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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. ICEMAN

    hey Nonimouse do you know the true religion of christianity ? i'll tell you one thing if it don't go past 325ad then you need to study some buddy. Oh do you have the right bible? ........DO THIS READ THE BIBLE AND READ ALL THE BOOKS IT TALKS ABOUT BUT WHAT.........THERE NOT IN THE BIBLE? Y. someone didn't think it went with their teachings

    August 20, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
    • freewoman

      whats a RIGHT bible?

      now thats funny!!

      August 21, 2010 at 12:20 am |
    • peace2all

      @ICEMAN

      Yeah... I am with @freewoman on this one... What is a RIGHT bible.....? I gotta' here the answer to this one.....

      Peace...

      August 21, 2010 at 2:43 am |
  2. Cletus

    It's sad how most of the people leaping to defend Islam have absolutely no idea what the religion is about.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
    • ThePeachFedora

      @Cletus

      That's because they are probably undercover TeaParty activists following a script made to rile things up.
      There are real people in this country who want civil war by any means. I believe that someone or some group wants to seize power after a civil war or invasion. What other reasons could there be for such blatant hatemongering as we see in this blog? Enemies foreign or domestic. Choose your weapon.

      August 21, 2010 at 3:29 am |
    • freewoman

      all the myth makers jump to defend each other... they must protect the cash cow herds even if it is the infidel neighbors you swear to kill for god in church each sunday.

      August 21, 2010 at 5:38 am |
  3. diredocjr

    Burn all religious texts. No force on planet Earth has been more responsible for death, ignorance, and destruction than organized religion. No proof whatsoever of any omnipotent being in space creating or controlling anything. The more religion grabs hold of the masses, the further back in time we go.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  4. ICEMAN

    hey Nonimouse do you know the true religion of christianity ? i'll tell you one thing if it don't go past 325ad then you need to study some buddy. Oh do you have the right bible? ........DO THIS READ THE BIBLE AND READ ALL THE BOOKS IT TALKS ABOUT BUT WHAT.........THERE NOT IN THE BIBLE? Y. hit me back

    August 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
  5. Dominique

    As a resident of Gainesville, a Christian and student at the University of Florida and I am not only appalled but I am ashamed at The Dove World Outreach Church. This church is against anyone who is not against White and Christian. They are an embarrassment to the city. The fact that members of this church think this is a way to commemorate a dark day in America's history is plain insanity. Radical extremist attacked the country on September 11 and should not be taken out on all Muslims and the Quran in general. It's an absolute shame and I think the city was right to ban the burning. People's ignorance and racism truly astound me.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:30 pm |
    • freewoman

      honey try walking down a street in a muslim country in your American cloths and see how tollerant they will be of you.

      2 seconds you would be whipped then stoned to death...

      coming to your neighborhood soon... the muzzy modesty police. They beat you first than ask questions if you are still alive. Who's your daddy so we can kill him too for allowing you to be a FREE Woman.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      whats modesty?
      its not in the American Standard Dictionary.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:13 am |
  6. Ray

    There's nothing worse than a bunch of uptight religious leaders who have to act like they speak for the whole when they go out and make stupid recommendations to Attack a different religion. I guess they need attention. Hey look at me I represent "GOD ALMIGHTY" and they wonder why there are athiest in the world LOL

    August 20, 2010 at 11:29 pm |
    • freewoman

      i wonder why there aren't more atheists.... more atheists.. less killers for god..

      works for me..

      August 20, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • Justina

      Atheists are the worst killers the humans have ever encountered. They proved it in the shortest time.

      August 21, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  7. JustaPeasant

    Christians and Muslims have been fighting for how many years now...it just happen to have found its way to America.....but its a never ending battle.Sucks people have to fuel the fire.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  8. Rick49

    I would urge everyone to read the Koran for yourself and get off you lazy intellectual butts.
    You may be surprised.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  9. SurRy

    “Where they burn books, they will ultimately also burn people.” Heinrich Heine

    August 20, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • nomoregbldguk

      what makes you think they haven't already? Owie! and then a Just Recompense...UFO Human LInk ...Homeland Letters

      August 21, 2010 at 1:31 am |
    • Mike

      We can only hope!...

