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. purenrg

    Do you think that God give a damn about books being burn?... God is bigger than this , God is bigger than Muhammad, Jesus or David. God is not going to get offended about books being burn, it is us dumb humans who are so ignorance who think using vengeance or rage is the way to solve a problem. You fools are not hurting God at all ..you are hurting us as a whole. Do you think that by burning qurans you are going to change the world?...you are going to spark hates among us and for what????

    read history first before you do something stupid like this, everything that happen now is our own doing, we did this !! . Focus your energy on a bigger issue like our economy, it s going down the toilet. My fellow Americans unite!!!...this is distraction by design so that we forget the true problem of this country. Beware of the new world order!! You are all infected by the media. They are using the media to divide us all. Educate your self the new Hitler is among us . We must UNITE!! no matter what color, religion or race...WE MUST UNITE!!!! before its to late......

    August 21, 2010 at 2:23 pm |

    Our education about Islam is severely shocking! This is shocking! Click on the following website:
    Then go down on the left side until you reach "Featured Articles." Then click on and read "Islam's Indian Slave Trade." You may be interested in many of the other articles on the website. The fact is that we are not educated regarding the atrocious and reprehensible evils of the Satanic Islamic political-religious system. We desperately need education in this area of Islamic history. Spend some time getting educated and you will be appalled at what Islamic people plan for the USA, as well as the entire world. We MUST do something to turn the tide. If you will educate yourself, you will be glad you did!
    Our education has never covered this extremely violent and sad part of world history. These Satanists have murdered more people in the history of the world than all wars combined. I can't believe what they did in India!

    August 21, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  3. cathy

    what always surprises me is when i see a covered up head to toe in black muslim woman (usually always a black woman)...why are they taken in so easily...well...how can American black women fall for this crapolla and enter into this kind of life.....one day when they wise up a bit it may be too late.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  4. prince

    I am a muslim and I do read quran and I love reading it. Islam does not teach muslims to kill non-muslims. If thats what some muslims think then they are not muslims, infact they are not even humans. Islam teaches us peace and love but not everyone understands that. If you buy a bunch of grapes then not all grapes will be perfect but that don't mean that you throw away the whole bunch. To me what this guy is doing by burning the quran is simply creating a barriar between friends. If all muslims are bad then why when most of you go into town then the muslims don't even look at you, let alone hurt you. I say before you follow any religion then first learn to be a human, learn to love because no religion will teach you to kill anyone who does not follow your religion. I can't say if the bible or any other religious book is bad because I have not read it. All I ask from you is to read the quran in english (the proper one not the fake ones that are going out) and then decide for your self if you should burn it or not.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  5. cathy

    before 9/11 I had a friend who was dating a muslim man. he seemed nice enough but he started to pressure her to marry him and when she kept delaying he left the country. I often wonder about that. So glad my friend didn't marry him. He probably would have taken her with him and maybe we wouldn't have seen her again. I don't trust a muslim as far as II can throw one, especially the men.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  6. SAHIL


    August 21, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  7. lynn

    You would never find a Muslim who would burn a bible-because Muslims believe that Gods word started with the Torah-–continued with the Gospel-and ended with the Quran.
    Why was the Gospel (Bible) sent to the people? Because they needed a reminder.
    The Quran only confims what came before. Read it before you say what you don't know......And yes Muslims do love Jesus may Gods peace be on him. You can't call yourself Muslim if you don't......
    It's so simple-Just read!! Not just parts... the whole of it if you truly want to understand.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • cathy

      so they won't burn a bible but they'll burn up 3000 americans in the name of allah?

      August 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  8. H. Cheves

    Whatever they call themselves, it is absolutely certain that those behind burning Qur'ans are not Christians.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  9. cathy

    IMO it's not ok to burn the US flag or the bible and yes, even the koran. I don't think it's a crime to burn the flag so I don't think it should be a crime to burn the koran either. I also don't believe that the Muslims can live peacefully in any society and the fact that they are here in the US disturbs me. Many yrs. ago when I heard that muslims were cozying up to prisoners in jails I thought maybe it was a good idea but what they were really doing was recruiting criminals right under our nose. I think their practices are evil in that they enslave their women and kill innocent people in the name of their god when they strap bombs on themselves. I wouldn't trust any muslim anywhere, any time.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  10. Mohamed Z. Rahaman

    The Holy Qur'an speak of Jews and Christians as "Ahal al Kitab" (People of the Book). It also says that nearer to you (Muslims) are the Christians. Yes, it does allow believers to fight but it emphasizes that "do not be aggressors" and only to "fight those who fight you". It respects all of the Prophets of the Jews and Christians and mentions many of them by name, including Moses, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Lut, etc. Jesus is also respected as a Prophet and yes, the Holy Qur'an does say that Christians are misguided by claiming Jesus to be divine. Mary, the mother of Jesus is spoken of as being "above all other women".
    Many who talk about certain verses as being anti-Jew or anti-Christian are just parroting what they hear anti-Muslim bigots say and usually quote verses out of context.
    Yes, Muslims.. many are fed up with the politics of US and Israel and the injustices of the occupation. There are many Muslims who consider their opposition of the US and Israel as self- defense. This however, does not excuse terrorism and killing of innocents. More than 99% of all Muslims believe that terrorism in the form of 9-11or suicide bombers is just plain against Islamic principles. So leaving the politics aside and out of the debate – Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Bhuddists, et al, all have differences in belief, concept of God, Heaven and hell and so on., but we also have more similiarities – if we care to explore those.

