August 23rd, 2010
01:55 PM ET

Religious leaders speak out against International Burn a Quran Day

Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center, stands in front of his church in Gainesville, Florida

Response so far to an event billed as a Gathering for Peace, Understanding and Hope has been "overwhelmingly positive," a minister in Gainesville, Florida, told CNN on Monday. The event is planned in response to a local church's International Burn a Quran Day.

As part of the Gainesville Interfaith Forum - made up of Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus - Trinity United Methodist Church will host the event September 10, the night before the planned burning of the Quran.

The nondenominational Dove World 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.

"Our hope is that we'll have a thousand people here and there will be 20 people [at the Quran-burning]," Trinity's senior minister Dan Johnson said Monday. Johnson predicted the event would be "multicultural and multifaith." He said he hoped it would inspire a number of people to sign up for the city's interfaith forum. "One member told me after church Sunday that they've never been as proud to be a member of this church as they are now," Johnson said.

In a note posted on his church's website last week, Johnson invited all residents of Gainesville to the counterevent. "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."

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 lists "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 monthlong 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: Culture wars • Florida • Interfaith issues • Islam • Quran • United States

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soundoff (438 Responses)
  1. Aimal khan

    Hey non muslime people why you all is against Islam why you all say bad words against Islam and holy Quran please stop this our God is grad and one day Islam is won.

    September 5, 2010 at 6:02 am |
  2. amit narain sinha

    This is exactly what we do not understand in hinduism: the concept of the devil. Romila Thapar has stated " the fundamental sanity of the hindu way of life is in the absence of the devil"

    It seems to me that many so called folowers of the divine religions are so busy chasing the devil that they forget about the pursuit of godliness. What we have to say is that you guys chase the devil and leave god to us godly hindus. But please leave us out of your proselytising.

    We believe in srishti or creation as well. Can please someone who is a follower of the so called divine religions enlighten me as to who the children of Adam and Eve were and how did they procreate ? Who did they marry? We hindus do not like incest

    September 5, 2010 at 4:56 am |
  3. Rafiullah Zaki From Afghanistan

    الذکر (انا نحن نزلنا الذکر وانا له لحفظون) >> آیت کبری

    September 5, 2010 at 4:29 am |
  4. Rafiullah Zaki

    Just The only Thing i want to say is ' ISLAM is The Best ' and Also Quran is the Best BEST , ALLAH sent this holy Bood and our Great and Kind Allah will Save this Holy Quran , and those who are against this , in the future they will know .. Thanks

    September 5, 2010 at 12:17 am |
  5. MASIH

    The Great Challenge to Produce
    One Chapter Like the Chapters
    of the Holy Quran
    God has said in the Quran:

    And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed (the Quran) to Our worshiper (Muhammad ), then produce a chapter like it, and call your witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides God if you are truthful. And if you do not do it, and you can never do it, then fear the Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones. It has been prepared for disbelievers. And give good news (O Muhammad) to those who believe and do good deeds, that for them are gardens (Paradise) in which rivers flow.... (Quran, 2:23-25)

    Ever since the Quran was revealed, fourteen centuries ago, no one has been able to produce a single chapter like the chapters of the Quran in their beauty, eloquence, splendor, wise legislation, true information, true prophecy, and other perfect attributes. Also, note that the smallest chapter in the Quran (Chapter 108) is only ten words, yet no one has ever been able to meet this challenge, then or today.1 Some of the disbelieving Arabs who were enemies of the Prophet Muhammad tried to meet this challenge to prove that Muhammad was not a true prophet, but they failed to do so.2 This failure was despite the fact that the Quran was revealed in their own language and dialect and that the Arabs at the time of Muhammad were a very eloquent people who used to compose beautiful and excellent poetry, still read and appreciated today.

    September 4, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  6. Mohammad Riza

    hey ...........
    Mr church you can not do this
    ur face is like a dog
    we are muslim and we will not allowe u to do this
    CHURCH IS THE EVIL HOME ..........................................

    September 4, 2010 at 2:14 am |
  7. Mohammad Riza

    Just go to hell Mr pop ....................

    September 4, 2010 at 1:54 am |
  8. Mohammad Riza

    WHAT ?
    you want to burn holly quran .hehehhheheheehe
    your father and your pop john pall can not do this ..............
    it is ALLAH BOOK and came by JIBRAELL AMIN and and brought by MOHAMMAD PBUH
    forget it you can not burn the holly book .............................

