September 7th, 2010
09:52 PM ET

Imam: NYC Islamic center 'is the right thing to do'

Editor's Note: CNN's Soledad O'Brien has an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on "Larry King Live" Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. Submit questions for the Imam via iReport here.

The imam at the center of an ugly controversy over an Islamic center near New York's ground zero broke his silence Tuesday, just hours after a broad coalition of Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders denounced what they described as a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry across the United States.

"I have been struck by how the controversy has riveted the attention of Americans, as well as nearly everyone I met in my travels," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf in an editorial published online by the New York Times Tuesday night.

"We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become," wrote Rauf, who has just returned from a State Department-sponsored Middle East trip to promote U.S.-Muslim relations. "The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship."

The imam was clear about his intentions.

"We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners. I am convinced that it is the right thing to do for many reasons," he wrote.

Opponents of the plan to build the center say it is too close to the site of the terror attacks and is an affront to the memory of those who died in the al Qaeda strike. Backers cite, among other things, First Amendment rights and the need to express religious tolerance.

Rauf described the center to be built two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center towers - destroyed by terrorist-hijacked commercial jets on September 11, 2001 - as a "shared space for community activities, like a swimming pool, classrooms and a play space for children."

"There will be separate prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and men and women of other faiths," he wrote. "The center will also include a multifaith memorial dedicated to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks."

"I am very sensitive to the feelings of the families of victims of 9/11, as are my fellow leaders of many faiths. We will accordingly seek the support of those families, and the support of our vibrant neighborhood, as we consider the ultimate plans for the community center. Our objective has always been to make this a center for unification and healing."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke on Tuesday about the plan and criticized politicians he claims are using the issue for political gain ahead of mid-term elections in November.

"This is a political thing that all came up in two months - and its going to go away on November 4th," he said.

Various faith leaders in recent weeks have expressed concerns about hate crimes against American Muslims in the run-up to this weekend's anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, which coincide with the holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, marking the conclusion of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Worry over what some observers have termed "Islamophobia" has also been heightened by a Gainesville, Florida, church's plan to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington.

Earlier Tuesday, a broad coalition of faith leaders gathered in Washington, where they met with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss their concerns.

"To quote the attorney general, he called the Gainesville planned burning of Qurans 'idiotic and dangerous,'" said Farhana Khera, president of Muslim Advocates, soon after meeting with Holder.

"While it may not be a violation of the law - it may be an act of free speech - it certainly violates our sense of decency," she added about the Florida event.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed those thoughts later when she spoke at a dinner celebration of Iftar, the breaking the daily fast during Ramadan.

"I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths ... as well as secular U.S. leaders and opinion makers," she said.

Separately, founders of the newly formed Interfaith Coalition on Mosques addressed the issue of religious freedom during a news conference at Washington's National Press Club.

"Freedom of religion is a hallmark of this country," said Ingrid Mattson, head of the Islamic Society of North America. It is time to decide "whether we are going to live up to our values."

The coalition released a statement decrying a "disturbing rise in discrimination against Muslims" and declaring that the current "level of hostility, fear mongering and hate speech is unacceptable and un-American."

"We believe the best way to uphold America's democratic values is to ensure that Muslims can exercise the same religious freedom enjoyed by everyone in America," the statement read.

Last week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations launched a series of commercials designed to fight what it called growing Islamophobia. One in the series features a Muslim firefighter who was among the first responders on 9/11.

Opponents of the New York Islamic center are "trying to tell the world and tell Americans that Muslims do not belong here. That Muslims are the others, when we are in fact, all Americans," said Nahad Awad, executive director of the council.

"They're trying to portray Muslims as foreigners. This is a dangerous repeat of history. If it's allowed, it's going to hurt all of us," he said.

In a statement on its website, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, said it plans to mark the anniversary of the 2001 attacks by burning Qurans this weekend "to warn about the teaching and ideology of Islam, which we do hate as it is hateful."

The pastor of the small church, Terry Jones, has written a book titled "Islam is of the Devil," and the church sells coffee mugs and shirts featuring the phrase.

The U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Monday criticized the church's plan, warning the demonstration "could cause significant problems" for American troops overseas.

