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August 20th, 2010
05:10 PM ET

Religious leaders speak out against International Burn a Quran Day

Religious leaders in Gainesville, Florida, have planned a Gathering for Peace, Understanding and Hope, in response to a local church's International Burn a Quran Day.

"We feel compelled to raise our voices to proclaim that the action the Dove World Outreach Center is proposing is absolutely wrong and counter to the life and teaching of the Jesus whom we love, follow and call savior and Lord," Senior Minister Dan Johnson of Trinity United Methodist Church said, in a note posted on his church's website Wednesday.

As part of the Gainesville Interfaith Forum - made up of Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus - Trinity Church will host the event September 10, the notice said, the night before the planned Quran burning.

"Our goal is to foster understanding, mutual respect and peace, while recognizing and appreciating our own particular faith understandings," Johnson said.

The nondenominational Outreach Center said it will host the Quran-burning event on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. The group said it will remember 9/11 victims and take a stand against Islam. With promotions on its website and Facebook page, it invites Christians to burn the Muslim holy book at the church from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, the city of Gainesville denied a burn permit to the center, said Bob Woods, City of Gainesville spokesman.

"It was a question of public safety," said Woods. "The Gainesville Fire Department has notified the center through a letter," he said.

But that isn't stopping the church. The Gainesville Sun reported that, in an e-mail newsletter sent out Wednesday, the church announced: "City of Gainesville denies burn permit - BUT WE WILL STILL BURN KORANS."

Gene Prince, the interim chief of Gainesville Fire Rescue, told the Sun on Wednesday that under the city's fire prevention ordinance, an open burning of books is not allowed. He said if the church goes ahead with its plan, it will be fined.

And the church's intentions aren't the issue. "It wouldn't matter what the book is they're burning," Deputy Chief Tim Hayes told the Sun.

"We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it's causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times," Dove World Outreach Center Pastor Terry Jones told CNN's Rick Sanchez last month.

Jones wrote a book titled "Islam is of the Devil," and the church sells coffee mugs and shirts featuring the phrase.

On the church's website, a section details "Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran."

The Islamic advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations called on Muslims and others to host "Share the Quran" dinners to educate the public during the month-long fast of Ramadan beginning in August. In a news release, the group announced a campaign to give out 100,000 copies of the Quran to local, state and national leaders.

"American Muslims and other people of conscience should support positive educational efforts to prevent the spread of Islamophobia," said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper in the release.

The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation's largest umbrella evangelical group, issued a statement urging the church to cancel the event, warning it could cause worldwide tension between the two religions.

"The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect," it said in the statement.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Books • Christianity • Church • Florida • Islam • Quran • United States

soundoff (1,223 Responses)
  1. Brian in NC

    Clearly this is just a grab at attention. The best thing to do with people filled with hate is to ignore them and let the fizzle out on their own.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:53 am |
  2. ICEMAN

    Hey really what's with all the hate? I mean alot of you have alot of hate in your hearts. Not cool get your point across. Standing for the truth doesn't mean treating people like their nothing.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:52 am |
  3. Joseph

    Has anyone on this page read the Koran and or the Holy Bible in full? If not, then you have no business in commenting of what the Jewish, Christian or Muslim Faith is all about until you read the entire texts your self. You might learn something.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:51 am |
  4. SFroblars

    Anyone who would burn a Quran, Bible, Boy Scott handbook, cookbook, or any book they do not agree with is a moron. Plain and simple. I do not blame you, as it is not your fault you are "mentally disenfranchised" (that means retarded for those of you who are afraid to say the R-Word). After all, you had no control over the fact that your parents were probably related before they were married.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:51 am |
    • GINNY sue

      Ha ha...

      August 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  5. murli

    Islam is more than a religion, it is also a political book.
    So lets burn the political Quran, nothing wrong with that. Just because the religion and the politics are intertwined just says that there will be a collateral burning.
    Mosque at ground zero is a declaration of CONQUEST by the Muslims.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:50 am |
  6. Xtian follower

    what would Jesus says about this? probably: read the bible and if we still don't get it... should I have to die for everybody again?

