September 9, 2010

Obama: Quran burning helps al Qaeda

Posted: 11:31 AM ET

(CNN) - A controversial plan by a small Florida church to burn Qurans on September 11, which has triggered worldwide controversy, is a "recruitment bonanza for al Qaeda," President Barack Obama said Thursday.

"You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan" as a result of the proposal by the Gainesville, Florida-based Dove World Outreach Center, Obama said on ABC's "Good Morning America." "This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities."

The Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove Center, has said he will proceed with the plan Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, despite increased pressure to abandon the proposal and warnings that going ahead could endanger U.S. troops and Americans worldwide.

On Wednesday, the Vatican joined a chorus of groups imploring the church not to burn Islam's holy book, saying it would be an "outrageous and grave gesture." The president of the United Nations General Assembly, Ali Abdussalam Treki, also expressed concern, saying it will "lead to uncontrollable reactions" and spark tension worldwide.

Earlier this week, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, warned that the plan "could cause significant problems" for American troops overseas.


POLL: Is burning Quran a hate crime or a free speech issue?

Filed under: Religion

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Affy   September 9th, 2010 12:11 pm ET

This crazy pastor is enjoying all the attention he is getting. I bet he will cancel out his plan at the last moment citing 'After prayers, God didn't want me to do this act' but he will still maintain that Islam is a barbaric religion.
This pastor and many other Christians should read the Qur'aan atleast once – and read how beautifully it elicits chapters on Jesus, Virgin Mary, Moses, Joseph, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Adam and many other prophets that the Christians believe in. Guess what, The Qur'aan also mentions the believers to believe in the Bible as well as the Psalms revealed to David.

Rose   September 9th, 2010 12:26 pm ET

Apparently Pastor Jones has a very small following of about 30 people. They have chosen not to listen to our government's concerns, especially those relating to security. Jones' group is basking in all the publicity. Jones' admitted on CNN that he has "not" read the Quran, but is certain it is from the devil. This should confirm the mentality level of this particular group.

If Jones' Dove World Outreach Center's objective is to prothelytize Christianity in the hopes of converting others, they are going about it in the most wrong way possible.

This fringe group is a microcosm of the larger issue that many Americans are holding Islam as a religion and Muslims as a people – responsible for 9/11 – rather than the reality that a group of extremists acted independently with their violent agenda. Although very many substantial Islamic clerics, scholars and organizations strongly condemned the 9/11 attacks – the continued unfair mindset projected on American Muslims is deeming them all "guilty by association".

We did this to innocent Japanese Americans after Pearl Harbor and forced them into internment camps in the US. It's the same attitude occuring now to various degrees.

sroyj   September 9th, 2010 12:30 pm ET

I think burning the Quran is wrong on moral grounds, but that doesn't seem to be an issue for Obama. The U.S. military burned bibles sent to Afghanistan last year. If you want to go with the argument that it will incite violence, what else is new.

Wite a book, face death.
Draw a cartoon, face death.
Name a teddybear Mohamed, face death.
Burn a quran, more violence
Don't allow the ground zero mosque, more violence.

We either all convert to Islam, or sooner or later we need to say enough is enough. Where IS this religion of peace we keep hearing about?

Rob   September 9th, 2010 12:33 pm ET

Amazing how much press one knucklehead in Florida can garner for exercising his perfectly legal first amendment right(granted in a dumb way). Am i the only one who finds General Petraeus's foray into this inappropriate and a little strange? Any other first amendment exercises endangering the military general?

stormy lady   September 9th, 2010 1:03 pm ET

We should question the timing of this ignorant christian Reverend? Why didn't he commit this barbaric act before, it's been nine years. The president supports higher education, a must for the future, and I suggest the Rev. put down his matches and go back to school and seek an understanding of all beliefsschool. Both extremes should come out of the ignorance and lack of knowledge that breeds hatred fear, distrust, propaganda and stupidity. Dr. King ask the question, where do we go from here...?

stormy lady   September 9th, 2010 1:10 pm ET

September 11, Pray for World Peace, Reject World Hatred, No Matter Where it Raises its Ugly Head. At Home or Abroad. Love has no religion.

Ted   September 9th, 2010 1:29 pm ET

Where is Home Security and the FBI, the CIA or NSA?
Take that idiot Terry Jones into custody before he can do great damage to the image of our nation, it will be an invitation for a new terrorist attack on us.
Who will believe us after such a evil deed?

IKHAN   September 9th, 2010 2:25 pm ET

Absolutely Mr.President.
Our field commanders have been warning against such acts or maligning Islam or their prophet for sometime now.
They and our troops in Iraq & Afghanistan have a formidable mission cut out for them. To win the fight against those handful of terrorists and to win over the hearts & minds of the general population.
It doesn't take brilliance to figure out that when we go into foreign lands to fight certain elements, we cannot even begin to think of success unless we get the general population to our side.
Now what we are currently seeing here is a Islamophobia which is self defeating and counter productive to our efforts abroad in a region which is vital for our geo-poltical & economic interests.
It offends & antagonizes more & more people in that region and spreads anger against America as an enemy of Islam. Thus strengthening the hands of those elements we are fighting. Making our task which is already difficult, impossible.

doncolecartoons   September 9th, 2010 2:42 pm ET

Burn the Quran? - I don't think so!