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan," Gen. David Petraeus said.

Jones told CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday that he is "taking the general's words" seriously. We are "weighing the situation" and are "praying about it," he said.

But it is "very important that America wakes up," he argued. Radical Islam "must be shown a certain amount of force (and) determination."

The planned event has drawn criticism from Muslims in the United States and overseas, with thousands of Indonesians gathering outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday to protest the planned Quran burning.

"Those mainly conservative Christians who respond to their Muslim brothers and sisters - their fellow Americans - with anti-Muslim bigotry or hatred, they are openly rejecting... the First Amendment principles of religious liberty which we as evangelical Christians benefit daily," said Rev. Richard Cizik, of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, at the National Press Club.

"And to those who would exercise derision ... bigotry (and) open rejection of our fellow Americans for their religious faith - I say shame on you."

Editor's Note: CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden passes along this note on the meeting faith leaders had with Attorney General Eric Holder: A senior Justice Department official who was present at the meeting later clarified Holder's comment as follows: "Yes, the Attorney General did refer to the plan [to burn the Qurans] as "idiotic." In his reference to "dangerous" he was specifically pointing to the comments by General Petreus."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Church and state • Culture wars • Florida • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • New York • Quran • United States

soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. Dave

    burn baby burn!

    September 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  2. Howard Ross

    What happened to the message of Redemption ? and the let the "tares and the wheat grow together ?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  3. Bevan Collins

    It is a shame these people are the same ones who protest or ban crosses, Christmas decorations and displays, Stars of David, the Ten Commandments, Easter, and such. Freedom of religion should apply to everyone, not just the Muslims.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • Realistastic

      No one is protesting or trying to ban your right to display "your" particular religous symbols on your "personal" property, what is happening (very much in contrast to your delusion of persecution) is that poeple are rightfully objecting to the sole (or any for that matter) representation/indorsement of one religion (usually Christian) on government property. That you are ignorant of the difference, comes as no real surprise to me.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  4. non muslim

    "While it may not be a violation of the law – it may be an act of free speech – it certainly violates our sense of decency," - Christian Response is as follows: Now you know how we feel about your Mosque so very close to 9/11 Memorial site. Tit for Tat. I actually would prefer that the preacher not burn the Holy Quran, but I also would prefer that our Muslim Brothers do not build a Mosque near Ground Zero. I say?:?> You get respect for giving respect!!! Where is our Muslim brothers Decency I ask?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  5. Nathan

    So let me get this straight, people here are ok with the "Victory Mosque" because of freedom of religion, speech, expression, etc. But this is simply an outrage right? That certainly seems to be the “company line" from Washington given the comments from Holder. The same guy who thinks terrorists should be afforded constitutional rights. While I think the act is a complete waste of time and certainly doesn't help anything, spare me the "it puts our troops in danger" stuff. Our troops ARE IN A COMBAT ZONE. NEWS FLASH, they are ALREADY in danger. So they weren't going to try and kill Americans before, but this is going to set them off/push them over the edge? Riiiight. How dumb do you have to be to believe that? We're talking about some no-name pastor in Podunk Florida. Give me a break. Let me guess, those who are so appalled by this have no problem with burning the American Flag in protest or building the Victory Mosque right? Once again, let’s cater to the least tolerant group of people on the entire planet. Hey Obama you going to defend this group’s “freedom of religion” in the media and attack those who think they shouldn’t do it? Yeah, didn’t think so. I tell you what, when I see Muslim Nations actually stand up and fight terrorism (instead of paying lip service), I might actually give a crap but for now.....spare me the whole woe is me garbage. "Islamaphobia" started the day Muslims decided to fly planes into the WTC because you know why? There is only one religion carrying out these types of attacks. You want the Islamaphobia to end? Then get up and do something about it instead of crying about how you are ALWAYS the victim. CNN = Islamic PR Machine. No wonder your ratings are in the toilet.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  6. Jaqob

    It is idotic. Kinda like putting a Mosque at ground zero. But, rights are rights. Flags, crosses, bibles, churches, people, protesters, animals have all been burned "in the name of"...why should the Quran be different? Islamicphobia–hell no this guy aint afraid. He should be...because I am sure someone will issue a death sentence for his protest.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  7. morphylius

