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Timeline of Florida's Quran-burning pastor
Florida pastor Terry Jones.
April 1st, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Timeline of Florida's Quran-burning pastor

On Friday, a bloody attack on a United Nations building in Mazar-e Sharif is suspected to have been carried out by a mob protesting  last month's Quran burning by Pastor Terry Jones.  The Florida pastor made headlines last year when he threatened to burn Qurans to protest Islam, on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  On March 20, he went through with the act, this time failing to attract widespread media attention.  However, the incident triggered outrage in Pakistan, which condemned the desecration and called for him to be charged with terrorism.  Here's a timeline of events leading up to the Quran burning:

July 2010

Pastor Terry Jones, head of the 60-member Dove World Outreach Center church near Gainesville, Florida, announces he will host "International Burn a Quran Day" on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. He tells CNN at the time that the event is to protest "the brutality of Islamic law" and that "Islam is of the devil."

The event is roundly denounced by a number of groups, including the National Association of Evangelicals.

August 2010

Religious leaders in Gainesville, Florida, hold a peace gathering to show solidarity in their opposition to Jones' planned event. The city of Gainesville denies a burn permit to Dove World Outreach Center, but the church says it still plans to go ahead with the Quran burning. Jones says an armed Christian organization, Right Wing Extreme, will provide security for the church. The organization later pulls its support, saying the event "does not glorify God."

September 2010

Jones signals that he may reconsider the Quran burning after a warning from Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, that it could put U.S. forces in danger.

The Vatican and others continue to urge the church not to burn Islam's holy book as worldwide protests start to heat up. Meanwhile, the U.S. military prepares for the worst.

Days before the planned event, Jones gives mixed messages about whether he intends to carry out his plans: He calls the Quran burning off, then says the church will "rethink our position."   As the date approaches, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Barack Obama publicly urge him to call off the event. Jones also announces he plans to travel to New York on the day of the planned burning to meet with the imam behind a proposed Islamic center near ground zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks.

On September 11, 2010, Jones tells NBC, "We will definitely not burn the Quran. Not today, not ever."  He heads to New York where he sets up a meeting with the imam in charge of the proposed ground zero Islamic center.   Speculation that Jones called off the Quran burning as part of a deal to move the proposed Islamic center is disputed by a Florida Muslim leader.  Meanwhile, analysts criticize the media coverage of Jones and speculate whether it was all a publicity stunt by a pastor from a small Florida town.

October 2010

A New Jersey dealership gives Jones a free car for calling off the Quran burning.

December 2010-January 2011

Jones is invited to speak at an English Defense League rally in February 2011, but the British government denies him entry.  Jones vows to take legal action.

March  2011

Jones announces he will hold "International Judge the Koran Day" on March 20, in which he stages a mock trial of the Quran, burns the Muslim holy book, and posts photos on his church's website. The incident receives little media attention in the United States, but is publicly condemned by Pakistan's government. The country's interior minister calls for international terrorism charges to be leveled against Jones, according to The Associated Press of Pakistan.

Jones says he plans to take part in an April protest at the American Islamic Community Center, in Dearborn, Michigan, outside Detroit. The protest against "Sharia and Jihad" is scheduled for Good Friday, two days before Easter.  Officials at the Islamic Center of America are still deciding how to respond, though they are leaning toward a Good Friday counter-event that would bring together religious leaders of different backgrounds to encourage tolerance and interfaith dialogue.

April 1, 2011

Protests break out in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan against the March 20 Quran burning in Florida. A United Nations source says an attack on a U.N. building in the city that left 12 people killed - eight U.N. workers and four Afghans - followed those protests.

Jones issues a statement calling the killings “tragic,”  and urging the United States and the United Nations to “hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities.”

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Florida • Islam • Pakistan • Quran

soundoff (606 Responses)
  1. Richard

    This slopped-headed pastor and his church are guilty of murder. They have broken a Commandment from God and the saddest thing of all is they do not care about the people they have killed. There is no evidence to support this pator's claim that the Koran is used by insurgents and terrorists to condone their activities. Have we seen Osama bin Laden or the insurgents in Iraq waving the Koran? No, we have not. Jesus tells us about LOVE and acceptance and yet we still today have unintelligent morons like this pastor and his church members that continue to spread hate and intolerance. Please stop spreading hate.

    April 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  2. ISLAMIC SMOG

    I understand the Pastors frustrations. Islam is HATE. Islam condones killing to spread islam. Do buddhists or christians KILL people and go CRAZY like Satan when their holy books are burned ? NO ! After Mosque services is when Muslems are the Angriest ! Why ? What does Islam teach in its mosques that teaches SO MUCH HATE and ANGER ? WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!