      August 21, 2010 at 5:22 am |
    • junaid

      im a muslims and i promote peace and condemn violence..

      mike wants to burn people...

      who is the terrorist again?

      August 21, 2010 at 10:33 am |
  10. MB

    Cool. Way to escalate the holy war. Yawn.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  11. Leanne

    I am not sure exactly how I feel about this church burning Korans. But I do strongly agree with their belief that Islam is the devil. You can't create death, oppression of "your" people, and mayhem yet not be of the evil one. I do believe the Bible tells us Christians to stand against the behaviours of the unbelievers. And to seperate ourselves from those behaviors. I haven't been to either of these churches. But I don't see how a church that preaches the true gospel of Jesus Christ can have different types of religions that don't believe in Jesus mixed into it. So this church that is protesting the burning of the Koran seems like it might not be a true church of Jesus Christ.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:25 pm |
    • Khondakar Golam Mowla

      Please answer my following questions.

      Who have stolen 4 contintents i.e. North America, South America, Australia, Artic killing all inhabitents and occupied whole world and looted wealth of whole world.

      And the answer id enemies of Prophet Jesus (Peace be upon him) i.e. Roman/Europeans and Europe and those 4 stolen continents is half of whole world with one fourth world population and remaining three fourth world population live in Asia and Africa with poverty. Rest is in :

      http://www.caliphate-Khilafah.com

      Thanks,

      August 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  12. Jeff

    Christianity is a violent religion, anyone ever hear of the Crusades? Muslims doing nothing, and getting attacked by Christians high on religious fervor? F*** this S***.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • stevensw

      You're an idiot. The byzantine empire was invaded by Muslims for thousands of years. Europe was nearly conquered, read about the Battle of Tours, look up Charles Martel. Islam was like a plague, they had their own crusades the christian crusades were just a mere response, and on a much lower scale.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
    • stevensw

      By the way Islam, as opposed to Christianity, was spread by violence. Muhammad, unlike Jesus, was a warlord. Christianity was not spread by violence, people converted of their own accord.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:38 pm |
    • Leanne

      I agree with Stevensw, you are an idiot. Why don't you tape a Bible to your chest and start walking the streets of any muslim controlled country. You wouldn't make it 50 yards before you were stoned to death, literally buried up to your chest and stones thrown at your head until you are dead! And you think muslims are violent or mean.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • freewoman

      those pre-chirstian Jews were just as crazy as the now muzzys... thats why the Romans created Christianity.. to give the Jews their savior and save the world from their insanity. but it just brought on more and more. Myths are madness...

      August 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      its a matter of opinion whether islam spread by violence or because it is such a deep meaningful religion. what is pretty obvious from reading history is that christianity desperately needs violence to be relevant. it was going out of business in europe before it came up with the idea of the crusades and made itself useful for 300 years. as soon as the crusades ended, christianity started to disappear again. now today, christianity is simply a Bible printing operation, no one takes it seriously. Except when it starts to clamour for warring and crusading. only then people rally around it.

      Crusades give christianity a sense of purpose and relevance among its own people. Islam does not need crusades, it has millions and millions of practicing adherents, they have vast stretches of lands they control where they can spend their time developing shariah laws and what not. Crusades (i.e. terr orism) are actually more of a distraction for muslims! they distract from any attempts to build a caliphate back home.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:11 am |
  13. doofus

    i'm absolutely stunned that anyone thinks this (book burning party) is a good idea. hopefully that church burns down when they burn the quran pile. clearly, they know NOTHING of what their own book says. again, Christians doing their best to make sure America looks as horrible as possible in the eyes of many, many other nations.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
    • freewoman

      most other nations have tossed the myth thing already and are laughing at the Americans for being so

      mythic crazy.. REALLY... we are the last bible nuts.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
  14. Ray