    The God fearing, God-is-on-our-side crowd. The nasty, preachy Christian swarm, the Islamic zealots. On the march! A mirror image of one another, perverted versions of the same belief system. The borne-again's, the multi-headed Christian evangelists, the radical Islamic Clerics. The false profits, with their multimillion-dollar compensations for bringing the message of peace, love and forgiveness ... no meanness, to the masses. I'd just love to be a Praying Mantis on the wall when these so called men and women of GOD go before the BIG DOG for their entrance interview. Think they'll be given the keys to the magic kingdom? Extremists, army's of fanatical Religious zealots, driven by greed, control and power in this life, intolerant of the very world God created. Preaching salvation and bliss in the next life for those who believe and eternal damnation and extermination to all non believers. The Theory of Evolution will not be tolerated. Charles Darwin is Satin, Science is the Anti-Christ. Global warming is a left wing conspiracy and "the Sun isn't yellow it's chicken" ... thanks Bob. Goose-step is resurrected before our very eyes(The Lion and the Unicorn).

    God. Protect me from your followers.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • J.T

      wow, you sure showed them. science is a belief system, its actually a dogma by definition, its prophets are Charles Darwin and Richard Dawkins, its bible is the Origin of Species, and yet there isn't one shred of conclusive evidence to say it actually exists, from a scientific perspective, yet dissent is punished cruelly and swiftly, and quietly, and the establishment keeps on churning out its nonsense that stifles true intellectual debate. the case isn't closed, the difference is this. God does not require science to acknowledge his existence, evolution does.....and science cannot prove or acknowledge either. Scientists do experiments saying, we know the result because we have the preconceived notion of what is right, which is what some guy wrote two hundred years ago to explain why birds looked similiar...we have interpreted that basic principle since then. Sounds like science has become the new religion, a religion that worships the world as a god, and thats about as neo pagan as one can get...Yes science has done a good job of helping us move forward, but as far as seeing where we have actually come from, science is sorely lacking anything substantial, all its "missing links" have been debunked by anyone who knows the scientific method, and has applied it, including scientists of the persuasion of evolution. So what you have is a strictly western, individualist philosophy on the world, fueled by science, which is just a man made system of measurements to help us understand the natural world, and as man is flawed, being either not completely evolved or in sin, from you perspective, then he cannot ever really know, because his system reflects his flaws, just as the created represents inherent flaws in the creator...grow up, and stop adhering to that third grade notion of what is really happening.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • HappyApostate

      Wow JT, have you actually read the Origin of Species or The Greatest Show on Earth? The evidence is real and overwhelming. If you want to believe it God that's fine, but please don't embrace ignorance or if you must, please don't propagate it.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • Realistastic

      So JT, you think that all there is to science is evolution....yeah that makes sense. And you pick Darwin and Dawkins to be the prophets of science, another highly informed decision from the small mind down in front. People like you never fail to amuse me, like the amusement I get when I see an idiotic video on YouTube of a baby saying silly things....just hilarious.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  8. deliboy

    Burning the quran is insensitive yet legal. So is building a mosque close to the 9/11 site. Anyone promoting one but not the other is a bigot and is using the idea of tolerance and freedom of religion as an excuse to promote his ow agenda. Not surprisingly Eric holder stands in the front of that line.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • CindyNC

      except one is believed to be in poor taste (the mosque) and the other is going to endanger our troops. Seriously. Did you just make that asinine comment?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • TammyB

      @CindyNC...The one you cite that's only in bad taste (mosque) also may endanger many Americans that are Muslim here in this country. Both are dangerous to a group of people, insensitive to a group of people, and are protected by our consti-tution. Both can be said NOT the right things to do although both ARE legal.