    September 4, 2010 at 1:53 am |
  9. Waheedullah

    you and your all stupid churgh members are not able to change any word of hlloy quran, Allah said: no one can bring changes in holy quran till doomsday, if you do this stupid work, Allah will kill or burn All of you Stupid Donkies.

    September 4, 2010 at 1:04 am |
  10. H

    I fick you man.

    September 4, 2010 at 12:56 am |
  11. naweed

    you are bad mane

    September 4, 2010 at 12:06 am |
  12. Abdul Aleem Tahir

    Religious books of every religion are sacred for every of its believers. It is very bad deed. Stop this cruelty & not to hurt any muslim & his emotions. Emotions of every person in the world should be protected.

    September 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm |
    • Rdevotee

      You are absolutely right. A truly spiritual person understands this and respects every religion. I have read the Koran and the Bible in addition to the Gita and the Ramayana and yes I do love the Hindu scriptures but I understand why the Muslim loves the Koran and the Christian the Bible, I see them all as Holy because they have the power to invoke Faith in Mankind and lead them to a higher path in Life.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:06 am |
  13. Notice

    Once you are burning Quran call your evils and your supporter without Allah(God).

    you are all in darkness, think about it for your self, you will lose everything in this world or other world.

    if Allah(God) wants you will see your bad days in this world or you will see it after death (The new live that everybody will arise as they are alive right now).

    September 2, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  14. Shama

    Havent Muslims been punished enough for an act of terrorism committed by a handful of terrorists? Even Muslims died in that attack. And America openly murdered millions of Iraqis and Afghanis for that crime. Isnt that enough blood spilled? When will it be enough? Will desecrating a Holy Book and hurting the sentiments of 1 billion Muslims around the world,who had nothing to do with 9/11 attacks, solve this. Jesus( peace be upon him) taught us forgiveness and peace just like Muhammad (peace be upon him). In King James Bible – Genesis 21:12 – 21:21 Abraham's son from Hagar, Ishmael lived in Beer Sheba with his mother, which is known as Makkah today and God gave them a well of water, which is now the Muslim Holy water Zamzam.
    Muslims respect the Bible and all the Books sent down by the Lord. Muslims will never burn a Bilbe. The Quran is the last Holy Book sent by the Lord of the Worlds and it completes the series of the Holy Books. I invite everyone who believes that God exists and He is our Creator to find a Quran in English and read it humbly. May Allah give patience to every Muslim and blotch the plan of the hatemongers.

    September 2, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  15. rashad0007

    well any one who burns the Quran he is burning the name of Abraham, Moses , Jesus and other prophets
    have you ever read this holy book ???!!!
    Islam is the third Abrahamic religion
    this book insist to curse the devil
    also this book admit that Mary (mother of Jesus) is Virgin
    have you ever knew that?
    so come on how could it be from the devil

    wanna know more please visit:

    September 2, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  16. Muhammad

    I don't know what kind of a church that is. I am a muslim and have been to churches many times. I was treated with respect and love, as they know that i was a muslim. I felt like home. The people who kill innocent people, HAVE NO RELIGION (Just to clear).
    As it is said that the dog becomes a lion in his own street, we dare pastore jones to come out of America and do such a thing.

    September 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  17. Muhammad

    I don't know what kind of a church that is. I am a muslim and have been to churches many times. I was treated with respect and love. I felt like home. The people who kill innocent people, HAVE NO RELIGION (Just to clear).
    As it is said that the dog becomes a lion in his own street, we dare pastore jones to come out of America and do such a thing.

    September 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  18. ahmed

    Alcove--Christians are treeted by muslims in my country,your just an alcove how wants be Famous !!!

    September 2, 2010 at 9:29 am |
  19. Muslim of afghanistan

    Allah Descended this Holly Book For All Humans and He Will preserve it. no one can do this INSHAALLAH.
    Dead to pagans and evils

    September 2, 2010 at 3:48 am |
  20. Imtiyaz

    Allah is the one and he is the creator, and quran is the holy book..Don't go against,otherwise you are going to burn in the fire of hell..Respect the holy books..As being a muslim we respect the Geetha,Bible and other books...So y can't you people mind your own business and concentrate on ur work..Instead of doing all these non-Sense things..May the creator purify your thoughts...and give you people some sense of thinking..PROUD TO BE A MUSLIM...

    September 2, 2010 at 3:12 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.