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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. bedwiya

    Allah Akbar. I,ve seen so many comments but still they did not change anything in our Iman (faith) we don't follow our Religion blindy we know what we believe in. You can BUrn the Quran BUt mind you those are olny Few copies and poor you little you know you can't burn our Iman.

    August 24, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  2. ha khiim

    the Koran speaks with utmost respect about Jesus and has chapter named Mary for Jesus's mother and contains names of most biblical prophets and relates about them in awe and respect. Burning the Koran means you burn them all. Would you like to do that to Mary? To Jesus? To Moses and Noah and others mentioned in the Koran? Extremists are in all faiths...but Moslems did not carry out any holocaust, or crusades or apartheid...it would be best to learn our own history first. Love and Peace does it..that is the way of all scriptures in all faiths. Good people must stop this nonsensical proposed action of burning the Moslem scripture. ha khim.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  3. Abdul

    This is a stupid way to promote the so called "peace".

    Another way to defame Islam as like the event 9/11 happened.

    If this event really happens, Inshallah (If Allah wills) more people will revert to Islam as the same way happened after 9/11 event i..e steep increase in people converting to Islam.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  4. p53

    @edwardel17asan: Why are you trying to educate a complete fool??(reality) Don't bother, he/she is too far gone. The Bible states to same thing to christians, and has been misinterpreted by uneducated preachers in the prodestant, and baptist, catholic, morman, etc... religions. There is not way to argue with a grain of sand. This "reality" character is no different from a grain of sand. Let the wind take him away.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  5. marie love

    This is really funny...i blame media for all this nonsense they gives out wrong info and make Muslim look bad. Shame that Americans are stupid and not even try to get to know what Islam has to offer. Every culture and every religion have good and bad and we all know Christan have some asshole too. so what go ahead burn everything i still tell u no one can take Muslims faith away....

    August 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  6. scott

    it's amazing to me that human beings are willing to kill each other over who's myths are better.

    looking at sharia law - it is apparent that this male dominated culture is so threatened by women and sexuality in general that they will never emerge as an enlightened, productive society. i once had a well educated friend in college - a brilliant student - tell me that if anyone insulted his honor - he would of course kill them.

    i asked if he was serious. he looked at me with glaring eyes and said - 'of course!'

    i am curious what kind of physician he turned out to be.

    by contrast, the fundamentalist christians are at least a couple of hundred years more advanced. more harmless, i guess - but only just.

    August 23, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  7. khurshed ansari

    In QURAN itself its written that ALLAH will take care of QURAN.Burning a QURAN or by celebrating a BURN QURAN DAY will not help any one rather than creating a negative impact.QURAN is not to burn,QURAN is to respect,read & understand whats there in QURAN. Why we find QURAN in every part of the world scince its ALLAH gifted for everyone who read & understand QURAN.
    Who ever has planned this PLZ stop it OR else be ready to fight with ALLAH.

    August 23, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  8. Reality77

    Why dont all you self obsessed idiots who are against islam look into what really happened on september 11th, no you wont do that cause its too time consuming if you looked further into it and linked it with the satan worshippers you would see that it was an inside job,

    How about you take time out go on you tube and look at the arrivals series before you hate islam

    August 23, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  9. Peacemaker

    Please dont spread the hatred, peace is the only solution for all problems. By performing this act of barbarism you are creating hatred among each other. Good and Bad exist in every religion and for some bad people you should not blame or punish all.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:25 am |
  10. Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

    Seven Deadly Sins:

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkqVvTcG-A4&w=640&h=360]

    August 23, 2010 at 12:52 am |
  11. Rida

    I am not agree with this action. This is not what jesus want. Eventough in my country muslim people burned our churchs and killed and injured the christian people during they pray, but we christian in indoesia never revenge what they did to us. not be cause we " christian" afraid but we always remember what jesus teach us about " Love".

    August 22, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  12. K

    Hearing something like this sick idea makes me ashamed to share a religion or a country with these KNOW NOTHINGS. Perhaps they should look into the origins of Islam and find our common roots.

    August 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
  13. The everyday Muslim

    One act of hate does not counteract another act of hate. True religion of islam lies in the heart of it's people. The Quran is guidance to mankind which condemns acts of hate towards any other. There are extremists in all religion and you cannot label the common man or community of Christian, muslim, Jew or whomever with the same label of extremism. We can all learn to live together and any such act will simply add to the current sour feelings felt by many. May Allah/god/Bhagwan/lord Give us the sense and bless us with the wisdom we need to make this world better. Ameen

    August 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
  14. Fad

    Can anybody tell me one thing only one thing that muslim did and that make them look bad? islam is a religious of peace, anything that other people does and put on the name of islam its not true..
    People are calling for war and saying the prophet told them to, thats not true... its mostly about oil, politic or power and they need people behind them thats why they say its for the religions.
    There is nothing we are forcing to other people, but we fight BACK like to DEFEND ourselves like anybody else.
    So just tell me, please!
    Salam, May God bless us all and bring peace among us!

    August 22, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
  15. Mark from Middle River

    Peace2 – The spewing of hate and inflamatory rhetoric is the virtual game that many here like to play. Its the classic trolling. Except Reality, that's something he or she just has a ax to grind.

    My favorites are the "please read" and the "go to this link" folks. I wonder if they think folks are actually going to any of those links. I like this blog section though because people can rant and scream and hopefully get what ever is digging around in their britches off their shoulders. Sadly Peace, there are few people here on these blogs that want true peace through communications and sharing of cultures and ideals. They want peace, the peace that comes at the end of completely eliminating their enemy from the planet.

    August 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  16. Kate

    Off topic – do the moderators ever actually look at the blog comments to approve comments waiting moderation – or do they just ignore them?

    August 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  17. Pram

    Individual person can be bad not any religion or holy book like Bible or Quran. if you burn Quran, it will create tentions, worried where muslims and christian live together.....religious war will be started........millions of Bible will be burn from different places, then who will be the responsible? It can't bring peace rather it will make the situation worse. Goverment must stop this silly and stupid event in any circumstance.

    August 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  18. Arab

    listen u guys wanna have a burn the quran day come to dearborn and do it. lets see how thats gonna turn out

    August 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  19. Concern Muslims

    PLAN ON BURNING OF COPIES OF QURAN
    It is a mystery that a group that believes muslims are their own brothers are making arrangement to destroy their brothers' holy book. The person that will have the mind of executing this act will not hesitate,if may be permitted, in destroying the muslims.However,this may unlikely be achieved.

    How will a religious believer think of destroyjng a holy book belonging to his own brother's religion? How will such a person feel if his own religion's holy book is to be destroyed by others?

    The International burn quran day plan will simply add pressure to the whole world and it will be a source for increased terrorism that the global world has succeeded in fighting. It will certainly ignite hostilities world wide.

    We urge the entire world communities to stall the intention so as not to cause what might possibly turn to a third world war.

    August 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  20. Mariamne

    Those that don't believe in anything will fall for anything.

    August 22, 2010 at 1:11 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.