      September 8, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  9. Tiller in Texas

    I am donating money to this church and burnig 3 korans on 9/11.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
    • Realistastic

      Gonna finally use all of that money you saved by not going to college huh? Why am I not suprised that you are from Texas.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • maria

      To Tiller in Texas good for you moron! so anytime you buy Bibles and burn ,did you know you are helping a American soldier to get killed? is that what you want is your Christianity is based on It? you and your Pastor can go to HELL beacuse your insanity Americans are going to get killled ,I hope you and your pastor get jailed I hope so ! YOU MORON! I hope many bibles you buy to burn many years ou and yourpastor will spend in jail for every American they kille because you the more years you spend in jail for MURDERER!I wonder if you burn any Bible when a Christian like you put a momb in Oklahoma City and kill a lot of children in a care center did you forgot Timothy Mcveight was a Christian and not one say nothing about his religion......God Bless you Moron!!!!!!

      September 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
    • TammyB

      Gonna burn a cross on the lawns of all the "dark skinned" people as well, Tiller?

      September 8, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
  10. KarabinerBBq

    I wonder if these are the same christians burning the Quran that that used to burn crosses. Idiots.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
    • TammyB

      Probably. I think if you took a good look in the basement at their church, or the closets, you'd find a bunch of white sheets with eyeholes in them, and pointy hats.

      September 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  11. Jackson from Rome, GA

    Show me a Christian who acts like Jesus and I'll convert back immediately.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • RezPause

      Show me a muslim that acts like Mohammed.... Wait, did they have suicide bombers back then?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • RezPause

      Meant to write "homicide bombers."

      September 7, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
  12. AmeriKim

    Why stoop to such a low level? What purpose will this serve other than fuel a fire that puts our own men and women even more in harms way? These are not the actions of true Christians. These are no better than the extremists who murder innocent people every day in the name of God. You are sacrificing men and women who deserve our respect and protection, not to be thrown on the butcher block and handing the butcher the knife. This is a disgusting show of hatred, not what Jesus taught. Where is your justification you so called Christians leaders? You are putting my sons in danger..YOU are pointing the guns at their heads and YOU are pulling the trigger. Will God forgive you for so blindly leading his children to slaughter?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
  13. Roberto Galoppi

    So what's new. America does not have the maturity to deal with the rest of the world. Remember " Good views no Jews " in Miami in the 60's or the Japamese concentration camps in the 4o's or the many other times this country has shown that is not mature for a leadership position in the world .

    September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • TammyB

      List a country in the world that hasn't made it's share of stupid mistakes...we could point to many who have tribes who are wiping each other out or sold their own people into slavery. We could look at countries like Bosnia and Serbia which are pretty much the same people, one faction committing genocide....and the list goes on. We are not the only country that's been stupid...but we are a country of humans, and HUMANS are stupid. And that's EVERYWHERE.

      September 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  14. tosser

    Burning a book will get a lot accomplished. Oooh. Those Christians are so scary. They burn books.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • RezPause

      "Tosser" eh? Seems appropriate. To express a distaste for Islam is perfectly legal in this great country. It is, unfortunately, what many in Islam want to see. Stir the pot. Fuel the flames. Just makes it easier to manipulate young and poorly educated muslims into believing Jihad is warranted. Doing something because you can is not the same as doing something because you should.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Realistastic

      You know who else liked to burn books (as well as being a so called "Christian")? Yep, that's right, it was Hitler.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
  15. James

    I agree the burning is idiotic. While I don't think they should build the Mosque near ground-zero, this is just as bad. And to think they call themselves Dove World Outreach Center borders on riduculous. And then to say they hate soemthing because it is hateful is also ridiculous.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
  16. Not in Nottingham

    Every time Bloomberg opens his mouth nothing intelligent comes out. . . . .

    September 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • mdas

      Do you actually live in New York? Bloomerg is one of the best mayors the city's had in decades.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Realistastic

      Kind of like when your fingers strike the keyboard Nottingham?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
  17. J.T

    Book burnings is bad!!! however, why is the government getting involved when this is an obvious exercise of free speech? why don't people recognize Islam for what it is? Gender oppression and fascism hiding behind the thin veil of religion?

