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August 20th, 2010
12:14 PM ET

Opinion: 'Burn Quran Day' an outrage to Muslims

By Akbar Ahmed, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Akbar Ahmed is professor and Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington. He is author of "Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam," Brookings Press 2010.

In less than a month, Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida plans to host "Burn a Quran Day" to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The pastor, author of the book "Islam is of the Devil," is using the burning to urge American Christians to "stand up" to what he describes as a monolithic Muslim threat. A Facebook page for the event has accrued thousands of "likes" and Jones has said people have been mailing him Qurans to burn.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Books • Christianity • Islam • Opinion • Quran

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soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Muhammad

    I don't know what kind of a church that is. I am a muslim and have been to churches many times. I was treated with respect and love. I felt like home. The people who kill innocent people, HAVE NO RELIGION (Just to clear).
    As it is said that the dog becomes a lion in his own street, we dare pastore jones to come out of America and do such a thing.
    Please search for Dr. Zakir Naik or Ahmad Deedat on You Tube and listen to the debates with Christian pastors, you will have a clear picture.

    September 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
  2. Ather

    The pastor cannot be called pastor if he is doing such a disgrace and harm to other religion. If someone does not believe in any religion does not mean that their holy book to be destroyed. I strongly condemn. The Quran does not teach terrorism, infact it reveals peace to the entire humanity. I hope that so called pastor is listening!

    September 2, 2010 at 7:38 am |
  3. Ali Shariff

    it is realy a disgrace 2 d humanity amongst all in d world specially aft 9\11.......................
    we muslims r nt terrorist, we belive in peace n prosper lyf.......................
    people who do such disgraceful acts themselves r d main culprits n can be called as terrorist............
    d terrorist who wer involved in 9\11 wer nt muslims, they only had muslim names...............
    we totaly belive in peace works..............
    plz dnt quarel amongst ourself................
    save humanity, n islam rulz............

    August 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  4. Alicia Garcia

    Disgusting! How can he call himself a Christian? Or an American? Or a human being for that matter?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:54 am |
  5. muhammad imran qureshi

    its shows the real face of Christianity.you are not the real believer of your own religion then how can you understand the other religion.shame on you to said that you are the preacher of your religion.you are the real teerrorist and the people who never wished that the peace should b in the world.you demolished your own values and preaches of your religion ans now you hit upon on the others.you are on the foot of jews.again shame 4 your whole preachers and community

    August 29, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  6. Hassan Yaghi

    “Do you want to burn the Quran?”

    If you want to burn the Quran I invite you to read it first.

    Then it is your choice to proceed; You will figure out that:

    You will be burning Adam and Noah, Abraham and Issac, Jacob and Josef, David and Salomon Moses and John….and all prophets and saints
    You will be burning Jesus and his saint spirit ….
    You will be burning Mary and her baby ….
    You will be burning the Torah and the Bible ….

    Go ahead
    Burn the light to satisfy your darkness….
    Burn the love to satisfy your hatred….
    Burn the peace to satisfy your anger….
    Burn the compassion to satisfy your cruelty….
    Burn the knowledge to satisfy your ignorance….

    Do all the above in your heart only….
    Oh wait; would you still have a heart after the above?! Would you be Christian or Jewish, would you be even human?!

    The Quran won’t be affected of what you would do, because the creator said about it:
    “Surely We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian.” 15-9

    You would burn the papers of the Quran, but even by burning it, it will show light… to all man kind.

    It will keep saying: “Their intention is to extinguish God's Light with their mouths: But GOD will complete His Light, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).”61-9

    And it will keep saying: “And the servants of the Beneficent God are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: Peace!”25-63

    Peace….Peace….Peace….

    Hassan Yaghi, Seattle, Wa
    Aug 26, 2010

    August 27, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  7. gaya

    i believe that no matter what religion you are you must other peoples sentiment and their feelings and must respect it all the Muslim guys aren't bad some are even my close friends so respect all the religion cause all the religion point towards one thing love god & all the creatures created by him

    August 25, 2010 at 12:41 am |
  8. Dean M

    I for one applaud Terry Jones and support the burning of the Quran. People say this will invite new acts of terrorism against Americans and non muslims. There's a first as I have never heard of muslims being terrorist. Its about time we show intolerance towards their religion as well.

