Religious tensions are overshadowing the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States where President Barack Obama urged a Christian preacher to abandon a plan to burn copies of the Koran.
And a day ahead of Saturday’s ninth anniversary, a report warned that the United States faced a growing threat from home-grown insurgents and an “Americanization” of the al Qaeda leadership. (Photo: Outside the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida September 10, 2010/Scott Audette)
On Friday, Obama appealed to Americans to respect the “inalienable” right of religious freedom and said he hoped the preacher would abandon his plan to burn the Muslim holy book, saying it could deeply hurt the United States abroad.
News of the plan has outraged Muslims around the world and triggered violent protests in Afghanistan in which one protester was shot dead. Thousands of Afghans demonstrated in the northeast of the country for a second day on Saturday.
Pastor Terry Jones, of the obscure Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, has backed off a threat to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in which nearly 3,000 people died.