Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gainesville pastor's ultimatum is met with silence

GAINESVILLE — The Gainesville pastor who planned to burn the Koran said he remains confident he will meet with an Islamic leader behind a proposed mosque near ground zero in New York City.

But an ultimatum he issued, through a spokesman, for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to call him by 3:15 p.m. to arrange the meeting was met with silence.

In a brief statement to reporters Friday afternoon, pastor Terry Jones said he had not heard from Rauf despite the ultimatum. But he said he remained confident the meeting would take place.

After a brief statement to reporters, Jones returned to the tiny church that has become a focus of worldwide condemnation.

The ultimatum was issued about 1:15 p.m. by evangelist K.A. Paul, who said he had been praying with Jones over the issue.

"The challenge to Imam Feisal is crystal clear," said Paul, who released two phone numbers to call. He also requested that reporters call to find out themselves if the planned Islamic center will be moved.

But Rauf said earlier Friday that he had no plans to move the mosque or to meet with Jones. "I am prepared to consider meeting with anyone who is seriously committed to pursuing peace," he said in a prepared statement. "We have no such meeting planned at this time. Our plans for the community center have not changed. With the solemn day of Sept. 11 upon us, I encourage everyone to take time for prayer and reflection."

The ultimatum was the latest in a series of confusing declarations that have come from the pastor in the past 24 hours. Jones originally planned to burn copies of the Koran on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11, setting off a storm of controversy. President Obama and other world leaders condemned the plan, and on Thursday evening, Jones said he had spoken with a Florida imam who said the Islamic center near ground zero would be moved.

The imam later said that wasn't the agreement and Jones began speaking of returning to the original plan.

In Afghanistan, at least 11 people were injured Friday in protests.

Police in the northern province of Badakhshan said several hundred demonstrators ran toward a NATO compound where four attackers and five police were injured in clashes. Protesters also burned an American flag at a mosque after Friday prayers. In western Farah province, police said two people were injured in another protest.

Speaking to NBC's Today show Friday morning, Jones said if he met with the imam in New York, he wouldn't burn the Koran. It wasn't clear if he meant the burning would be halted indefinitely or just for Saturday.

Gainesville pastor's ultimatum is met with silence 09/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, September 10, 2010 8:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win

    Colleges

    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.
  2. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  3. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

    World

    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  4. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    In their third year with pitching coach Neil Allen, the Twins have been one of the surprises of the American League.
  5. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond

    Crime

    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.