    April 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • elissa

      Unfortunately you appear to be uneducated about the Qu'ran and its teaching. Again, this is just another example of ignorance speaking, which seems to be the norm with Americans,who are not able to distinguish between the teachings of the Qur'an and terrorism. If a Christian goes about blowing up buildings does that make him a terrorist? Should then not the BIble be burned? Or are all Christians now terrorists? If this in fact is the case then why wasn't the religion of the unibomber then declared a terroristic religion and their holy book then burned? There is no corrolation between the religion one practices and terrorism. I am first generation Italian American. Although I am a Christian, I have read the Qur'an. I read and study the Bible daily. I pray for those who do not understand and those who are so filled with hate that they can not understand. "Peace be with you, My peace I leave you ....may we now offer each other the sign of peace....."

      April 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  3. Well Wisher

    By burning Quran the pastor also burnt the blessed and miraculous birth of Jesus,his talking in the cradle when he was 3-4 days old, his blessed life, his mircales performed by him , the healing of the leper , the dead coming to life again, the bird of clay becoming alive by permission of God, his noble words and characters , his raising up in heaven, and his coming back , along with the birth of Mother mary how she was feeded by God from heaven , the birth and life of John the Baptist , Moses, Abraham, ishmael, jonah, jacob, isaac , David and Solomon their lives and description of their kingdoms ,their noble characters as prophets of God which are mentioned in the Quran.

    Knowledge is life and light Ignorance is Dark and death. ( Quran )

    If we merely run a race against time we shall lose,
    it is the spiritual part of us that conquers time.

    Its time to humble ourselves before God and come on the right guidance and repent before its too late. We live on a very fragile planet controlled by GOD. You all have a guided and blessed days ahead.

    April 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  4. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    ......

    April 6, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  5. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    ISLAM ALONG WITH CHRISTIANITY ENSLAVED THE NUBIANS/ETHIOPIANS THE TRUE MOTHERS AND FATHERS OF TEH EARTH ........this is why so much turmoil is taken place nowadays because of your forefathers error in placing the Ethiopian in slavery for over 1000 years !!!

    IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRISTIANS KILLLED AN COLONIZED .........

    IN TEH NAME OF ALLAH BLACKS WERE ENSLAVED AND COLONIZED....THAT IS WHY ISLAM IS SO PROMINENT IN AFRICA BECAUSE OF NOMADIC CONQUERING FROM THESE GUYS WHO ACTUALLY HAVE NOOOOO LINK IN AFRICA THEY WERE ORIGINALLY FROM TEH TURKISH AREA ........JUST LIKE HOW THE PALE FACE MAN WAS FROM THE CAUCUS MOUNTAINS.....BUT YET STILL TEHY BOTH HAVE THIS SO CALLED AUTHORITY TO DESTROY ....ENSLAVE IN THE NAME OF THEIR RELIGIONS.........NONE of them belong in AFRICA /AFRICAN PENINSULA WHICH THEY CALL SAUDI ARABIAN PENINSULA WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY ETHIOPIA/KEMIT.......READ HISTORY ........!

    April 5, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  6. all of you all dont know the real truth!!!!

    lol at george washington said to keep to ourselves .........lolololololol

    yeah right keep to ourselves with a million black slaves in teh back yard .......lol ISLAM ALONG WITH CHRISTIANITY ENSLAVED THE NUBIANS/ETHIOPIANS THE TRUE MOTHERS AND FATHERS OF TEH EARTH ........this is why so much turmoil is taken place nowadays because of your forefathers error in placing the Ethiopian in slavery for over 1000 years !!!

    IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRISTIANS KILLLED AN COLONIZED .........

    IN TEH NAME OF ALLAH BLACKS WERE ENSLAVED AND COLONIZED....THAT IS WHY ISLAM IS SO PROMINENT IN AFRICA BECAUSE OF NOMADIC CONQUERING FROM THESE GUYS WHO ACTUALLY HAVE NOOOOO LINK IN AFRICA THEY WERE ORIGINALLY FROM TEH TURKISH AREA ........JUST LIKE HOW THE PALE FACE MAN WAS FROM THE CAUCUS MOUNTAINS.....BUT YET STILL TEHY BOTH HAVE THIS SO CALLED AUTHORITY TO DESTROY ....ENSLAVE IN THE NAME OF THEIR RELIGIONS.........NONE of them belong in AFRICA /AFRICAN PENINSULA WHICH THEY CALL SAUDI ARABIAN PENINSULA WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY ETHIOPIA/KEMIT.......READ HISTORY ........!