What is Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville, Fla., and his small 'Christian' congregation thinking?

Outreach? –I don't think so!

This is not based on the principles that Jesus taught. Wayne Sapp, a 17-yr church member, stated that the church is "still in prayer over the whole thing." - In whose name are they praying in?

What would Jesus do, and his disciples? They would go out among the Muslim community and tell them about the kingdom of the real true God, and would "teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatso ever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Mat. 28:19-20).

Also, they should surely realize by now, that man's ways are not God's ways.

They need to "be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Eph. 6: 10-18). (Note: all Christians are "saints," having been sanctified in holy baptism into Jesus Christ.). –dc

True   September 9th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

When Muslims burn/desecrate/kill/rape/enslave millions, nothing happen. But when someone respond bank skys fall.

Learn the true face of islam here

Joe G. (Illinois)   September 9th, 2010 3:41 pm ET

We should be very careful not to judge others. "One way or another!"

Anyone who has ever been justified and convicted by the Holy Spirit would know this very well by personal experience.
Do I need to be any clearer?

People do mistakes.. People commit sins, atrocities.. We know this.. We all know this since the longest time. But we should be very careful not to judge others or entangle ourselves with the devil's game as he hopes we will all do. Don’t worry; God can see what’s going on!
Thank you and good day.

Tamara   September 9th, 2010 6:01 pm ET

I would have like to answer your poll, but could not select either answer. To me the answer is more like "Burning the Quran is a legal act of HATE and intolerance."

Flashback to 1960   September 9th, 2010 7:12 pm ET

The USA has not grown mentally since 1960. This interview was like asking Martin Luther King to cancel his March on Washington since a superficial poll of people voiced opposition to it. The questions and logic behind asking the Islamic Center to go to another cite to build is the same mentality that feared "blacks" in their neighborhoods. The death that will be caused by the backlash of hatred behind this issue will mark yet another point in our US history to be ashamed of recording. We have not grown at all in our attempts to make this country a model for others to follow. Shame on the minds that continue to make fools of the United States to the rest of the world.

Smith in Oregon   September 9th, 2010 7:16 pm ET

And where are all the anti-Wikileaks neo-con's? Undoubtedly international broadcasts of Koran book burnings would result in deaths and violence in response to this Christian pastor's actions if he carried out his threat. Undoubtedly the FBI and various other Shadow Government agency's have spoken to this Christian pastor with various threats and blackmail should he continue with his Koran book burning.

And now today this Christian pastor claims in a pubic interview he arranged a deal with the Iman at the center of the Muslim community center project which Republican's and their bigoted Tea Party members are referring to as a 'ground zero mosque', which would cancel that project at that location. News outlet's immediately contacting the Iman in question were told no such agreement existed, further reporting indicates the Iman was not contacted by this Christian pastor.

Other than sanity, what is preventing more Christian pastors, preachers and bible thumpers from pulling the same stunt, tieing up US Military commanders, White House staff and President Obama in dealing with the potential fallout and anti-religious backlash upon American's traveling overseas?

The US Constitutional law of Freedom of Religion and it's additional Federal laws of religious tolerance are very much in question by the Republican party, Republican leaders and the entire Tea Bagger movement. To BAD, a priceless American Value is Religious Freedom.

Many nations around the world do not have Religious Freedom and do not have national laws advocating religious freedoms. Republican leaders are attempting to torpedo Religious Freedom, attempting to call the Constitutional framers wisdom of that law and in so doing they are promoting Anti-American values and condemnation of America around the world.

It is time for American citizens to demand the Republican Potty'ticians and their Tea Baggers Honor the American Constitution and legally follow and abide by them.

Sally McCarney   September 9th, 2010 8:27 pm ET

This whole burning of the Quran issue reminds me of an old episode of "The Waltons" when John Boy wants to publish excerpts from Hitlers book Mein Kampf to show what a madman he is, and the community goes crazy with prejudice. The pastor of the church along with another man plan to burn German books in retaliation. They only stop when John Boy points out that they were about to burn a German Bible.

Larry Swatsenberg   September 9th, 2010 9:13 pm ET

I must respectfully disagree with our President. It is not the act itself that endangers our troops. It is the unwarranted media attention that has given this religious extremist an international audience. In my opinion CNN should take the lead and make a stand. The next CNN report should simply be that they will not give any more free press to this book burning.

P.C.   September 9th, 2010 9:23 pm ET

Here's my concern–what about nutjob copycat artists threatening to burn the Quran (for attention, for a political and/or religious statement, mental instability, etc.)? All they need is a camera, Quran, matches & post it to the internet–how will Secretary Gates, General Petraus, Secretary Clinton, et al react then? Will they react to each and every copycat artist? I haven't heard LKL, Rick Sanchez, or anyone address this...I just don't think this can end well...

