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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. seth

    My fondest HOPE is that as these evil christian cretins gather to pour the gasoline on the bonfire, GOD strikes the field in which they stand with lightning BURNING them all.

    America has a big problem. Evangelical Christianity is a disease. It has been spreading for quite sometime. People in the millions are saying "America is a Christian nation, and we are taking it back".

    Folks, this IS a problem.

    August 22, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  2. Reality

    Muslims should burn or landfill their korans. Ditto for Christians and Jews and their bibles. Said books were written by con artists and burning or landfilling these books will emphasize this point.

    August 22, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  3. John Frost

    Mohammad was illiterate and had no "holy" book for his new religion. A Christian arrived in Mekka and since He knew so much about the Christian Bible was led to Mohammad and was hired to write "Revelations" for Mohammed.
    The Quran is made up of Revelations.
    The Christian wrote the Quran of whatever He remembered of the Bible that's why the Quran seems to be a mixed up incomplete Bible.
    Later the Christian returned to Christian lands and said:
    "Mohammad knows nothing but what I have written for Him"
    This passage is there in the Bukhari verses of the Quran.
    In all Muslim countries it's a crime to carry or read the Holy Bible. They don't want you to read the truth.
    The Torah is 3500 yrs old, Given from G-d to Moses (This Book is the only one that can be called "Holy" Given to all mankind)
    The Christian Bible is 2010 Yrs Old
    and the Quran is 1376 yrs old
    *****Hence I can never ever convert to Islam.*****

    August 22, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  4. Azula

    Terrorists who use the name of Allah to kill innocent people do not deserve to be called Muslim. As does Pastor Jones does not deserve to be called a Christian.

    If we do not judge those Christian sinners by their religion, I don't think it's fair to judge Muslim sinners by theirs. By sinning, they are already going against their religion. They don't respect their religion's laws. So why do we still attach their religion to them when they themselves stray far from it?

    August 22, 2010 at 10:04 am |
    • peace2all

      @ Azula

      Pretty well said....

      Peace....

      August 22, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  5. reflect101

    Burning a book resolves nothing. The Muslim community should ask itself why and how faithful Muslims can restore the confidence of the Global community in their faith. I have not heard daily outrage by Muslim leaders stating their support to end the acts of radical Muslims. Americans are willing to accept religion's that are peaceful and fair. Americans are rapidly growing tired over the Muslim double standard. Sharia Law, nothing more needs to be said other than it has no place in the U.S. Any respectable religion would "get" the Mosque issue in New York. Defiance of the Muslim community again, no respect. If you feel persecuted here in the U.S. why not return to your home where you can fully embrace your religious freedoms.

    August 22, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  6. John Frost

    Mohammad was illiterate and had no "holy" book for his new religion. A Christian arrived in Mekka and since He knew so much about the Christian Bible was led to Mohammad and was hired to write "Revelations" for Mohammed.
    The Quran is made up of Revelations.
    The Christian wrote the Quran of whatever He remembered of the Bible that's why the Quran seems to be a mixed up incomplete Bible.
    Later the Christian returned to Christian lands and said:
    "Mohammad knows nothing but what I have written for Him"
    This passage is there in the Bukhari verses of the Quran.
    Hence I can never ever convert to Islam.

    August 22, 2010 at 9:10 am |
  7. zeshan farooqi

    Hear oh Isreal your lord our God he is one and love the Lord. It is sad they have to do it but burning a holy book which is a mercy for us and them wont harm us we have them all over the internet and in our home and plenty in copy and predicted in the bible as well. did you all know jesus spoke aramaic and called his father Allah just like we muslims do. Do you know no muslims is a muslim unless he belives in jesus as the messiah that his birth was a miracle and that he is coming back
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RbVt8Us8aY&feature=related
    watch this video itll tell you I LOVE JESUS and the Quran Loves Jesus and His mother theres a chapter dedicated to his mother she is the only women mentioned by name in the Quran...........theres no excuse to be ignorant in this world its what satan wants us to do...............http://www.signsofthelastday.com/1_returntoearth.html
    Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He has sent down the Book to you with truth, confirming what has there before it. And He sent down the Torah and the Gospel, previously, as guidance for mankind, and He has sent down the Furqan (the Criterion of judgement between right and wrong). (Surah Al ‘Imran: 2-4)

    He (‘Isa) is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it. But follow me. This is a straight path. (Surat az-Zukhruf: 61)

    Remember when Allah said, “‘Isa, son of Maryam, remember My blessing to you and to your mother when I reinforced you with the Purest Spirit so that you could speak to people in the cradle and when you were fully grown (wakahlan) …” (Surat al-Ma’ida: 110)

    He will speak to people in the cradle, and also when fully grown (wakahlan), and will be one of the righteous. (Surah Al 'Imran: 46)

    Isa’ (as) is the Messenger of Allah and His Word. (Surat an-Nisa’: 171)

    Allah gave his name as the Messiah, ‘Isa (as), son of Maryam (as). (Surah Al ‘Imran: 45)

    He was made a sign for all the worlds. (Surat al-Anbiya’: 91)

    ‘Isa (as) was given the Gospel. (Surat al-Hadid: 27)

    Those who divinized him have committed an error and fallen into blasphemy. (Surat al-Ma’ida: 72)

    The disbelievers plotted against him in order to kill him, but Allah nullified their plot. (Surah Al ‘Imran: 54)

    (And We cursed them) for their saying, “We killed the Messiah, ‘Isa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah." They did not kill him and they did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him. (Surat an-Nisa’: 157)

    READ READ READ SURAH MARYAM!!!! you will know that him peace buh and His mother were honarable in this life and the hereafter may the peace and blessings of allah be with you!!!!!!!