    August 21, 2010 at 12:48 am |
  7. igireocks

    I am contemplating starting a new business venture and I need financial backing..... I want to convert land mines into Prayer rugs. The Prophets are GUARANTEED to go through the roof. If this sounds like a good venture please meet at ur local garbage dump to burn a quran, perhaps I will meet u there.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:47 am |
    • peace2all

      @igireocks

      Seems that everyone went flying by your post..... but, if ya' take out the Qur'an burning hate-mongering portion of your post....which will bring nothing good to this world.

      Actually your post....... it was extremely funny...! Made me laugh..... thank you... Hopefully you meant it 'tongue in cheek'..?

      Peace......

      August 21, 2010 at 3:06 am |
  8. Dee

    @Justina and fellow idiots....LMAO at the comment that says Muslims are the most despised group in America....yeah today. Tomorrow it will be someone else because Americans and Christians have to have someone to hate or they don't function properly. Too bad Americans are the most hated people on the GLOBE so who the hell really cares who you like or don't like. Americans have no moral standing at all but are constantly trying to tell someone else what to do and how to do it. HYPOCRITES. @Justina: Americans are hated because they are hypocrites...if they were so concerned with human rights then China would not own us, we would of stepped up in Darfur and Rwanda (not just Bosnia) we would not be killing for oil etc. How the hell could you even think we fight for Human Rights on this planet? WE FIGHT FOR POWER & MONEY, not rights....we don't even give our own citizens equal rights-who the hell are we to go try and fight for someone else....funny we leave the Billion Chinese communists alone but we mess with little places like Iraq and Cuba....Americans have no nuts.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:46 am |
  9. CJ

    Quran, Bible, whatever... I would be more upset if they burned a Dr. Seuss book.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • freewoman

      yep you can learn more bout being a better person from Dr Susse than in any bible.
      Yurtle the Turtle.. has a lesson we all need to learn...

      August 21, 2010 at 1:12 am |
    • GINNY sue

      The timber industry went after The Lorax for the longest time. The world is a crazy place.

      August 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  10. levine

    I challenge all the anti-Islam and anti-muslim to read and find one thing it said is bad.
    Remember Islam is a complete code of your life.
    So Why burn it?
    I say ,you better respect Quran.
    .

    August 21, 2010 at 12:43 am |
    • GINNY sue

      I don't advocate burning the Quran over any other religious book, including any/all versions of the Bible or Torah. That being said I have to ask...could you navigate the world without a book or "code of life"? Could you wake up in the morning and still know the difference between right and wrong? Could you trust your own internal moral compass to guide you or is it so unimaginable? What if "nobody" was there to guide you, could you trust your inner voice, could THAT be god? Could you be god? Americans have the right to say and do offensive things, it doesn't mean they should, it is just a fact of life.

      August 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Alvin D

      @levine

      I do not respect the Quran. I honor whatever is deserving of honor. If people act honorably, I respect them for it.

      The Quran is just a book. Would you let a child burn to death to save your book? If the answer is yes then you are insane.

      August 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  11. Pro-peace

    America is a great country.People around the world get a wrong message when we burn religious book of other faiths.As there is high illetracy rate in the world, they think this is an American policy to burn books of other religions.Our troops are scattered all around the world, please do put their lives in danger because of these stupid actions.A time was when Americans used to travel all over the world with their heads up.Now Americans have to hide their passports when they travel outside America.Let us do things that our fore-fathers taught us so that everyone in the world say that America & Americans are GREAT.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:42 am |
  12. disappointed again

    this is not how problems are solved, it is however a good way to continue them. as long as people continue to find differences and faults instead of common ground and goodness we will never know peace. i know of nowhere in the bible where hatred toward our fellow man is promoted or where intolerance of others is encouraged. god is watching us.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:40 am |
  13. Jon

    That's better. There's a word for "Burn the Quran" day: Unamerican.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  14. Mandy

    I dont understand why people think that all religions should be recpected other then Islam. Its a major religion following the Abrahamic faith, as is Chritianity and Judism. I dont think anyone will stand for Torahs being burned cause jews crusifed Jesus. Acts like this are hurtful and hateful and only produce more hate. What possible good are these people going to get by buring any book let alone this book. Also we may not all agree with every point of view out there but doesnt the liberty of this country allow people to have freedom of views and religion and speech without being persecuted for it. It is really a sad and shameful day for us if this 'pastor' ends up carrying this out.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:39 am |
  15. Reality

