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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. jack h.

    LET ME TELL YOU IDIOTS SOMETHING! when the so called moderate muslim clerics condemned the 9-11 attacks for the killing of INNOCENT PEOPLE, you have to understand how a muslim thinks. when a muslims talks about innocent people, he is talking about MUSLIMS since an infidel cannot be considered innocent. THESE CLERICS WERE ONLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE MUSLIMS WHO WERE KILLED IN THE TOWERS. everyone else was fair game. except for the jews who were warned the day before not to go to work on 9-11.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  2. Charlie Kinyon

    I for one am always very grateful when ignorant, psychotic fools come forward out of the shadows and shine a light upon themselves. The world is now able to see who they are and what their mindset is. Let them burn the Quran, we will all then see their obvious prejudice and lack of intellectual depth. I for one want to know who the dangerous, small-minded goobers of the world are. It's much better for us to know where a cancer is growing in any society that strives for peace and harmony, than to have it grow unseen and unchecked.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Alvin D

      @Charlie Kinyon

      The howling wilderness is lessened by your post. Thank you.

      August 22, 2010 at 1:09 am |
  3. freewoman

    humm do the moderators even know who Titus was? bet not...

    ok. get a bible, and a copy of Wars with the Jews... both are online for free reading..n meet Titus.. see him as who he is depicted in the bible.
    jesus.. the fisher of men....a joke it is all a joke.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  4. chris

    ok im organizing a buybull burning, anyone want to join in on the fun . stop cherry pick the buybull to control or manipulate. stop cherry picking the koran to control an manipulate. when you read a book it is read from front to back , not skipping around. fundies are every where trying to convince us we are all going to hell . this is why we need separation of church an state . the god we all look for is this planet. it is an echo system an we as a collective are part of it. an if we allow the top 4% too keep manipulating us into believing some powerful being is in control we will fail . the old farmers had it right work the land , wind power solar power, the more black top we have the less the planet feeds an drys up . but hey as long as we have our fancy cars big houses , money we cant use when we die . it is all crazy an it needs to stop . capitalism is greed , greed is a sin . an all the people preaching an cherry picking their religious books are fundamentalists . an need to be stopped. thru eduction not weapons. oh yeah the usa needs to stop running guns into poor country's . we as a whole is the god an god is getting angry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  5. Ron

    I wonder how these pseudo-christians would feel if the shoe were on the other foot and their Bible was being burned? They'd screech and hollar all thru every on of their whack-job televangelists and talk show redneck Neo-Nazis that they were being discriminated against because of what they believe. It's ok when THEY do it, though. Can you say HYPOCRISY?

    August 21, 2010 at 10:42 am |
  6. Pastor Willie C. Scott

    I will be responding to this point that came from your article on Islam:

    "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.

    Posted by: The Editors – CNN Belief Blog
    Filed under: Books • Christianity • Church • Florida • Islam • Quran • United States

    Islam is not of the devil it is these radical groups that call themselves Islamic who is making a bad name for the religion call Islam. First the name Islam means submit unto the One God. They believe that the one God name is Allah. Islam is not a gutter religion. Islam believe in the same God that we do. Remember in the Bible (Gen. 21:11-12;13) when God confronted Hagar (Abramham's wife maid), in whom he went into because Sarah was lacking faith and could not see how she would have a baby in her old age. The Lord told Abramham to go after her. Abramham told her to come back home for thus said God. For the son you are carrying will be great too and a nation shall be name after him. This was the beginning of the Nation of Islam. It was not the religion of Islam that cause the destruction of the twin towers. It was those radical extreminst that did. In the Christiam church it has radical folks and people that have given Islam a bad rap. The same as it is in Christianity. Thank you for reading this blog.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  7. freewoman

    msaprilr.. yep read the bible. thats why I know is a lie and a joke.

    so tell me... would you like to be a slave? jesus has give you specific rules pn how your master can treat you. There is no FREE the slaves...from JC... any where in the bible.
    And if you were made a slave i am sure you would be throwing fits too.
    Go to the web site Caesar's Messiah and learn more about your holy babble.
    get the joke and enjoy the fun.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  8. vdiddy71

    Here is the hypocrisy, that Christians believe that if you do not accept Jesus Christ as your saviour then you are doomed. But do you not also think that other religions have their own beliefs? There were many religions before Christ was even born. There were many beliefs in many countries that believed the same thing {if you do not believe in our religion, then you are doomed}. Can you not accept that as long as you believe in SOMETHING, then you are OK? What gives Christianity the monopoly on the perfect life and afterlife? Just because you were taught it at an early age?

