offended at insults to their religion need to be told to shut up and let their god defend them, if he exists. Moreover migrants on entering their adopted country should be asked “Can you accept criticism of your religion? If not send them home. The same should be done to those whom having entered, become offended. It was determined at the Reformation that a nation is free to choose its own religion.What is true religion, “if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa:8:20

Posted by neilcadman | Report as abusive