    September 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Vidya

      Probably because this one incident could result in an increase in terrorist attacks against the soldiers overseas. It's nice to say that free speech is protected in the US, but try being on the front lines when your fellow citizens are acting like jackasses back home.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Indabuff

      getting involved? No. Making a remark about it yes. When the govt. forbids the church from their constitutional right to be idiots – then they are involved – until then, its just remarks or comments by govt. officials about what a moronic act this church is undertaking.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
    • Realistastic

      Oh the government is involved...you mean they are going to put a stop to this lunacy? No, they're not, because regardless of whether it is smart or prudent, it is protected by the 1st Amendment. As is the oppinions being voiced about the matter by members of our gevernment. The boundaries of your hypocracy lie far beyond the reach of reason and logic, much less tolerance and wisdom.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:13 pm |
  18. PARROT


    September 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • RezPause

      Couldn't have anything to do with the war in Iraq, could it genius?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • oldtimer

      Your an idiot if you think that these two brave soldiers died for this. They died because of Bush and his pollicies.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
    • James Taylor

      Yes and we invaded their land. Remember? How would you feel if China comes here and start killing us in the name of WMD and other lies. Iraq had nothing to do with 911 or Osama. Bush and Cheney got ourselves into this terrible mess.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
    • Bill

      You know this how?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
    • Libchem

      PARROT, yeah, those radicals would have traipsing through the tulips blowing kisses at the American soldiers if it hadn't been for this story, is that your point? What a knucklehead. Seriously, think before you speak.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • Libchem

      James Taylor, I see your point. But my guess is, if we go around rolling our army into adjacent countries and that threatens China's well-being, oil or otherwise, China has more than one way to put the hurt to us...just like we did with Saddam's Iraq.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  19. PorkforMohammed

    America, grow a pair. Taking a comment from another site " "How much do we back down? How many times do we back down?" Jones told the AP. "Instead of us backing down, maybe it's to time to stand up. Maybe it's time to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behavior." Seems like the reverend has a pair! Do it, get it done and over with!!!

    September 7, 2010 at 8:42 pm |
    • Jackson from Rome, GA

      Just because you have a pair doesn't mean you have a brain.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • J.T

      No, this guy is actually right, the country obviously fights the political travails of Christianity, which are far more liberal than Islam, but we give them whole communities and compounds where they can practice sharia law, all because we are trying to make reparations for a perceived war on Islam that wasn't even remotely that, it was quite simply a war for resources...simply put, neither political party is telling the truth in campaigns...Muslims burn effigies everyday...but we don't dare make fun of mohammed, because they stand up for what they believe, and kill anyone who dares...we have to stop this political oppression pretending to be a spiritual belief system, people talk about christian fundamentalism being wrong and then protect Islam, which by its holy writings and by its beliefs is far more reactionary and totalitarian than Christianity, period. Stop protecting those who are destroying the name of American democracy under the guise of protecting people who want nothing of it,

      September 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm |
    • Whatchagonnado

      You are assuming that all Muslims are radical. most aren't. Also, what message does this send to our soldiers who are Muslim? What message does it send to moderate Muslims who are also fighting radical Islam?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • Xugos

      That is stupid. if you want to stand up to radicals, don't burn the book that explicitly states that you can't kill innocents, burn the books of the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist organization from which radicals become inspired. Burn their books, and you'd actually be doing the world some good. The argument of standing up to radicals by burning the Qur'an is ridden with holes the size of Russia.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Realistastic

      That's the maturely American attitude to have....we should do it because they would. You guys are some really deep thinkers, aren't you. Oh wait, you actually think that you are reactionaries (as opposed to thinkers/not doers), because you favor (and probably would love to join in on) the burning of another religions holy book. Once again proving that a conservative mind is not really a mind at all, but a dumpster full of uninformed/irrational fear and anger.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm |
    • Summer

      Does that mean that we should burn Bibles in order to tell radical Christians that they're behavior is wrong? The ones who shoot abortion doctors or blow up abortion clinics, I would say that fits the definition of "radical". And if burning the holy book that they hold so dear is the best way to handle such radicals, then it makes perfect sense to me to do this for other religions as well. After all, fair is fair, right? Or is it only fair when it's not happening to you and your belief system?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • James

      Lots of comments about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, payback, but the point is, this is a "Christian" group that is doing the exact opposite of the techings of Christ. I don't think I've seen a bigger group of hypocrits. And then to top it off, they call themselves Dove World Outreach Center (I assume the Dove is in the name to represent love and peace). It would be laughable if it weren't so perverse.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:20 pm |
    • Libchem

