September 8th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Vatican: Quran burning 'outrageous'

Burning the Quran would an "outrageous and grave gesture," the
Vatican said Wednesday, joining a chorus of voices pleading with a small
Florida church not to burn Islam's holy book on the anniversary of the
September 11, 2001, attacks.

The Vatican body responsible for dialogue with other religions said
expressed "great concern" about the plan by Dove World Outreach Center in
Gainesville, Florida.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it would be a
"disrespectful, disgraceful act." She was speaking Tuesday night at a State
Department dinner in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Her statement came a day after the top U.S. military commander in
Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, warned that the plan "could cause significant
problems" for American troops overseas.

But the pastor of the Florida church, Terry Jones, has rebuffed pleas to
call off the event, saying radical Islamists are the target of his message.

"The general needs to point his finger to radical Islam and tell them to
shut up, tell them to stop, tell them that we will not bow our knees to them,"
Jones said on CNN's "AC360."

"We are burning the book," Jones said. "We are not killing someone. We
are not murdering people."

Earlier Tuesday, Jones said his flock was taking Petraeus's warning
seriously but had not decided to cancel the event.

Jones told CNN that while his congregation still plans to burn Qurans to
protest the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the church is "weighing" its

"We have firmly made up our mind, but at the same time, we are definitely
praying about it," Jones said on CNN's "American Morning."

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of the few public officials who
defended Jones's right to go ahead, even as he condemned the idea as

"I don't think he would like if somebody burned a book that in his
religion he thinks is holy.... But the First Amendment protects everybody, and
you can't say that we are going to apply the First Amendment to only those
cases where we are in agreement," Bloomberg said, citing the section of the
Constitution that promises freedom of speech.

"If you want to be able to say what you want to say when the time comes
that you want to say it, you have to defend others no matter how much you
disagree with them," Bloomberg said.

The planned action has drawn sharp criticism from Muslims around the
world and from U.S. officials.

The U.S. Embassy in Pakistan condemned it as "disrespectful, intolerant
and divisive," in a statement on Wednesday.

"We are deeply concerned about all deliberate attempts to offend members
of any religious or ethnic group," said Stephen Engelken, the second-ranking
diplomat at the embassy.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday issued a statement
saying the U.S. government "in no way condones such acts of disrespect against
the religion of Islam, and is deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to
offend members of religious or ethnic groups."

It emphasized that it strongly condemned "the offensive messages, which
are contrary to U.S. government policy and deeply offensive to Muslims
especially during the month of Ramadan."

"Americans from all religious and ethnic backgrounds reject the offensive
initiative by this small group in Florida. A great number of American voices
are protesting the hurtful statements made by this organization," the
Afghanistan embassy said.

With about 120,000 U.S. and NATO-led troops still battling al Qaeda and
its allies in the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban movement, Petraeus warned that
burning Qurans "is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could
cause significant problems - not just here, but everywhere in the world we are
engaged with the Islamic community."

Thousands of Indonesians gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta,
Indonesia, on Sunday to protest the planned Quran burning.

"The burning is not only an insult to the holy Quran, but an insult to
Islam and Muslims around the world," said Muhammad Ismail, a spokesman for the
hard-line Indonesian Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population.

Jones said his congregation is aware that the action is offensive.

"We realize that this action would indeed offend people, offend the
Muslims. I am offended when they burn the flag. I am offended when they burn
the Bible. But we feel that the message that we are trying to send is much more
important than people being offended."

Jones said Muslims are welcomed in the United States, if they observe the
Constitution and don't try to impose Sharia, or Muslim law.

The message, he said, is directed toward the "radical element of Islam."

"Our message is very clear," he said. "It is not to the moderate Muslim.
Our message is not a message of hate. Our message is a message of warning to
the radical element of Islam, and I think what we see right now around the
globe provides exactly what we're talking about," he said.

The center says it was founded in 1986 as a "total concept church for the
rich, the poor, the young and the old." Its purpose is to "stand up for
righteousness and for the truth of the Bible." It stresses that "Christians
must return to the truth and stop hiding."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Holidays • Islam • Pope Benedict XVI • Quran • Ramadan

soundoff (176 Responses)
  1. Iqbal khan


    September 29, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
  2. Iqbal khan

    What and Why?

    September 29, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  3. Iqbal khan

    See this

    September 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  4. Muneef

    @Steve H
    Sorry to see that you call Allah as Demon while the name Allah is as per Concise Oxford English Dictonery says (Allah/ The name of God among Muslims and Arab Christians).
    The name Allah is one of the names of God Almighty who is the creator of all beings and worshiped by all beings in what ever religion. It is not that there are many Gods and that we go on cursing each others Gods, no friend God is one no matter how many names he has.
    We as Muslims have 99 names for God Allah and it would have been a pleasure for me to list it out for you so you would know what we are talking about but unfortunately I do not have them handy now in English.

    September 17, 2010 at 1:12 am |
  5. Iqbal khan

    This the Opening, for every prayer 5 times a day, a muslim have to recite this before any other surah(verse) in every Rakah at least 27 times in 24 hours...


    September 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  6. remi

    To the most respected theologians of the early Church, the Massive Foundation Rock of
    Matthew 16:18 was not Peter, but Peter’s statement of FACT – “Thou art the Christ, (Jewish Messiah) the Son of the living God.”

    Psalm 18:2
    The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

    Psalm 18:31
    For who is God, except the LORD?And who is a rock, except our God?

    Psalm 18:46
    The LORD lives!Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.

    Psalm 27:5
    For in the time of troubleHe shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

    To You I will cry, O LORD my Rock:Do not be silent to me, Lest, if You are silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.