    August 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
    • Juan

      @Dean M
      I support the jihad you will bring to yourself, effin moron.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  9. Crystal Night

    I wish they'd recycle the paper instead of burning them. The Quran in an idiot's hand is nothing but paper thats bound together. I wonder if all these soldiers of Christ have ever read the Quran from cover to cover instead of letting their ministers tell them what it contains. I read, so I never have to rely on Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh, Ted Haggard, or the hundreds of idiot congressmen/women to tell me what the Quran or the Constitution says. The only symbol I see is a bunch of idiots proving their stupidity. I wouldn't call them rednecks because I don't want to offend rednecks. You can burn Qurans from dawn till dusk but in the end all you're going to have is ashes; read it once, understand it, and you will find the truth, Don't be afraid, its just a book; why not read it?

    August 23, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  10. Name*ruby

    I was so upset that this pastor feels hatred towards Islam rather than on those who defy Islam. Christian pastors and priests have committed many crimes against children by raping them but Muslims realize that it is the individual human being and not the religion which is to be blamed. Anyone who spreads hatred is Not A Man Of GOD and deserves no respect

    August 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  11. Teeta

    Its very sad and disgusts me how closed minded people are these days.. And how they can go and trash others religions.. I am not a Muslim, but I have friends (tons of friends who are muslim), Islam Means Peace! Islam doesnt mean go kill other ppl.. People need to understand that there are Bad and GOOD from each religion!! THere are christian priets who sexually assault children! so not one religion is better then the other.. We both believe in god!, and if you guys knew and read the Koran You would know that Muslims do have respect for the 3 major Books.. The bible, The Torah and The Koran... for you guys putting down islam, you really havent read the proper islamic books or spoke to the propher muslim ppl, when islam is all about peace and bringing peace... Its about having a clean heart, having a clean body respecting one another..... A Priest who claims he is religious says such a disgusting thing is not even considered religious to me, Nor does he know about his own religion..... he is a fool and very uneducated person.... Respect to All Muslims!! Ramadan Karreem guys:)!!

    August 22, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  12. marsha

    Organized religion exists solely for one reason: Control of the masses. Every evil dictator/emporer/pope etc has used "religion" as a tool to MOVE people to ACT in one direction or another. Only Racists believe in separate "races"..Eugenicists have used every tool organized religion sells in order to denegrate the human race. Men/Banksters/Ungodly Persons (whichever god you choose to worship) seek to control this planets earthly assets through human population control (pharma/viruses/genetic engineering of food,animals/people, and man made up "laws") ...LOVE – if we all simply Live and Let Live – without judging, without inflicting pain on others, without worry about tomorrow, simply LOVE – most all man's problems would cease to exist. One must ask, what Creator would EVER teach or preach his own creation to murder/kill His other creations? These books are guides, not "holy"...

    August 22, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  13. Mas

    Stop with this nonsense... Don’t put petrol into fire stupid uneducated people trying to burn the Quran

    August 22, 2010 at 9:25 am |
    • peace2all

      This is not about whether you can... of course it is legal...... It is about the morality of this actions and the potential ramifications from doing this on a national level.

      The question is....... Are you doing it (burning the Qur'an) just because you are angry and somehow it feels good?

      Or the larger is question is even though you may be angry, what is the best course of action that has the best chance of leading to peace and harmony with our fellow humans...?

      I would argue that stopping this extremely bigoted and inflammatory act will hopefully cool things, along with truly attempting to understand the muslim's.

      I think that the U.S being the greatest country in the world, in my opinion, should set an example... of peace.... not more hate speech, war, etc....

      Peace......

      August 22, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  14. Reality

    Muslims should burn or landfill their korans. Ditto for Christians and Jews and their bibles. Said books were written by con artists and burning or landfilling these books will emphasize this point.

    August 22, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  15. ICEMAN

    LOOK PEOPLE WARS HAS BEEN STARTED OVER ALOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS.....YOU HAVE GOOD AND EVIL THAT'S IT ...THATS THE BOTTOM LINE EVEN IF YOUR NOT RELIGIOUS....THERE ARE GOOD MUSLIMS AND THEY ARE EVIL ONES WHO WISH TO DO HARM TO OTHERS....WE HAVE RACIST.....HELL WARS HAS BEEN FOUGHT OVER LAND ADN THINGS AS SIMPLE AS SALT....WHEN ITS ALL SAID AND DONE IT'S GOOD VS EVIL....

    August 22, 2010 at 12:26 am |
  16. ICEMAN

    @ Peace2all "i love the name" and @ freewoman....to you atheist is funny for one i'm a christian and know about alot of the history of it "well European christanity", the futher you look the more darker it gets and i mean skin color. Now if you want someone to believe your position then you have to give it in small doses. Not the whole bottle, you have to tell them to search for themselfs. Now yall kill me to think that we can evolve as a people and how space is beautifully made from what " you people say a big bang" lol from nothing then a spark. how old do you think the earth is. all the evidence you have just confirms to me and more and more scientist that God does exist.