Drew   September 9th, 2010 10:12 pm ET

From a discussed human being

This world is a sad unsafe place where people find no interest in smart people the weak are shoved aside but the weak minded rule war theft lies they all happen and you know it war is all around us know no one thinks we don't even listen to planes we just do as were told and die for nothing just because some moron thinks it the right thing to do. Rally's do nothing protests useless boycotts stopped working in the 90's we need a strong willed smart person who will do what is right not what some imbecilic "thinker" has to say some one who has moral ethics and will stand up and fight for the free the smart the average Joe who just make a living and put food in his family's mouths and that's hard enough as it is so think for your self be as free from the weak minded as ever before

Cajazz76:24:8   September 9th, 2010 11:05 pm ET

All I can say right now is WOW! It will be recorded, by an unknown hand writing history, that President Obama is one of the top five best presidents in history. He will be number one as having the biggest challenges and having handled the affairs of this nation the best way of any previous White House occupant...hide and watch...caj

Kathie   September 9th, 2010 11:11 pm ET

This so-called "pastor" is an arrogant, irresponsible, hate monger in the same league as Hitler and bin Laden. This "man's" actions have placed the lives and safety of our troops, missionaries and tens of thousands of innocents at risk due to his hateful rant. This "church's" web site is hate filled yet uses the dove, a symbol of peace, as its name. He does NOT represent 99% of Americans but we will pay the price for his actions. All efforts to stop this insanity fall on his deaf ears. Jesus preached tolerance and love. I wonder if this "man" has even read the Bible, actually spoke with/took the effort to actually learn about Islam or even consider the impact of his actions. Pathetic that he is placing so many lives at risk with his reckless behavior. God help us!!!! It takes less effort to get along than it does to hate and fight a concept lost of this man and his followers.

Cajazz76:24:8   September 9th, 2010 11:48 pm ET

Larry Swastikaberg...

It appears you agree with the burning of the Koran interpretations , printed in English. How sad can that ever be for this nation?

R.   September 10th, 2010 12:19 am ET

This is in response to Donald Trump's offer. It is an amazing idea to put out this whole fire. I never cheered for Mr. Trump. But I think this is the most genious idea that would give the Imam an easy opportunity to resolve this issue by communicating to those who control the project behind him, to change plans.

This would never happen in the Arab world by a rich muslim to resolve a mirror image of such a scenario happening if it were a christian catholic priest planning to build a similar center.

I am curious in a response from the Imam to the idea. And soon before some other crazy event pops as a result of this project. I want to see how influential he is with his principals on the group that is controlling the project. I mean I don't see a more peacefully simplistic approach than the one Mr. Trump is offering.

Rashad   September 10th, 2010 1:53 am ET

It seems to me that this "us vs them" crap is part of the problem. No sane individual can believe that Osama is Islam's ambassador to the world nor that Terry Jones is King of Christandom.

As a rational Muslim, we know that one nutty Christian and his 50 followers do not represent all of Christianity, the U.S. or the Western world.

Let's equally remember as we approach the anniversary that a couple crazy Arabs and 19 hijackers do not represent Islam, Arabs or the middle east.

No matter what happens this weekend, a few protesters in New York or Kabul are a fraction of the millions of peace loving inhabitants of their respective cities.

Where have all the moderates gone?


Angela Savage Austin   September 10th, 2010 2:10 am ET

Psalms 118:8-"It is better to trust in the Lord, than have confidence in man".

Why not build a circle of Faith circling ground zero,The First Family of Faith, including all religions, who worship in America, separate but equal, working in alignment, being the example " IN GOD WE TRUST" announcing, we the people, come together as one, in Faith to love, live, prosper,and worship,in peace calling on our higher power. Only one door to enter, one path to walk, to get to their place of worship.

Meher Raza   September 10th, 2010 2:21 am ET

This pastor is enjoying the publicity he is getting from media, he is crazy just like those Alqaida people.These kind of people have something wrong with their brains.They are mentally disturbed people and their mentality is very hard to change.

Meher Raza   September 10th, 2010 2:27 am ET

I agree with Mr. Trump,he is trying to offer a solution to a dilema.Imam should accept the offer.

Ted   September 10th, 2010 8:46 am ET

Let´s go back in history....

Good 70 years ago the Nazis were openly burning books written by jewish scholars, thus destroying invaluable knowledge.
After the book burning they also burned those who wrote the books!

The Vatican burned the book of Galileo who said the Earth is a ball, not flat.
After the conquer of the arab kingdoms in Spain, they burned centuries of knowledge in mathematics, physics and other sciences or burried those books in the basement of the Vatican.
The Inquisition burned thousands of people who did not comply with that church.

Stalin and his communists burned all books they considered not fitting to their regime.

We have a free country where everyone may worship the God he likes. What comes after the book burning.....?

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   September 10th, 2010 9:24 pm ET

This pastor does not sound like a Christian. True Christians would never entertain the thought, I think. He needs to pull his head in and keep it in.

Jessie from Auckland, NZ   September 11th, 2010 11:29 am ET

Yes, everybody is born with a freewill to choose. No-one should push or force their beliefs on another person or threaten them if they don't agree. This goes for anything. Basic human rights should be respected and that you are not doing harm to another human being.

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