    Ok so because of some extremist we condem the whole now Im not religious so correct me if im wrong didnt the so called christians go around torturing jews if they didnt accept christ? Now I dont care what you believe in thats totally up to you but dont go condemning others for what they believe after all this is what America was built on. If you dont agree walk away Christians, Jews, Catholics, Muslems and whatever other religion I may have missed you all have the right as long as you respect others. Just my thoughts

    August 20, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  15. Rational

    It's a great day to be a Buddhist

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

      Buddhist-majority nations have no religious freedom. Your monks are destroying churches. Grow up, please.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
    • (B)iraq Hussein Osama

      until the chinese or american drones arrive. then you are sitting ducks!

      August 21, 2010 at 2:03 am |
  16. stevensw

    libs all for burning the american flag, but against burning the koran

    hey it just so happens the terrorists believe the same exact thing, what a small world huh?

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

      and what proof do you have that libs are for burning flags? it is an extremely uneducated statement to claim that libs are unamerican and hate america (by burning our flag im assuming thats what you think libs feel about america)... libs just have a different political philosophy...

      but your statement also claims that terrorist burn our flag, in the same regard wouldnt be their equivalent by burning qurans....

      August 21, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  17. H4abworld

    Say what you want to say, it does not matter it is freedom of speech. Go ahead p*ss some one off, freedom of speech is ,
    not going to save your *ss , it is just words to another Islam , it does not come with protection guns tanks fighter jets,
    It just makes you a bigger target. We take our freedom of speech to an unhealthy level of hate and persecution.
    Christians are not suppose to judge or persecute any one. Why does so many people go against the grain of the Bible.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    I have lost all fate in this country. Personaly tomorrow i will burn a bible whos with me?

    August 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
    • freewoman

      give to me.. let me recycle it first... wipe wipe... ahh... s h i t again..

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

      People whose souls are absorbed in the low traffic of vulgar vices, are incapable of moving in any superior region.

      August 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  19. LIberal4Obama

    This is what the Tea Baggers have brought to America: Hate and Racism

    August 20, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
    • Leanne

      Correct me if I am wrong but I do believe most African Americans say that Hate and racism started in this country way before now????? I mean isn't that the reason for the civil war that started in 1861????? So if this country is so hate filled and racis why don't all you move to the countries that burn our flag??? Oh and while you are over there in a Muslin controlled country burning our flag you can join them in a burn the Bible party too.

      August 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
    • freewoman

      the bag lady is back...

      August 20, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
    • junaid

      Leanne- the statement didnt say that hate and racism hasnt existed before, it just states that the tea party's message is of hate and racism...

      let say i go to a pot-luck party and everyone has brought apple pie to that party before i get there and then i show up with an apple pie also... me bringing an apple pie doesnt mean that no apple pies existed before i came, it just means im bringing the same thing...

      August 21, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  20. Me

    How about a recycle a Quran day ...lets turn them all into Holy Bibles instead, and tell the politically correct to stay home.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
    • lorgat

      Difference between the bible and the quran.
      you can distroy the bibles and print a new versions completely different to the previous and write some cock and bull story what people want to hear and christians will believe anything.
      However burn all the qurans and the next day we will print billions of quran exactly like the previous you burned,how is it possible.i will tell you Allah (god) too extra measures to preserve the quran.there are millions of hafiz al quran (guardians of the quran) you see hafiz is a person who has memorized the whole 114 chapters word by word every coma,every full stop .nobody can distroy the quran.almighty has made it possible for muslims to memorize the quran.no you can not distroy muslim or islam.unlike your bibles of contradictions has been changed a thousand times original bible was lost centuries ago,all you christians have been sold out by you religious leaders long time ago.you only believe in the devils bible which you read to day ,when our prophet jesus of islam comes he will declare war on all the christians.yes jesus we believe in him but not as god.

      August 21, 2010 at 1:36 am |
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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.