    August 22, 2010 at 12:22 am |
    • David Johnson

      @ICEMAN

      You said, "Now yall kill me to think that we can evolve as a people and how space is beautifully made from what " you people say a big bang" lol from nothing then a spark. how old do you think the earth is. all the evidence you have just confirms to me and more and more scientist that God does exist."

      Science does not know where the material that made up the singularity came from. Unfortunately, you have the same problem. Who created god? Where did He come from? If you claim magic, then I also claim it for the singularity. If you claim god always existed, then I claim it is so, for the material of the universe.

      The earth is between 4 and 5 billion years old. Several branches of science confirm this. Nothing, anywhere confirms the fundie young earth (< 10,000 years old) belief.

      Evolution has a ton of evidence. Even the Catholic Church acknowledges it. The Creation Story, has tons of evidence against it.
      If we didn't evolve, why do men have nipples? Think about it. I read that and found it fascinating.

      Not true about scientist and belief in god. Most scientist (especially the brilliant ones) don't believe in a god. Cheers!

      August 22, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @ICEMAN

      You said, "Now yall kill me to think that we can evolve as a people and how space is beautifully made from what " you people say a big bang" lol from nothing then a spark. how old do you think the earth is. all the evidence you have just confirms to me and more and more scientist that God does exist."

      Science does not know where the material that made up the singularity came from. Unfortunately, you have the same problem. Who created god? Where did He come from? If you claim magic, then I also claim it for the singularity. If you claim god always existed, then I claim it is so, for the material of the universe.

      The earth is between 4 and 5 billion years old. Several branches of science confirm this. Nothing, anywhere confirms the fundie young earth (< 10,000 years old) belief.

      Evolution has a ton of evidence. Even the Catholic Church acknowledges it. The Creation Story, has tons of evidence against it.
      If we didn't evolve, why do men have nip ples? Think about it. I read that and found it fascinating.

      Not true about scientist and belief in god. Most scientist (especially the brilliant ones) don't believe in a god. Cheers!

      August 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  17. Mark from Middle River

    SR- Is there a state of being that one can be in that is open to dialouge at the same time being "on guard" ? The reasoning is that word you brought up, history. The problem with history is that the common go left or go right can often be seen on many instances.

    We can agressive movments on many sides but history also shows us examples of what can happen when groups are targeted. The choice begins when we decide to continue to evaluate or actions. If the enemy is burning down our churches I am human enough to understand the desire to do such to a mosque here in the states.

    You might say it's appeasing not act on such feelings but part of my Christian upbringing has told me that God the Father claims vengance as his not mine.

    In closing for now, I will continue to wonder about those Germans who stood by and watched their Jewish neighbors get carted away. In my early years I just thought them as all being equally evil. When I heard of this church having a burning of the Quran day something inside me just began to wonder.

    If they began rounding up all the Muslims here in the states and began to ship them away by boxcars ....... Would I have it in me to do something about it? Sorta like the family that sheltered Anne franks family. Would I put my life and my familes lives in harms way just so I could get to my final days and say that at least I was "not" like so many germans in the 40s.

    The way I have to look at such is that what happened in Germany had to begin small and from that spark grew to what happened. Some one once said all that is needed to exterminate a race or a group is to dehumanize them. The quaran burning day is stupid but stupid actions have done their fair share of damage in history.

    There is a point to being ready to defend oneself and setting off the common mob.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
    • SR

      Mark
      I find your comments appalling. You seem to take extreme situations and twisting it to fit your agenda: appeasement,

      I and millons of Americans like you will fight to death the right of Muslim Americans to build a million mosques in the US, if necessary.

      But if history is any guide, it will be on top of millions of dead Americans since Islam has proven time and again, that they like to destroy your past so that they can build a future on top of you. That way, there is no return to the past for the people who have converted to Islam.

      That is the point and others like me are trying to hammer home here. You study Islam and History together, not separately. Then you will understand how Islamists think.

      There is no such a thing as a Moderate Muslim. He or she is someone who hasn't turned Extremist yet. One reading of the Qur'an will do it

      August 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  18. David Johnson

    @Keith

    You said, "I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this because it really isn't diputable"

    I could care less if you spend a lot of time on this or not. I write this not to change you, but to keep curious readers from thinking you know what you are talking about. All of what you say is disputed. If it weren't, the entire world would be Christian.

