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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. Truthbedared

    I say don't burn the Quran it will contribute to greenhouse gases. I suggest to recycle every Bible and Quran and turn it into to toilet paper. This would be more useful than any gun in solving religious conflict.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm |
  2. GROUNDEDONE

    This guy and his followers need to be stopped. PLAIN and SIMPLE.. If there was anything that sounded like something that would fit under the HATE crimes statutes it has to be this book burning event and their organizers. HE MUST be stopped before this event takes place after which the consequences will not be able to be reconciled!!! In the USA a person can be tied to a murder in court even if they inflamed or insinuated such and such to happen. This supposed preacher and those who will work with him to run this book burning will cause the deaths of COUNTLESS Christain both, AMERICAN and WORLDWIDE, for this disrespect act. I'm a conservative CHRISTIAN and find this proposition against anything JESUS CHRIST has preached, it is totally against any principle of LOVE and understanding that would possibly effect any kind of evangelism. I certainly understand that even a suggestion of this BOOK BURNING could come in this USA as we are the same racist country that has KKK and White supremist organization, BLACK PANTHERS, radical Pro-ZIONIST, etc... This is one RACIST counrty but here we've got to pull it all together and be sensible. This is hinting at infringement of personal constitutional rights of LIFE, LIBERTY, and the pursuit of HAPPINESS. All Americans might as well rip up their passports because this event wilol make us targets where ever we go in the world. This is a HATE CRIME and event. The US FERDERAL GOVERNMENT and FBI... must Move in and stop this event before it occurs before they have to pick up the peices of the disasterous effects it will set in motion later.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  3. buffetking

    Islam is a violent cult, not a religion, Search the web to see howmany mosques the FBI has had to raid. This particular mosque is a Cordoba victory mosque, being built to celebrate Islam's victory over the Great Satan with the destruction of the Twin Towers. The location is an intended insult to the American people. Burn the Qurans....a lot of them.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  4. Clayton

    Lots of negative comments toward atheists. I can guarantee most atheists don't approve of thise Koran burning. We would rather engage in peaceful dialogue than to do something destructive to other religions. Atheists also condemn this burning of Korans, as we do any religious books. We may not believe in your religion, but we won't disrespect you like that.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
    • Alvin D

      @Clayton

      You can't speak for other people with any kind of legitimacy here. You can only speak for yourself.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  5. deccaone

    can we agree on this...if all men and women followed the same religion, spoke the same language, were all the same color and were all of the same social status, we would still find a reason to go to war! this is human nature. all religion is based on a genuine love for our fellow men, women and children despite the amount of violence that each of the histories and books contain. all religion states that GOD created the earth for each of us and this home of ours has everything we could ever want. and yes, despite the violence that has occured in the name of all religions, fundamentally we are all supposed to have been created equal. the great flaw is not within the religion itself but it is due to the very flawed applications of these religions by the very flawed human beings that holds these religions and VIRTUES that these religions are supposed to have taught us, above the love and respect we are all supposed to have for one another. although i don't agree with much that has been written on this topic here, i certainly don't agree with the burning of any religious book, artifact, symbol etc. the truth is, whether you feel that religion and all it contains is a crock or you follow it with deep belief, these books and so on are all things that all of our societies were built on and there are so many people that hold them near and dear to who they are and what they stand for. that being said, it is about respect and not some act that was carried out by a few extremists. destroying this book is not something that will affect the individuals who carried out these acts but it is something that will be seen as an attack and an insult against an entire religion and all those who follow it.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  6. jjr68

    Cool. New alternative energy. I like it.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  7. Guest0311

    I believe Ghandi said it best. "I like your Christ, but not your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    August 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  8. Jon V.

    "Florida Crackers", that's what this is all about! Spewing hatred against the rights of the Religious Freedom of Speech. There is more love in one prargraph of the Quran than in these racists whole lives! Florida runs rampent with extremists so-called preachers that on every corner are trying to sell their snake oil! Don't buy their trash talk and they will retire to their false pulpits. The fire that will burn is the fire they are all headed to.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
  9. Daryn

    International Wipe Your Butt With A Bible Day is the very next day, so who cares what any religion has to say about anything? Basically, you guys are fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  10. Jesus H. Christ

    How about Hug a Muslim Day! Love each other! Be fruitful and multiply! especially the last part!

