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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. vectrex

    seriously, all of you ridiculous people with your religions!!! so many innocent people suffer or die because of your absurd arguments about who's religion is better and all that fantasy that you believe in! wake up people, seriously, u r not in fantasy land! instead of wasting the time and praying to a fairytale character, help someone who doesnt have a shoe to put on, a bed to sleep in, a glass of clean water to drink and etc. u catch my drift!! WAKE UP!!! all this story book rhetoric and fighting and arguing is gonna destroy this world someday! i used to believe in a god when i was younger but im glad i realized that it's nothing but fairy tale fantasy for crying out loud!!!! im always amazed when i read some of the comments posted, im like "is this person for real? it's the 20th century and they believe this stuff so deeply", it's sad and so absurd! make a better use of your energy and life and do something physical to truly help someone or a cause!!!

    August 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • Richard

      So true. What would we fight for if not for a fairytale?

      August 21, 2010 at 6:58 am |
  2. aba

    Muslims have watched american television and figured america should be easy to take over. Hollywood has done no favors for america.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      like the zionists. the muslims are slowly realizing how easy it is to takeover America!

      August 21, 2010 at 1:36 am |
  3. Androloma

    Print it or burn it: Bible, Koran, or Rig-Veda. You can't destroy the life mythologies hold over the minds of some people. None of these works are the word of God, because any god would have written better.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
    • Asim

      sure they are not work of God. but at least you can learn some morality and spiritualities from all these texts. but the main intention of koran is to spread evil in this world.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
    • Justina

      People like you just want God to be forgetful about your sins.

      August 21, 2010 at 12:31 am |
  4. Phillip Bias

    I dont care about religion
    WE ARE AT WAR WITH ISLAM
    So burn away boys, i might just flame up a case or 2 myself
    We all know mohammed was a pediphile and a pagan

    August 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  5. freewoman

    Watch for the books The Single Stand.... This fall.

    put old jesus in his rightful place.. finally.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  6. freedom of speech

    If they want to build a mosque in ground zero and being protected by the us constitution then burning of Koran is also protected by us constitution aka freedom of speech.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:49 pm |
  7. Joe

    The "Prophet" Muhammad beheaded people and stoned women, hence the "modern" Muslim practices. Islam is not a peaceful religion, no matter what anyone says.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • freewoman

      yep after all the beheading and stoning there is peace..

      this Muslim logic.

      When you kill all the infidels.. there will be peace.. nothing but the idiots will remain.

      August 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • muslim boy

      Allah(Peace be upon him) will bring peace to the world by killing all those opposed to him. Islam is peace, peace after beheading.

      August 21, 2010 at 12:01 am |
    • Bekah

      And many were beheaded and executed in the Old Testament. Your point is what?

      August 21, 2010 at 12:22 am |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      compared to christiandom with its ultra violent communism, its nazism and jewish mass exterminations and its massive massive killing world wars, Muhammad and his islam are like little peaceful children in comparison!

      August 21, 2010 at 1:34 am |
    • Burn Notice

      @freewoman

      wow

      August 21, 2010 at 2:13 am |
    • Joe

      Yeah, there was a lot of violence in the Bible, but guess what...Christianity has adapted to modern times. In America, we are not perfect, but we don't bury people up to their waste and stone them. And on top of that, women are free to express themselves. In America, women are not told who to marry, and it's actually a crime to rape them. You can beat around the bush all you want to, but Islam is archaic and barbaric.

      August 23, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  8. MUSLIM GIRL

    A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the antisocial elements of society, such as thieves, dacoits and rapists. Whenever such an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among the common people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to selective people i.e. anti-social elements, and not to the common innocent people. In fact a Muslim should be a source of peace for innocent people

    August 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • freewoman

      i can'r imagine anything more anti social than a woman in a burka...
      shed that rag of shame woman and let your female power be seen and respected. If think a black rag will protect you from a raging pen is think again..

      Show the world your are a goddess.. not a piece of property of a stupid male.

      On the steps of the Wyoming state capital is a huge statue of a woman. on the pedestal that the statue stands is a statement that the state of Wyoming is the first government in the world to grant women equality.

      You will never see that statement in any mythic holy book!!

      If it would be it should be listed as the first COMMANDMENT!

      Women are equal to all men in all things no exceptions! EVER!!

      NOW that is something to be proud of!!

      August 20, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
    • Asim

      In which world do you live? Try to look at islam based on real world happenings and face of islam is places where it is more powerful. No one who knows islamic history or read its religious books can honestly say it is a peaceful religion. you have to really blind to 95% of its teachings to believe it is such a wonderful religion.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
    • MUSLIM GIRL

      @freewoman
      Hijaab for men

      People usually only discuss ‘hijaab’ in the context of women. However, in the Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijaab’ for men before ‘hijaab’ for the women. The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:

      "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do."
      [Al-Qur’an 24:30]

      The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.

      Hijaab for women.

      The next verse of Surah Noor, says:

      " And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons..."
      [Al-Qur’an 24:31]

      August 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm |
    • MUSLIM GIRL

      @Asim
      go and read islamic history first and then comment

      August 20, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • jdnobody

      check out faithfreedom.org, islam-watch.org, religionofpeace.com/org
      islam is a violent hate mongering cult.
      A moderate muslim is either a not-true-muslim or a liar.
      Quran, the war manual, does not allow its followers to live peacefully,
      co-exist with other faiths.
      If they are, they are doing so to simply bide their time,
      building up the critical mass, the numbers.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      check out Hitler and the gassing of six million jews to see where cults like fathfreedomorg lead you to!