    August 22, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  8. ICEMAN

    LOL funny i mean what i write, i write what i mean so i am a loving peaceful man. When i was into my christanity blindly i couldn't understand why people don't believe in God but i truely understand THERE POINT OF VIEW SOOOO I THOUGHT I SAID IT PLAINLY ENOUGH..... like how you came at me with some lyrics cool. I debate to each and learn mostly learn cause there is so much to learn from people.

    August 22, 2010 at 6:43 am |
  9. Ahmad

    Infamous Pastor Terry Jones, known for his activism against the Gainesville Florida mayor, and for his "Burn a Koran Day" has been arrested for possession of child pornography. Wednesday August 4, 2010 Pastor Terry Jones was arrested for sharing pictures of children in various states of nudity over the popular file sharing network Limewire.

    August 22, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  10. ICEMAN

    LOOK PEOPLE WARS HAS BEEN STARTED OVER ALOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS.....YOU HAVE GOOD AND EVIL THAT'S IT ...THATS THE BOTTOM LINE EVEN IF YOUR NOT RELIGIOUS....THERE ARE GOOD MUSLIMS AND THEY ARE EVIL ONES WHO WISH TO DO HARM TO OTHERS....WE HAVE RACIST.....HELL WARS HAS BEEN FOUGHT OVER LAND ADN THINGS AS SIMPLE AS SALT....WHEN ITS ALL SAID AND DONE IT'S GOOD VS EVIL....SO WHEN I HEAR I WILL ONLY BURN A THE QURAN IF A MUSLIM IS STANDING THERE HOLDING IT, THAT WAY I CAN GET RID OF 2 EVILS AT ONCE THEN ..........YOU MY FRIEND NEED TO GO TO YOUR BATHROOM AND LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND YOU WILL SEE ALL THE EVIL THAT IS IN THE WORLD .....

    August 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  11. Keith

    Iran lit the fuse for WWlll today, or wasn't anyone paying attention?

    August 21, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  12. yosra

    if u wana burn the QURAN burn the bible.....

    August 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  13. Keith

    All this talk is going to be academic. Iran lit the fuse for World War 3 today by fueling that reactor. God is going to use teeny tiny Israel as the anvil to smash the Islamic nations surrounding her. When you see Damascus turned into a ruinous heap as described in Isaiah 17:1 muslims and others need to look to the Holy God of Israel and His Son Jesus Christ as Savior. See Jahih Muslim Book 041, Number 7015. I'm not trying to pick a fight with muslims on this, but reason with them.

    August 21, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  14. haneef abdul rafee

    some people blame all muslims for the few that say that they are muslims but don't actually live muslim lives. the event of 9/11 was a hard and sad time for americans. and all righteous muslims condem the actions of those few on that day. but if you want to compare the violence of muslim history to that of christianity or to the history of the jews there will be no comparison. for the violence the jews and the chritians have contributed to history far outways that of islam. now the unjust violence brung by those who falsely wear the garb of islam is a tragedy to the world. but it was done but individuals who were extremist. but that of other religions were committed by the religion as a whole with the consent of their leaders this is not so of islam. so before you can begin to speak on islam know where you come from and know history as a whole

    August 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  15. Amir

    The pastor was arrested for child pornography...
    All I can say is: KARMA.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
  16. Salem

    So stupid and idiotic act... these people are trying to play games with us but we still don’t realise it, if they are Muslims, Christians, Jews or any other faith. We must wake up and say no to all of these idiotic acts.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  17. scrumbugulous

    To CNN IT,

    Please register/sort posts based on your server's time. Using local time causes posts to be buried (not at the top or bottom).

    August 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  18. scrumbugulous

    There should be a story with a matching headline "Burn a Quran Day Praised" as there are thousands of likes on the Facebook page (according to another anti-Burn a Quran story by CNN).

    Again, don't care either way about the burning, but CNN is coming off a bit biased here.

    August 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  19. Peaceee

    Take This From A 12 Year Old. Burning the quran will not help get that in ur head.Thats just gonna make things worse i wudent go and burn ur god damn bible wud i? and so what if i did? will it hurt u? does it effect u on anything???!! no i wanna know if it means anything to u ? okay go ahead burn 1 quran? alright do it feel happy about it but mr smarti pants god will know what hes gonna do to u later when u die okay so be happy about it now later god will show u. yea sure muslims are kinda not fair but its just the religeon we all need to respect not all muslims are like each other im a muslim i wanna make a diffrence but NOT LIKE THIS!

    August 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  20. akimbo

    he's wrong !!!!!! he don't understand that the quran is the centre of the forgivness and the people who had done the 11septembre actions are not muslims they don't even understand what's the meaning of being muslim so don't judge on islam without reading the quran or without living with REAL muslims we are 1.5 billon muslim in the world so it happen that a few from us will not understand the islam and do a mistake (11 sptembre) and there going to be punished by ALLAH we are muslims and ALLAH will DO the right thing for those about to burn his book and please see this video you'll find a little part of the real islam http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xebuf8_what-is-islam_lifestyle

    August 21, 2010 at 6:08 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.