    April 5, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  7. Renny

    They want international terrorism charges brought against the church for burning the Quran? Hmph, in that case international terrorism charges should be brought against all muslims for their beliefs in following the words of a pedophile prophet, for following a religion that still regards women as property in today's world, for their followers that have burned the bible, for the muslims dancing in the streets in america as the towers collapsed, the evidence against muslims in general is overwhelming. Charge them all, round them up and kick them out of the country. Their beliefs have no place in a civilized world.

    April 5, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  8. Sabri

    Its impossible to burn the Quran. But it is possible to burn a book. A book could be made of ink and paper therefore it could be burned but the Quran is an interaction between a human being and testimony. It has no ink nor paper to be burned!!

    April 4, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
    • mehmet

      wonderful

      April 5, 2011 at 12:53 am |
  9. joe_w

    He burned a book – Afgans killed eight people. Two out of these eight got their heads cut off.
    I'd say, nuke them – all these "peaceful" Muslims in these "stans" countries. And the world would be soooo much safer

    April 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Theoderic

      ALL religious people should be put in nut houses! So sick of religion causing so much agony in this world. Begone you mad dogs!!!

      April 5, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  10. Muneef

    Both are wrong with such acts as all end up insulting God and the inner heart sensitive of any Holy Faith Messengers of God,angels,books,worship houses.
    Al-Hujraat sura 49: 10 to 13 failed to post for moderations..
    http://www.submission.org/suras/sura49.html

    April 4, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  11. Dave Singh

    Can someone please shoot, burn or just kill this ignorant pastor and do all of us a huge favor? Screw him and his religion that thinks its ok to put innocent peoples lives in danger.

    April 4, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Apple6

      Careful there, you don't mow who might take that literally.

      April 5, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Renny

      A better idea would be to shoot, kill, or otherwise get rid of the ignorant muslim murdering terrorists that kill innocent people.

      April 5, 2011 at 9:31 am |
  12. Iqbal khan

    Watch this....

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUm7GBilQ0w&w=640&h=360]

    April 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  13. Iqbal khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrYeP49CQPQ&w=640&h=360]

    April 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  14. V3T3r@N

    I am a Veteran Operation Enduring Freedom (the Afghanistan Campaign). The unit I deployed to Afghanistan with in 2006 is currently back in Afghanistan again for the second time since. Pastor Terry Jones has just throw oil on the fire, in an already bloody mess.
    I am personally offended that this man just perpetrated the idea that Americans are ALL bigotted against Islam. While I was really no hero over there, I did not serve in a combat zone in Afghanistan, watch people I saw every day suddenly not be there anymore, silently keen over the resultant haunted looks on their sqaudmates' faces, monitor radio chatter between the Infantry squads out on patrol to keep record and report to the CDR, help carry stretchers rushing mangled bodies from medivac helicopters to the field surgey tent, etc., to protect this zealot's right to make sure my friends die, all the while preaching about the Luv-0'-Jeeziss.
    Also, I did not serve a country in which BOOK BURNING, of all things...no, wait, HOLY BOOK BURNING is even considered to being acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. Freedom of speech, yes, but does Freedom not come with responsibility? Indeed, it does. In the Unites States of America, it is against the law to say something which will incte a riot: "FIRE!!!" in a crowded movie theater being the most popular example I have heard.
    To Pastor Terry Jones, I have this to say: YOU HAVE JUST SIGNED THE DEATH WARRANTS OF PROUD US SOLDIERS SERVING THEIR COUNTRY TO ENSURE YOUR SAFETY. THIER FAMILIES WILL GRIEVE FOREVER.
    But don't worry...God will forgive you, for you are a Man of the Cloth, sent to carry His wisdom and Eternal Love.

    April 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  15. mehmet

    why did he need to fire the QUR'AN? The answer is below, same as about 1450 years ago.

    First Aspect: It possesses miraculousness and its miraculousness exists for the following reasons. The great majority of the people of the Arabian Peninsula at that time were illiterate. Due to this, in place of in writing, they preserved the sources of their pride, historical events, and stories which assisted good morality, by means of poetry and eloquence. Through the at- traction of poetry and eloquence, meaningful sayings would remain in people's memories and be passed down the generations. And so, in consequence of this innate need, the goods most in demand in the immaterial market of that people was eloquence. An eloquent literary figure of a tribe, even, was like its greatest national hero. It was through him that they gained their greatest pride. Thus, that intelligent people who ruled the world through their intelligence after the establishment of Islam were, among the peoples of the world, at the highest and most advanced degree of eloquence. It was the thing most in demand among them, was their cause of pride, and the thing for which they had greatest need. Eloquence had such high value that two tribes would do battle at the word of a literary figure, and they would make peace at his word. They even wrote in gold on the walls of the Ka'ba the seven qasidas of seven poets called the Muallaqat-i Sebta, and took great pride in them. Thus, it was at such a time when eloquence was the thing most sought after that the Qurtan was revealed. Just as at the time of Moses (Peace be upon him) it was magic that was most sought after and at the time of Jesus (Peace be upon him), it was medicine. The most important of their miracles were in those fields.