    August 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
  11. stevie68a

    Religion cloaks itself in love and peace, while hiding it's hate. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. It is amazing that in this day and age,
    so much of the world believes in this nonsense. Scholars of theology are experts in folklore only, they cannot be relied upon.
    Any good there is in religion can be had without it. jesus didn't say anything that an eight year old couldn't come up with. The
    proof is right in front of us: jesus is imaginary. Grow up. Teach children ethics.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  12. WWJD

    As a Christian, I am shocked and appalled that a church would try to pull a stunt like this. Nowhere in the Bible did Jesus go around condemning people, or burning things down and causing a scene. God doesn't force himself on anyone–you can either accept His grace and love or you don't. I think this whole idea is moronic and vastly counterproductive to the mission of the Christian walk....to show LOVE and walk in PEACE with our neighbors. We all know that these same people would be ready to raise hell if the Muslims ever decided to have a Bible burning! At the end of the day, when we all die, we will all be held accountable for the choices we make, so if people choose to live by and read the Quran, let them do them! It's all love. I hope that all the Muslims out there know that not all Christians support this display of IGNORANCE. May God bless you all...regardless of what your perception of God and Christianity is ...

    August 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • Alvin D

      @WWJD

      Jesus, if he really existed, did a good thing in condemning the money-changers in the Temple and overturning their tables.
      The Bible has many passages where Jesus condemned others.
      The real joke is that it takes me, an agnostic, to point out your shocking ignorance of the Bible. I'll bet you're one of those people who hates reading anything as big as the Bible.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Keith

      Gideon tore down the altar to Baal by orders from God himself. Josiah tore down the high places, slaughtered the false god priests on their own altars and then destroyed the altars. Jesus cleaned house in the Temple. WWJD, you need to use the whole counsel of God. Make no mistake, Jesus will destroy that abomination that sits on top of the Temple Mount, too.

      August 21, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
  13. Basicburn

    I say burn the book – islamic people hate the western religions and are racists and women haters – so why stick up for them. It's okay for them to cut people"s heads off and kill non-muslims wontonally but we can't draw a picture of their devil god – burn the book and burn it with a smile – allah akabar –

    August 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  14. Ignore

    These people are idiots, radicals and almost as bad a terrorists. However since they are just doing a stupid (they stupid) book burning the media should all ignore it. Why give any press to some nuts who want to live in the dark ages.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  15. 786

    As we have seen in history why others have burnt books. This was to ensure, the society is kept in the dark and knowledge is not spread, but as we have seen truth prevails and knowledge is never suppressed… What did the NAZIS do? Burn books!!! Why afraid of the truth!! Are we a turning into a hate-mongering nation like the Nazis? Don’t be afraid of the truth! ISLAM is the seal of Gods covenant and promised by GOD to Moses, Jesus and finally given to the last messenger… Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

    Genesis 21:13 and 16:3. After Jesus, the last Israelite messenger and prophet, it was time that God's promise to bless Ishmael and his descendants be fulfilled. Less than 600years after Jesus came the last messenger of God, Muhammad, from the progeny of Abraham through Ishmael. God's blessing of both of the main branches of Abraham's family tree was now fullfilled.
    John (Chapters 14, 15, 16) Jesus spoke of the "Paraclete" or comforter who will come after him,
    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16

    August 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I've burnt books before with a good reason.
      Destruction of classified manuals.
      I've burnt flags too.
      They were worn and tattered. I then buried the ashes.
      Anything else is simple disrespect. And I prefer to treat people as I wish to be treated, hence respect them as a person until they directly and personally EARN disrespect.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  16. 786