    I respect Christians for their beliefs. I respect Jews for their beliefs. I also respect Muslims for their beliefs. Bottom line is, I accept and respect anyone for their beliefs and morals based on simple human dignity, which is peace, respect, acceptance, love, and openmindedness.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  9. michael

    We should not Burn
    As our LORD said Love your Neighbor , Love your Enemy

    Not all the Muslims are Bad but ALL THE BAD THINGS ARE DONE BY MUSLIMS

    August 21, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  10. Chris

    Wow – how far have we fallen as "Christians" from the Word of God – we preach a message of tolerance in the church today, but nowhere was Jesus a tolerant person of sin and things that will send people to hell when you read the Bible. The church should be standing up and proclaiming the message of salvation through Jesus Christ – which Islam clearly denies. Thank God for churches like Dove World Outreach Center that stand up in the face of all the heat to bring the message of salvation and freedom this nation so desperately needs to hear and turn to so it gets out of this lukewarm Christianity and lukewarm stand.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  11. rkm63

    Keep in mind lefties, your president proclaims to be a christian. LOL You might want to stop trashing him, eh? LOL This is so silly, let them burn the books! This is nothing but a publicity stunt anyway, stop making a mountain out of a molehill!

    August 21, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  12. freewoman

    one good thing about the Pakistan flooding it has cut down the bombing. nothing like the power of mother nature to let us know just who is really the boss on this planet.. MOTHER NATURE!

    August 21, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  13. baruch

    Maybe if ALL abrahamic doctrine were burned the world would be a more peaceful place; the old testament, the new testament, and the qoran.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  14. wil69r

    When is this day my friends and I have our lighters ready.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  15. Cameron

    All this hatred and senseless violence will never end as long as human beings exist. We speak of peace but we are never content with having it. We always let our emotions get the better of us. Vengeance is an endless and senseless cycle. I ask this church and this nation to show courage and end this cycle. Instead of burning a book, light a candle to remember those who lost their lives on 9/11. Only when we can start a peace without asking "Why can't they give something first?" will we truly become an enlightened people.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  16. MORNINGWOODY69

    w

    August 21, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  17. G from Illinois

    Two wrongs don't make a right –
    1. Hurting millions of people's feelings and building a mosque near Ground Zero. 2. Burning Quran and hurting millions of people's feelings.
    Loose Loose scenario. We should ask ourselves one question, who benefits from either?

    August 21, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  18. Patrick

    I don't mind burning a copy of the Quran or the Bible. Neither book has done anything but spread confusion, hatred, bigotry and disinformation... thus slowing down the progress of humanity. Let's leave the mystical beliefs of generations that lived one or two thousand years ago in the dustbin and move on towards our higher destinies as a species.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  19. without a name

    Here is the Quran... read it without prejudice, without an agenda towards biasness, read it only with want of understanding. Then you might have a right to speak your mind, negatively or positively.. Anything less is mere ignorance, a vocalization akin to terrified sheep bleating against their own shadow in moonlight.

    If you must skim, I suggest searching and reading what is written of Jesus or Moses and you'll find for a Muslim to hate either is against the teachings of the Quran.

    http://al-quran.info/?x=y#&&sura=1&aya=1&trans=en-yusuf_ali&show=both,quran-uthmani&ver=2.00

    Understand, as well, the world as you know it would not exist without Islam. When Rome burned, it was the Muslims who preserved the great thinkers of the past, from Herodotus to Socrates, Plato and Pythagoras... It was the Muslims who advanced our the collective human understanding of Chemistry (Alchemy), Astronomy and Math.

    Understand that the Burqa and Hijab are artificats of cultural relevance, not religious. One need only look to the pictures of women in the recent flooding of Pakistan...

    Understand that the largest majority of Muslims are not in the Mid East but in Indonesia...

    Understand you laughed with a Muslim when you watched Dave Chappelle (A Muslim).

    Understand that instances of villainy are not specific to one religion but are, in fact, shared by many... and that those that wield their anger under a religious banner are likely, the least knowledgeable proponents of their faith.

    Misconception and the propagation of hate are the symptoms of a fearful mind. To alleviate fear, you must illuminate the mind. To know the truth, know that all is illusory... Faith is the belief in what cannot be proven. If you believe that God does not exist, it is still faith. To know the truth is to know you know nothing.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  20. Kermit Roosevelt

    Whether or not this is a good idea, it's important that Muslims learn to put up with the same kind of offenses that are part of the guarantee of freedoms here in the US. As much as Catholics have to put up with "Piss Christ", Muslims should learn not to look at a drawing of Mohammad or deal with someone burning a collection of fairy stories.

    August 21, 2010 at 10:12 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.