    Psalm 31:2
    Bow down Your ear to me,Deliver me speedily; Be my rock of refuge, A fortress of defense to save me.

    Psalm 31:3
    For You are my rock and my fortress;Therefore, for Your name’s sake, Lead me and guide me.

    Psalm 42:9
    I will say to God my Rock,“Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

    Psalm 62:2
    He only is my rock and my salvation;He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.

    Psalm 62:6
    He only is my rock and my salvation;He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

    Psalm 62:7
    In God is my salvation and my glory;The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.

    Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock, and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

    “….(they, the Jews) did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual ROCK that followed them: and that ROCK was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4)

    For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

    But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Gal 1:11,12)

    Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven; For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18: 19,20)

    September 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  7. remi

    Dear catholic mom, I found more about the first chur. The rock of the church is no Peter, but Jesus himself.

    The English word, “pope,” comes from the Latin word, “papa,” which means “father.”
    But our Lord told His disciples, (and us through them), “…call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (Matthew 23:9) This had to be meant in a spiritual sense since we all have earthly fathers, while our heavenly Father is a spirit to be worshiped in spirit and truth. (John 4:24) And based on this admonition from Jesus, there shouldn’t even be a Catholic priesthood much less a papacy, for all Catholic priests are addressed as, “Father.” More on that later.

    On another occasion, when His Apostles were disputing about leadership matters, Our Lord called them together for a disclosure of His organizational plan. He said, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall NOT BE SO AMONG YOU: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:25-27) From this, it is clear Jesus was strongly opposed to any “prince” or “princes” exercising dominion over His flock.

    September 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  8. remi

    I read a nice passage talking agains the building of idols today, I would like to share it with you :

    This is what the LORD says—
    Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty:
    I am the first and I am the last;
    apart from me there is no God.
    7 Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it.
    Let him declare and lay out before me
    what has happened since I established my ancient people,
    and what is yet to come—
    yes, let him foretell what will come.

    8 Do not tremble, do not be afraid.
    Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago?
    You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me?
    No, there is no other Rock; I know not one."

    9 All who make idols are nothing,
    and the things they treasure are worthless.
    Those who would speak up for them are blind;
    they are ignorant, to their own shame.

    10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,
    which can profit him nothing?

    11 He and his kind will be put to shame;
    craftsmen are nothing but men.
    Let them all come together and take their stand;
    they will be brought down to terror and infamy.

    12 The blacksmith takes a tool
    and works with it in the coals;
    he shapes an idol with hammers,
    he forges it with the might of his arm.
    He gets hungry and loses his strength;
    he drinks no water and grows faint.

    13 The carpenter measures with a line
    and makes an outline with a marker;
    he roughs it out with chisels
    and marks it with compasses.
    He shapes it in the form of man,
    of man in all his glory,
    that it may dwell in a shrine.

    14 He cut down cedars,
    or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
    He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
    or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.

    15 It is man's fuel for burning;
    some of it he takes and warms himself,
    he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
    But he also fashions a god and worships it;
    he makes an idol and bows down to it.

    16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
    over it he prepares his meal,
    he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
    He also warms himself and says,
    "Ah! I am warm; I see the fire."

    17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
    he bows down to it and worships.
    He prays to it and says,
    "Save me; you are my god."

    18 They know nothing, they understand nothing;
    their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see,
    and their minds closed so they cannot understand.

    19 No one stops to think,
    no one has the knowledge or understanding to say,
    "Half of it I used for fuel;
    I even baked bread over its coals,
    I roasted meat and I ate.
    Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left?
    Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"

    20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him;
    he cannot save himself, or say,
    "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

    21 "Remember these things, O Jacob,
    for you are my servant, O Israel.
    I have made you, you are my servant;
    O Israel, I will not forget you.

    22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
    Return to me,
    for I have redeemed you."

    23 Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this;
    shout aloud, O earth beneath.
    Burst into song, you mountains,
    you forests and all your trees,
    for the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
    he displays his glory in Israel.

    September 10, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  9. Manny


    It is very sad to know that there are so many ignorant people in the world. It is not a difficult task to respect all religions. It is not difficult to get along. All of the Islam haters are just as disgusting as Osama Bin Laden and his "crew". Should we all hate Catholics because you all breed child molesting Priests? That is acceptable I presume. Islam is a peaceful religion. If anyone of you ignorant hicks took the time to read or educate yourselves, you would know that. I am a Muslim and I will be perfectly clear, I do not give a damn who hates the religion–I was born in this country, I am a citizen of this country and it is MY country. It actually made me giggle when reading some of the poorest written statments posted. Seriously–the grammer and vocab are retarded. Please go to school. Ex:"I hate muslims" "Go to your country" PATHETIC FOOLS!!!!!! Muslims are awesome–we actually BELIEVE in a GOD-by the way–Allah means God in Arabic–DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Again–read a book, get an education. We love Christ, We love God, We love Mary–we are all about LOVE. We respect Catholics and Jews. You are the ones that breed hate and breed haters. Again–this is only intended for the ignorant. If you are not Ignorant–nop offense to you.

    September 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  10. Dale H

    Why doesn't a top/respected Muslim Cleric who actually understands the Holy Koran (not some extreme radical who's twisted the meanings of the Koran) sit down with this guy and have a heart to heart. Perhaps both need to be heard. Turn this around. Make this a positive before it's too late. The world could be amazed if someone took the high road, showed some civility and became an example of humanity.

    September 9, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  11. CatholicMom

    Burning someone's holy book is not how to show love to your nieghbor.

    September 9, 2010 at 12:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.