    Thallus:
    In a lost work referred to by Julius Africanus in the third century, the pagan writer Thallus reportedly claimed that Jesus's death was accompanied by an earthquake and darkness. However, the original text is in fact lost, and we can confirm neither the contents of the text or its date. It is possible that Thallus was merely repeating what was told to him by Christians, or that the passage which Africanus cites is a later interpolation. Outside of the New Testament, no other references to earthquakes or unusual darkness occur in the contemporary literature. This is very surprising, given the effect these sorts of events would presumably have had on the populace.

    The Jewish Talmud:
    References to Jesus in the Talmud and other Jewish religious writings, as well as the gnostic Christian texts tend to contradict New Testament accounts, and so are seldom cited by Christian apologists.

    The writings of Tacitus: Wasn't born until after Christ was in the ground. 55 AD
    Did Tacitus really write this, or is this a later Christian interpolation?
    Is this really an independent confirmation of Jesus's story, or is Tacitus just repeating what some Christians told him?

    Tacitus may just be repeating what he was told by Christians about Jesus. If so, then this passage merely confirms that there were Christians in Tacitus' time, and that they believed that Pilate killed Jesus during the reign of Tiberius. This would not be independent confirmation of Jesus's existence. If, on the other hand, Tacitus found this information in Roman imperial records (to which he had access) then that could constitute independent confirmation. There are good reasons to doubt that Tacitus is working from Roman records here, however. For one, he refers to Pilate by the wrong ~itle (Pilate was a prefect, not a procurator). Secondly, he refers to Jesus by the religious ~title "Christos". Roman records would not have referred to Jesus by a Christian ~itle, but presumably by his given name. Thus, there is excellent reason to suppose that Tacitus is merely repeating what Christians said about Jesus, and so can tell us nothing new about Jesus's historicity.

    All you have is the New Testament. And it contains errors.

    August 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
  19. SR

    This is a simple fact about Islam that History teaches you. It's appeasers among Americans like you all will get the rest of us into problem:

    "The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity."

    August 21, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  20. Mark from Middle River

    The interesting thing I find is that this is just being done a 'iss some one off. Sorta like many of Reality's post. Nothing about a arguement or discussion just statements to illicit a negative outburst from another. I think this pastor and folks like Reality get some sorta pleasure from doing such actions.

    Where as Reality can't be held to spiritual based code I would hope that a internal moral code would suffice. The thing is that this Pastor is working from a Holy book that has simple passages such as "blessed be the peacemakers". The burning of another religion's Holy book is something out of the dark ages and we are past those times.

    Now what we as Christians should do is to vocally denounce this guy and his church. I mean denounce it in a way that we would want Muslims to denounce their extremist. Seems that many of them need to see an example because sadly the Muslim definition and action of denouncing allways appears severely lacking.

    If not and word spreads of churches getting burned down in the middle east and other persecutions of minority faiths in Muslim countries will spread. At that point the burning of qurans in non Muslim countries will only be the opening salvo in a ugly situation.

    August 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
    • David Johnson

      You said, "The thing is that this Pastor is working from a Holy book that has simple passages such as "blessed be the peacemakers". The burning of another religion's Holy book is something out of the dark ages and we are past those times."

      I agree.

      August 21, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • MootHypocrisy

      I sometimes wonder if there were some "early Christians" who, angry at what Jesus had personally written, destroyed or hid away all copies...and then subst!tuted the "Gospels".
      It would explain a great many things about the Catholic Church.

      August 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @MootHypocrisy

      You said, "I sometimes wonder if there were some "early Christians" who, angry at what Jesus had personally written, destroyed or hid away all copies...and then subst!tuted the "Gospels".
      It would explain a great many things about the Catholic Church."

      The Gospels were written to "prove" that Jesus was the Messiah. The gospels were written to show Jesus had fulfilled all he prophecies about the Messiah, in the Old Testament. The Old Testament prophecies were well known. It was easy to have Jesus fulfill them. Hardly miraculous.

      The Jews point out that Jesus did not fulfill all that the Messiah was supposed to accomplish. The Christians claim, Jesus will accomplish the remainder, when he returns a 2nd time. The Jews claim that the real Messiah will do the job right the first time.
      I think the Jews have a compelling argument.

      August 22, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • SR

      Mark

      Just because someone wull get upset, doesn't mean a grouo of Americans can't exercise their rights to free speech.

      Sorta like the Ground Zero Victory Morgue, oops, Victory Mosque. Just because millions of us Americans find is absolutely distasteful, it doesn!'t mean that the Muslim Americans can't build a Mosque there.

      Don't be afraid of what others think. Think about it as a healthy give and take in democracies.

      August 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
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