    As we have seen in history why others have burnt books. This was to ensure, the society is kept in the dark and knowledge is not spread, but as we have seen truth prevails and knowledge is never suppressed… What did the NAZIS do? Burn books!!! Why afraid of the truth!! Are we a turning into a hate-mongering nation like the Nazis? Don’t be afraid of the truth! ISLAM is the seal of Gods covenant and promised by GOD to Moses, Jesus and finally given to the last messenger… Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

    Genesis 21:13 and 16:3. After Jesus, the last Israelite messenger and prophet, it was time that God's promise to bless Ishmael and his descendants be fulfilled. Less than 600years after Jesus came the last messenger of God, Muhammad, from the progeny of Abraham through Ishmael. God's blessing of both of the main branches of Abraham's family tree was now fullfilled.
    John (Chapters 14, 15, 16) Jesus spoke of the "Paraclete" or comforter who will come after him,
    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16

    August 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      his mouth is sweets and all of him is delights this is my love and this is my darling daughters of Jerusalem.
      First, it's a love song by Ezekiel about his wife.
      Second, Hebrew the word mahamaddim, "delights," "delightfulnesses," is only part of a root word that is used in MANY other words in Aramaic languages. Such as the words for covet, lustfulness, desire, delight all use the same root.
      Unless your point is that Mohammad had luscious lips or a smooth tongue, it's an specious argument based upon faulty logic and poor transliteration without considering the common roots of both Hebrew and Arabic.
      In short, a non-mainstream wishful thinking of those who are NOT scholars of Islam, Arabic or Hebrew.
      No slight intended to your faith, just a small bit of education.
      As-Salaamu Alykum.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  17. GodsKingdom1st

    Burning a book that is leading billions of people to hell, is a lie, and is the basis of Shariah Law (which we should NOT allow in the US) is a clear sign that says "STOP" to Islam. We have to wake up as Americans before it's too late. There are already multiple symptoms in the nation. Thank God for churches like this one that stand up for the truth no matter what. All that will matter in the end anyway is what we do for God, and standing up for Jesus, which Islam clearly denies, is one thing we must do. I encourage anyone out there who can – get yourself a Koran and burn it on 9/11. The book is full of LIES that lead people to hell.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Gonna burn some Jews too?
      That way you can be ALL of the way like the Nazis my father's generation fought.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm |
  18. Mullah Lite

    "burning a book of lies will always be a rational act."

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZIUo2yAWz0&w=640&h=360]

    August 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Alvin D

      @Mullah Lite

      I see you are quoting me. I cannot view your video, so I have no idea what you are trying to say.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  19. Guest-A

    " 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. "

    What's that comment about? It wouldnt matter what the book is they're burning? does that mean we, muslims, can get together & burn the bible?
    Well, for starters we wouldnt even do that 'coz we'v got respect for other religions along with our own.
    You don't need to start going against our religion, Islam, JUST because its the fastest growing country in the world.
    Your just putting a bad name to yourself & your own country by doing this.. so go ahead 🙂
    There'll be a day when you'll realise what you'v done is wrong.
    On top of that, you burning the Qura'an won't vanish the words from our hearts, they'r gonna remain there till our last breath (God Willing)
    As far as I know, Our Lord (Allah) will protect the Qura'an & will let no harn come to it.
    So just ordinary people like you can do nothing 🙂

    August 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Alvin D

      @Guest-A

      You obviously don't know what the word "respect" means, since you are so full of disrespect for other religions while saying the opposite. You are one of the liars of this world. A flammable book cannot be protected forever.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      No, it means that ANY burning of books is not allowed by that town. Period. Not even a dictionary.
      And that "Reverend" has a different purpose than to erase some words from people's minds, he's simply trying to inflame his intolerant, ill educated counterparts half a world away.
      He'll probably succeed and claim that the murder of our servicemen and women is a victory.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  20. Niwotmom

    @4thofJulybaby-Taking in the body of Christ, is symbolic ofof Christ living within us, and thus living Christ-like. Unlike taking the lives of infidels on a suicide mission for your 72(?) virgins as a reward.

    May I ask, what faith you belong to?

    August 21, 2010 at 12:56 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.