      Summer, actually, you are exactly right. Burning the Christian Bible is a right of expression explicity protected by the Constitution. And I am a Christian.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
    • destinyinabox

      And I [Jesus], will ask the Father and he will send you another Paraclete to be with you forever (John 14:16). I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come (John 16:12-13). DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT..DO YOU..SO IF JESUS DID NOT SAY THAT HE'LL RETURN..BUT STATED THAT..THERE WILL BE ANOTHER..BUT THEN YET YA CHRISTIAN CLAIM THAT HE'LL RETURN AGAIN..PROPHET MUHAMMAD IS THE LAST..SO THERE FOR THE QURAN IS THE LAST BOOK FROM GOD.. READ IT AGAIN FROM JOHN And I [Jesus], will ask the Father and he will send you another Paraclete to be with you forever (John 14:16). I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come (John 16:12-13).

      September 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
    • TammyB

      A public protest for that, against the extremist Muslims, would be okay. However, burning the Quran? Really? Would that pastor want the bible burned so that Christians could learn their lesson on all the really nasty things they've done in the name of God?

      September 8, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  20. John K.

    Yet when someone burns a Christian bible the world stays quiet. Now I'm thinking of joining in on this "Burn a Qua-ran" Day.

    September 7, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • Jackson from Rome, GA

      John K., if you can't spell it, you can't burn it.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • J.T

      book burning is a dangerous rode to go down, and a little more each day the world looks like the one in the book Farenheit 451. But again, Islam is a political machine of oppression masquerading as a religion, and until it is confronted it will do what it has always done...spread!

      September 7, 2010 at 8:46 pm |
    • Vidya

      Nice way to lose the moral high ground John. People come to the US because people DON'T persecute individuals on the basis of their beliefs. Just because some radical burns a bible in another country does that mean the US should throw away it's principles? What you said doesn't even make any sense – lets start acting like dictators and terrorists because it's accepted in other countries, yeah that makes alot of sense.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
    • Dan's girl

      wow, you must be happy...ignorance is bliss...

      September 7, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Indabuff

      hey redneck – what is a Qua-ran?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • CindyNC

      because through Jesus Christ we have a new found peace. If I am a true Christian, I must behave in a Christ like manner. We don't retaliate when someone burns our bible. If all our bibles were to disappear, there is not need to fret. Jesus's message should live within in your heart and mind until the end of time. You seriously want to join a Q'ran burning? Maybe Ghandi was right? "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

      September 7, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • Aggravated and Concerned

      "They'll know we are christians by our love...
      ...And we pray that all unity will one day be restored..."

      These words will ring hollow to the world if one pastor has his way on Saturday

      September 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • KarenZ

      Yep. When it's anti-Christian or Semitic it's all about freedom of expression and allz well. When it's people wanting to express their anger and frustration with blind and insane PC attitudes towards a totalitarian ideology as vicious and brutal and mindless as any the world has ever seen – that is somehow idiocy. What idiocy.

      September 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
    • Obelisk

      Oh look, another who believes an eye for an eye is the way. When will you learn?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm |
    • Jimmy


      May be if our Christian leaders aren't all so bent just on making people part with their hard earned cash and living up the good live on such Islam wouldn't spread so quickly or quite so far. Look inward and don't blame the other religions please for what us basically an issue of extreme greed in Christendom. Hardly does any church leader now have time to preach about salvation, it's all about gambling with your meager earning in anticipation of reaping "some day".

      September 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • christina

      send me one link or any article that show muslims burning the bibble, they might burn your flag but not your bible. I AM WAITING.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Libchem

      Jackson from Rome, GA, yeah, I guess you're for only "smart" folk being able to exercise their freedoms in this country? How do you feel about flag burning and burning the Christian Bible?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Joe P Zyck

      Hey! My God is bigger than your God. I'm gonna burn your stuff. Nyah Nyah!

      Who needs more proof that religion is a form of mental retardation.


      I'm leaning toward the tooth fairy myself, although I think the Easter bunny is a close second.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Omar Sadiq

      I do not ever remember reading or hearing anywhere anytime that a Muslim burnt a bible. And then you blame the radicals when more of our troops are killed. Sheesh...grow up folks!!!!!

