Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pastor Terry Jones brushes off worldwide condemnation of his Koran burning plan

Worldwide condemnation poured in Wednesday for Gainesville Pastor Terry Jones and his plans to burn the Muslim holy book on Saturday to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the plan was ill-advised and echoed concerns first raised by the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, who warned that the proposed weekend event by at the Dove World Outreach Center north of Gainesville would place the lives of American troops in jeopardy there and elsewhere.

Underscoring the administration's concern about the potential impact of the Koran burning, the State Department ordered U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to assess their security and warn Americans if they believe anti-American protests may occur.

In Iraq, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey and the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Gen. Lloyd Austin, joined in the condemnation, calling the plan "disrespectful, divisive and disgraceful."

The Vatican and the Anti-Defamation League blasted Jones' plans, too, with the Vatican calling the plan "outrageous and grave."

Sarah Palin added her voice to those calling for Jones to cancel the event. She posted on her Facebook page, "Book burning is antithetical to American ideals. People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation.''

Finally, Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, met Wednesday with Jones and said he was hopeful that he would call off his incendiary plans.

"I think the man wants to do the right thing," Musri said after the meeting. "He's anti-terrorist, as we are all."

Despite the worldwide pressure, Jones is undeterred.

"Our burning of the Koran is to call the attention that something is wrong," Jones said Wednesday at a brief news conference. "It is possibly time for us in a new way to stand up and confront terrorism. … As of this time, we have no intention of canceling."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

A visit to the church

Times staffers John Barry and John Pendygraft visited Pastor Jones and his church this week.

Pastor Terry Jones brushes off worldwide condemnation of his Koran burning plan 09/08/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 9:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings


    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  2. Review: More than 20 years later, 'RENT' still matters


    TAMPA — Two decades after RENT shook up Broadway with a starkly joyous musical that demanded to be recognized, a nostalgic tour is taking audiences back.

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  3. Dennis Miller, headed to Tampa with Bill O'Reilly: 'We don't know each other that well'


    Dennis Miller often gets cast as the odd comic out these days.

    Dennis Miller will perform with Bill O'Reilly at the Spin Stops Here Tour at Amalie Arena in Tampa. [Spuffy Productions]
  4. Tampa Bay among top 25 metro areas with fastest growing economies

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy among 382 metro areas in the country for 2016. According to an analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tampa Bay's gross domestic product, or GDP, increased 4.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to hit $126.2 billion.

    Tampa Bay had the 24th fastest growing economy in the country for 2016. Rentals were one of the areas that contributed to Tampa Bay's GDP growth. Pictured is attorney David Eaton in front of his rental home. 
  5. Top 5 at noon: Interactive story: Why Hurricane Irma turned when it did; former champion boxer Jake LaMotta dies; and more


    Top 5 at noon:

    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    In this geocolor image GOES-16 satellite image taken Sept. 8, sunlight, from the right, illuminates Hurricane Irma as the storm approaches Cuba and Florida. [NOAA via AP]