    And so, the Qur'an invited the Arabian orators of that time to reply to even one of the shortest of the Suras. It challenged them with the decree of:

    And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a Sura resembling it.[. Qur'an, 2:23.]

    And it also said: "If you do not believe, you shall be damned and shall go to Hell." It provoked them intensely. It smashed their pride in a fearsome manner. It was contemptuous of their arrogant minds. It condemned them firstly to eternal extinction and then to eternal extinction in Hell, as well as to worldly extinction. It said: "Either dispute me, or you and your property shall perish."

    Thus, if it had been possible to dispute it, is it at all possible that, while there was an easy solution like disputing the Qur'an with one or two lines and nullifying the claim, they should have chosen the most dangerous and most difficult, the way of war? Yes, is it at al1 possible that that clever people, that politically-minded nation, who at one time were to govern the world through politics, should have abandoned the shortest, easiest, and most light way, and chosen the most dangerous, which was going to cast their lives and ail their property into peril? For if their literary figures had been able to dispute it with a few words, the Qurtan would have given up its claim, and they would have been saved from material and moral disaster. Whereas they chose a fearsome and long road like war That means it was not possible to dispute in by word; it was impossible. Therefore they were compelled to fight it with the sword.

    April 4, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  16. Lonny Raymond

    May be distasteful,but a lot of Americans have a lot of distance feelings with west,and trust.Besides,me and others don't believe,we should be in war there,especially with trouble in Mexico,our neighboring country.A lot more people are dieing ,besides ours.

    April 4, 2011 at 10:54 am |
  17. otto

    Can you imagine this type of behavior?
    "The burned some wood pulp with ink on it. Let's kill them". These are some REALLY backwards people.

    Plus "those people(s)"* savior is an admitted child rapist. muhammad admits to have with a 9 year old child bride 'Aisha' before her first menstruation cycle. I find that completely sickening. Sick sick sick.

    Any one who follows muhammad and his teachings
    condones such acts.
    Remember people, if you don't condemn you condone.

    *people of the islam^E religion

    April 4, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  18. derp

    Burning Korans, witches, whatever else they like.

    Christianity, religion of peace.....and burning stuff.

    April 4, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Apple6

      That's why we only burn candles in Judiasim.and the occasional bush in the ever disputed region between Israel and Egypt.

      April 5, 2011 at 2:00 am |
  19. Pastor Jimmie Walk, Order of Melchizedec

    Sorry Mr. President,
    But Mr. Terry Jones did not have a right to burn the Quran.

    Protocol has been breached, and the news stories from around the world show how darkness sometimes attack men in the light of day to bring unrest among the human race.

    The good pastor has made a great error that will have a lasting negative affect on peace keeping efforts around the globe.

    Pastor has ignored Divine instructions uttered by Christ Jesus Himself. Who by the way, also spoke words that may have been referring to, or including the children Islam over five hundred years before Mohammad was even born.

    Abraham is the father of our faith, that is the faith of the individual creation. The religion of a man or woman, are the set of principles by which the individual choose to live, and govern her or his morals. Abraham seems to have lived by the same principles as did Adam and his family. Adam and Abraham showed faith in, obedience to and worshiped one GOD.

    And no teacher, Adam or Abraham, and certainly not the great High Priest Melchizedec, ever taught the killing of others for the reason of faith nor any other reason.

    Let us all be prayerful,
    Jimmie Walk

    April 4, 2011 at 6:01 am |
    • San Onofre Surfer

      Sir,
      There are multiple grammatical errors in your post. This makes us skeptical of your education level.
      What degree do you have, and where did it come from ? Are you ordained, or self appointed ?
      Why is it almost no one ever heard of the Order of Melchizedec ? The Order of Melchizedec was a Hebrew priestly tradition. Is that what you were ordained into, and by whom were you elected priest ? Thank you.

      April 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Garry

      I'm an atheist n don't truly care about religion. However what the pastor did burning the Koran, should be considered as a criminal act, inciting violence n most of all murder of Innocent people. There was no need to do what you did. This will only bring more problems to the brave men n women fighting to give people a better life, because a brainless person like you decided to bring war to the middle East on faults pretenses.
      You should be charge n locked up for a 10 year firm sentence. What you have done is as bad as shotting American Service personal. As if you didn't know what would happen. Lawmakers should lookup war crimes.

      April 7, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  20. Iqbal Khan

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyfdqocEKfQ&w=640&h=360]

    April 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
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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.