    One thing for sure, you will never see a Muslim burning the Holy Book of any other faith.


    August 21, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  11. Akira

    I don't see what this guy Terry Jones hopes to accomplish, aside from provoking anger among Muslims, and giving the more fanatical-minded an excuse to go out and try to kill him.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  12. lee

    Did someone try this in this in the 1930's?

    What sort of a fund raiser are they to pull off here? Someone should look into their books$

    August 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
    • Kate


      Don't even need to go back that far – last person who tried something like this was 1969, a chap called Charles Manson. He called his plan Helter Skelter – the Jones' call it christianity.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  13. Muslim Charity

    Please read this,

    Hello all people, i am a true Muslim and i want tell everyone that the 11/september was not from muslim and any thing prouve that is from Muslim, anyway if it is from mens who called their self Muslim but they are not bleave me.

    i realy don't know how to speak english good cause my first language is Arabic and the 2nd is Frensh and 3rd is English,
    but please i want say all the word and i feel my eays know under crying please Islam don't call for killing any one.

    There are a verses in the Quran how say that : Anyone kill such a singel person is like who kill all human and anyone give life to any human like he give life to all human.

    Quran never call for killing i hope that one read this and understand it :'(
    The prophet Muhamad say to us that Chritian peopol are ower brother so be good with them.

    what i can say to you ;'(( there are many many others things that call us to be on peace with all people and love anyone who don't come to kill us, we should to defend ower self and family.This defend is called Jihad , it is just a defend not kil any ather people.

    an ather thing beleave that when you say "Hi" or "Hello" to ather Muslim say "Salam" it is mean that peace upon you (have peace).

    There are many people who don't know else a missunderstand and say that is Islam but it is just a misstake.
    Anyway any one who read this :
    i want to say if you did a bad thing to Islam or Qurun i want say only : i hope that God gift you a good understand of Islam that is all...

    so Salam to all people and on the finsh please if there are a person who can send my call of peace to all people.
    Good bye and think you for reading

    August 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm |
  14. Sandy W.

    I'm pretty sure that's NOT what Jesus would do. It's truly evil and absolutely against everything Christ stood for. Even I know that, and I'm Jewish. These people (being generous here) need to do some serious soul-searching and maybe go out and meet some Muslims with an open mind, not a closed fist. It's WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!!!

    August 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  15. danbeaches

    I do not think any religion is based in historic reality but that is just my opinion, what is becoming clear is this…mainstream moderates on all sides of the organized religion coin need to speak out to counter the mass misconception of their real personal values and morality inflicted upon them by those who pin on the respective labels of legitimate doctrinal voice…which everyone know they do not have.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  16. peace for all2

    Burning a holy book is not right I have never heard a muslim burning a bible Terry Jones needs to know the facts before coming up with a riddulcs reason to burn the quarn If he burns it then it's his doing and who every joins the act

    August 21, 2010 at 1:42 pm |
  17. Alvin D

    Only the severely indoctrinated would think a book to be "holy" in and of itself.

    Followers of religions are like people at the bottom of a lake – the water can be clear but you're still underwater. Watching bubbles float to the surface is very distracting. Will you not drown your children in your faith?
    Merciful is as merciful does.
    Fruits of madness show the rest of us what's really going on.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
  18. Dave

    Religion has outlived its usefullness. Its time for the world to realize all religions have a hand in creating instability in this world, not peace and stability.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  19. daniel kang

    religion does not require a tect or a book. relifion requres the teachings from the devouts before us...
    the parables they tell us
    the virtues they hold and follow
    and the lessons they have learned

    even if you burn the Quran, the Islamic faith will not falter. don't underestimate the strength of faith. with every insult and attack they receive, any religion's conviction will become even stronger. if you are seriously under the impression that a mere burning of a holy text will destroy the spiritual strength (faith) of another, then you are a mere ignorant and blind human being.

    i urge everyone to heed my words...
    RELEASE yourself from the illusions that attacj you to this world and begin to witness and feel the true power of your faith and the never-ending presence of your god....

    August 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  20. daniel kang

    religion does not require a tect or a book. relifion requres the teachings from the devouts before us...
    the parables they tell us
    the virtues they hold and follow
    and the lessons they have learned

    even if you burn the Quran, the Islamic faith will not falter. don't underestimate the strength of faith. with every insult and attack they receive, any religion's conviction will become even stronger. if you are seriously under the impression that a mere burning of a holy text will destroy the spiritual strength (faith) of another, then you are a mere ignorant and blind human being.

    i urge everyone to heed my words...

    August 21, 2010 at 1:39 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.