      August 21, 2010 at 1:32 am |
    • Latinopwr

      Islam has more in common with the Nazism than anyother cult. In fact a muslim who kills an infidel is called a Q(N)azi! Sorry didn't mean to call Islam a cult. Faithfreedom.org is by a former muslim

      August 21, 2010 at 2:32 am |
  9. ........

    People, please come to civility! One day Koran is burnt, another day Bible, or other day the Torah. Where is it leading us to, so called civil society? THINK, with both side of your brain!!!!

    August 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • Carole Y.

      I say for every Koran that is burned we also burn a bible and a torah, finally ridding our world of these silly books that have caused so much damage to humanity

      August 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
  10. Michael

    Islam is not a religion, it is a tool designed to take away rights of others and force others to abide by their rules. ENOUGH OF THIS ALREADY>

    August 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
  11. MUSLIM GIRL

    Muslims ruled Spain for 800 years.

    Muslims ruled Spain for about 800 years. The Muslims in Spain never used the sword to force the people to convert. Later the Christian Crusaders came to Spain and wiped out the Muslims. There was not a single Muslim in Spain who could openly give the adhan, that is the call for prayers.

    Islam is the fastest growing religion in America and Europe.

    Today the fastest growing religion in America is Islam. The fastest growing religion in Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers? coz its the truth JUST THINK AND YOUR FIND YOUR WAY TO THE TRUTH
    An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask, which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?

    August 20, 2010 at 10:45 pm |
    • birdseye

      number would grow only because muslim women are baby making machines and they produce 5-8 that they cannot fend and expect charity and welfare from society

      August 20, 2010 at 10:51 pm |
    • MUSLIM GIRL

      @birdseye
      hey do u have a brain. can u see the difference between both percentage ,, 5-8 kids what r u saying live in the true world man stop being a dummy..
      eventually all non-muslims will burn in hell

      August 20, 2010 at 11:15 pm |
    • stevensw

      don't make me tell your husband you lifted your burka to type

      August 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
    • stevensw

      there's no such thing as a muslim girl by the way, the proper term is jawa

      August 20, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
    • muslim boy

      I know a guy who converted to islam because he can have four wives and 72 virgins .

      August 20, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • freewoman

      muslim boy.

      and if he believes it he is a true muslim... a peni s worshiper..

      August 21, 2010 at 12:08 am |
    • Baltimore MD

      well I really dont think the prisons count there girl ...... as a corrections officer these converts are a joke and resort right back to their ways and they are back in the system again

      August 21, 2010 at 12:09 am |
    • Dave

      Muslim Girl,
      From what you said that is why we don't like MUSLIMS!

      August 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  12. Capt. Tom

    My book is better then you're book...lol...lol...lol Man is a stupid animal. I don't believe in god but I would love to see him come on down now. Imagine the looks on most christians, not to mention some in other religions!!!

    August 20, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  13. Brian James

    Good for these Christians. This is exactly what the leaders of the Muslim world did NOT do after 9/11. And that is why so many Americans hate them.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  14. aba

    Islam needs christians to be peaceful and turn the other cheek, makes it easy to rule over them that way.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      christians need muslims, so they can start a war and people notice christianity exists.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:28 am |
  15. Al

    If a Bible was being burned, this would be accepted, as well?

    August 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  16. HisPanicAndHerPanic

    The Moose-lims extremists kill in the name of God. They terrorize their own in the name of God. The commit atrocities against women, children and the elderly in the name of God. No one cares to understand them, no one cares to see/hear from them. In fact they are hated and people want to see their demise. If they disappeared from the face of the earth, would anyone care?

    August 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      if no one cares about what moose lims do, why are you posting here. idiot.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:27 am |
    • Clayton

      Wow. Does this mean all white people are bombers? After all, Timothy McVeigh was white. Are all black people snipers? After all, John Allen Muhammad was black. Are all hispanics in the drug cartels? No.

      To judge an entire race or religion by the acts of select radicals is completely insane. I have met some extremely nice Muslims. Here is a better question. If all ignorant people died, would anyone care?

      P.S. I wlll say a prayer for you tonight that you are not judged or dismissed the way you seem to judge others.

      August 21, 2010 at 5:24 am |
  17. Crescent

    PEOPLE, come back to civility! One day Koran is burnt, other day the Bible, or another day the Torah. Where does it really take us to? THINK, and in the process use both side of your brain please!!!

    August 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  18. Kevin

    If everyone stopped pretending they know intimate details about the universe's prime mover we wouldn't be having this discussion. A future generation will hopefully have shed this ancient trend.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
    • Tardis

      Excellent comment, Kevin. One can only hope for a peaceful future but as long as religion controls our lives, there will always be hatred. Logic and religion don't go together.

      August 21, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  19. Siara

    What kind of sick jerk would burn a document which attempts to give people decency, steadiness, and a moral compass?

    August 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  20. John

    Mama says Islam is the debil. You stay away from that Islam! And Ben Franklin is the debil! And remember, alligators are ornery because they got all them teeth! – Gotta love ignorance. At the very least, it is entertaining.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:41 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.