      September 7, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
    • nonesuch

      Go right ahead. You're just one more idiot in the pile.

      What, exactly, do you imagine your stupidity will accomplish, ya moron?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • Libchem

      Christina, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=25885

      September 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • publius enigma

      I challenge you to cite a single reliable news source for when a muslim ever burned a bible, and it has to not include any muslims saying it was wrong.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
    • Libchem

      Joe P Zyck, that rant right there explains why you're in the 3% minority on this planet. What's the definition of insanity? By the way Joe, that's a rhetorical question.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • Kay

      Amazing...................a gun-toting "minister" with 50 followers has attracted worldwide attention with his crazy antics......! Scary, to say the least. I'm ashamed to give him credence by responding.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:15 pm |
    • ModestoMike

      I would not burn one myself, however I support his right to "free speech" and right to burn a Koran Quran or what ever. No one seems to get as worked up if some one burns a Bible or an American flag.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm |
    • Alain Ciphat

      As Paul says "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21. You conservative "Christians" should read the New Testament of the Bible and be Christians. Repent and have faith in the Lord.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm |
    • Libchem

      ModestoMike, there you go. As liberal as I am, and as liberal as these knucklehead responders seem to be, you're the only one who seems to see the real point here.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • Serg

      Dude you can write MEXICAN...Ay Queranba......This whole thing is STUPID....9/11 and burning a book suppose to be symbolic....let us use 9/11 to remember what we lost and who we lost..we owe it to them....shouldnt be waisting our energies on hating..this book has nothing to do with what happend on 9/11...its the radicals not the muslims...

      September 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm |
    • Libchem

      Alain Ciphat, maybe you should actually read it, instead of just copying and pasting. I always love when a secular knucklehead tries to quote the Bible out of context and make a point around something they don't understand the meaning of.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
    • JT

      Christina : http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/285123/christians_in_gaza_fear_for_their_lives.html

      Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives as Muslims Burn Bibles and Destroy Crosses

      September 7, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
    • Libchem

      publius enigma, "reliable"? You mean like CNN-reliable? Like, unbiased and everything?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
    • Libchem

      Hey CNN, I've heard more than a few on here complain about censorship! And you call yourselves liberal! Shameful.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:32 pm |
    • Reggie

      I'm not a christian nor a muslim. I'm atheist and I do agree with the burning. Look at what has happened, one idiot in Florida with 50 followers have caused a worldwide out-cry. For what? For burning a Quran, for exercising his rights? Wasn't it the muslims who wanted to build a mosque right next to ground zero? Who announced that they will open this center on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. For religious understanding?! WTF. NO, the time for appeasing these muslims is over. All the sudden you see these muslims activist coming out to denounce this one action. Where are these activist when a muslim blows up fifty of his own people in the name of jihad? Where are they? Where are muslim heroes then..... these great Americans. No where. I say let them burn, end the appeasement of islam. End the take over of our country.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • maria

      Did you forgot that a Christian blow up in Oklahoma City a child care center? and that he was a Christian? Timothy Mcvaight and not one say nothing about being Christian and no0t one burn the Bible? You are a racist ,Christianity is about love and forgiveness are you a Christian or a hipocrit? like this Pastor?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
    • Libchem

      Maria, the only racist comment I've seen on here is your comment. What does race have to do with it? Not a darn thing! This is about an American citizen's constitutionally-protected right to express himself. Whether you agree with that or not is where the debate is. Keep your racist rant to yourself; it has no place in the discourse of this cewntury.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • RezPause

      Kay, don't drag the Second Amendment into this First Amendment discussion, unless you disagree with still more articles from the Bill of Rights?

      September 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Libchem

      Kay, I see, you mean a guy "in the #minority" choosing to exercise his constitutionally-protected right of expression, getting a seat on the world stage? How dare those #minorities! They should just sit down and shut up! Sounds like America to me! Also sounds like the *KKK** from a few years back.

      Between the two of you, whom do you think should be the most ashamed? Read your Constitution before you bloviate.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
    • Libchem

      Yep, still censoring. This is why no one takes you seriously and you've lost the market to those knucklheads over at FoxNews.