    Google the phrase, "Muslims bible burning", to get all said references about Muslims burning the bible but note that once the "bowers" of Islam see how they have been conned by their imams and ayatollahs for the last 1400 years, they too will burn their copies of the koran i.e. the angel Gabriel never existed so there is no way that the warmongering, womanizing, and hallucinating Mohammed got any koranic passages from some god. Tis the great angelic con game. Joe Smith was the latest to pull it off with his "angelic" Moroni. The significant stupidity and gullibility of it all!!!!!
    And ditto when we the "pew peasants" of Christianity finally realize the con that has been pulled on us, we too will burn our bibles. I have not burned my copy but have relegated it to the mostly fictional section of my reference library.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  16. Reality

    Google "Muslims bible burning" to get all said references about Muslims burning the bible but note that once the "bowers" of Islam see how they have been conned by their imams and ayatollahs for the last 1400 years, they too will burn their copies of the koran i.e. the angel Gabriel never existed so there is no way that the warmongering, womanizing, and hallucinating Mohammed got any koranic passages from some god. Tis the great angelic con game. Joe Smith was the latest to pull it off with his "angelic" Moroni. The significant stupidity and gullibility of it all!!!!!
    And ditto when we the "pew peasants" of Christianity finally realize the con that has been pulled on us, we too will burn our bibles. I have not burned my copy but have relegated it to the mostly fiction section of my reference library.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:34 am |
    • freewoman

      muslims don't waste time on petty bible burning, the burn buildings full of people just trying to make a living.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:07 am |
  17. AAISHA

    tO ALL THAT THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA SIT DOWN AND READ THE qURAN. jESUS YOUR SUPPOSED SON OF GOD (he is actually a prophet) is in the Quran more than IN the new testament. How about Jesus's mother Mary? I the Quran has a whole chapter devoted to her more than your precious bible has. THe only terrorists here are the ones who support this vile act. EDUCATE YOURSELVES, IT WOULD DO YOU A WORLD OF GOOD

    August 21, 2010 at 12:33 am |
    • freewoman

      there never was a jesus... he is myth too..

      I rather believe in Tinkerbell...she flies , has a fairy wand and has a neat castle at Disneyland /world.
      and she does not want anyone to grow up..can we play..make believe?

      August 21, 2010 at 1:05 am |
  18. Dee

    Americans & Christians have to be the most ignorant, judgmental, ignorant (did I say that already) people on the planet. All of you who are stating that the Quran is meant to spread evil and hate have never picked up the book, read it and could not comprehend it if you tried. Funny thing is, these warped Christians don't even understand their own religion, know the Bible or follow its teachings, but have everything negative to say about the beliefs of another. Amazing. If there is a God in heaven, He/She is coming after all of you idiots who act as if you have a hot line number and know exactly what the Creator intended for us all. And most of you need a spelling/grammar class as opposed to spouting your idiotic religious beliefs. Just a note to you idiots, both Christian and Muslim as well as Jews: Abraham had two sons: Ishmael and Isaac-they were brothers. You dumb ass Muslims descend from Ishmael and you idiot Christians & Jews descend from Isaac- which means you're all f-ing related to one another. Get a grip and stop speaking for GOD...none of you have the capacity, mental or otherwise to do so. You Christians who believe in that convoluted New Testament BS need to wake up. As a matter of fact, all you religious idiots need to go back under the rock you came from under. Any person who believes that a few people of one race or religion, represent the ENTIRE group is a damn fool. Any person who thinks all Muslims are violent and these racist, sexist, fornicating, 10-commandment breaking Christians are all perfect, please call me-I have some swamp land in Florida I need to sell immediately. All organized religion is cult like. Christians, stop acting as if your religion isn't just as crazy, goofy, illogical etc. as the next one. Christians forget the Crusades, Inquisition, colonialism and the countless terrorists from the KKK to the American government who have killed, maimed, raped, tortured, converted ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS. But wait! Those were the other Christians and not you right? Forgot Americans/Christians don't take responsibility for anything but they love to reap the benefits of the havoc they have caused across this globe for centuries.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:32 am |
  19. Brian

    Don't burn them......recycle!

    August 21, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  20. kevin

    These people in there church seem to think that everyone they look at is religous, and forget that not everyone in this world believes in a god. Science is tossed aside in there minds.

    August 21, 2010 at 12:30 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.