      September 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm |
    • Alain Ciphat

      Libchem, I have read the Bible, and I am not quoting out of context. I am a devout Christian; I believe the passage means that we should not fight a wrong with a wrong, but to let God judge. Please enlighten me as to what you think the passage mean?

      September 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
    • Patricia Robinson

      I think I would ask the imam what is the purpose of this Islamic center and why is it being built near ground zero? what is the purpose of this location to you?
      To the Pastor who wants to burn Korans on 9/11 .........Has he looked at the Scripture that says we are to love our enemies and turn the other cheek lately?
      How pertinent is these words that Jesus spoke to us. 2000 plus years ago.
      God loves the Muslims, the Hindus, the Christians, the Jews, and any other religious sect around the world. He loves us period. End of story. As Christians we need to love people and respect people, so hopefully, they would respect and loves us. I agree with the guy on Anderson 360. This is an opportunity for us to learn to live and love one another. I think his perspective really puts it on the right track. God Bless you all!

      September 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
    • john telfrey

      I would like CNN to do an documentary on the origination of Islam. unlike judaism and christanity, Islam worship a different
      diety. Jews and Christians worship the god of abraham, issac, and jacob. What god does islam worship? Please do a
      documentary on Islam.

      September 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm |
    • mahmut

      I am muslim and we believe in Allah....
      In All holly religions you should show respect to other books.
      Where are the Mercy and Love...
      We all muslims didnt do anything you, terorısts have done this..
      Open your eyes...
      There is no place for teror in ISLAM ....

      September 8, 2010 at 12:15 am |
    • Gary

      I think burning the koran is a not they right thing do do, But nether is builing a mosque near ground zero.

      September 8, 2010 at 5:09 am |
    • Gary

      I think burning the Koran is a not they right thing do do, But nether is building a mosque near ground zero.

      September 8, 2010 at 5:12 am |
    • Bob Reynolds

      Why would you want to lower your standards of ethics and morals by burning Islam's Holy Quaran? Do you see Muslim-Americans or even al-Qaeda Terrorists buring the Holy Bible? Yes, Muslims around the world will get incensed about this, because they have no freedom of speech or expression in their countries. Muslims in Islamic nations are controlled with strict laws prohibting the burning of any Holy Book or their national Flag. I simply can't understand why the heck this guy is pushing this Mosque next to Ground Zero. Of course, the millions of Muslim-Americans are mostly good and decent citizens that have a hard work ethic with a high perpensity to achieve academic success, and take advantage of everything our country has to offer. The problem is the al-Qaeda Terrorists were invoking Alah while they flew our Jetliners full of innocent pasengers in to the Twin Towers. Hey...I'll even help build their new Mosque some where else but not Ground Zero!

      September 8, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • aqfi

      I do not recall Muslims ever burning the Bible, as alleged by Pastor Terry Jones. The Pastor thinks that his message is not one of hate. One would hope that he means it. One would hope that the Pastor can practice true Christianity and turn the other cheek. One would hope that he would know how to befriend the moderates and not offend all Muslims! One would hope that he will use the language of love and not of violence and fire. One would hope that he will join the moderate Muslims to stand against the violent streaks in all religions. One would hope that he understands, "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3) One would hope that it is not hope against hope!

      September 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Omar Sadiq...I have never heard a Muslim say, "yes we don't burn your Bible, however, we have burned your flag which some might feel is as precious as the bible", or "yes, we don't burn your Bible, however, one of our extremists' punishments is public beheadings and we are really sorry for that". You may want us to grow up, however, it works both ways. Until many of us see Muslims coming out and REALLY denouncing some of the acts that extremists have done in the name of Allah, some Americans won't believe you. It works the same way as it does, say for Catholics, at this time....many people don't trust priests anymore, and have been leaving the church, because there hasn't been enough public apologies from the leaders regarding all the hurt that's been done. Many people don't think they care or understand either.

      September 8, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • jtelfrey

      My God, The Great I Am, created all that there is. Is Allah and Hubal the same god. Where did Allah originate? Allah is not not The God of Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
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About this blog

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.