Timeline of Florida's Quran-burning pastor
Florida pastor Terry Jones.
April 1st, 2011
01:33 PM ET

Timeline of Florida's Quran-burning pastor

On Friday, a bloody attack on a United Nations building in Mazar-e Sharif is suspected to have been carried out by a mob protesting  last month's Quran burning by Pastor Terry Jones.  The Florida pastor made headlines last year when he threatened to burn Qurans to protest Islam, on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  On March 20, he went through with the act, this time failing to attract widespread media attention.  However, the incident triggered outrage in Pakistan, which condemned the desecration and called for him to be charged with terrorism.  Here's a timeline of events leading up to the Quran burning:

July 2010

Pastor Terry Jones, head of the 60-member Dove World Outreach Center church near Gainesville, Florida, announces he will host "International Burn a Quran Day" on the eve of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. He tells CNN at the time that the event is to protest "the brutality of Islamic law" and that "Islam is of the devil."

The event is roundly denounced by a number of groups, including the National Association of Evangelicals.

August 2010

Religious leaders in Gainesville, Florida, hold a peace gathering to show solidarity in their opposition to Jones' planned event. The city of Gainesville denies a burn permit to Dove World Outreach Center, but the church says it still plans to go ahead with the Quran burning. Jones says an armed Christian organization, Right Wing Extreme, will provide security for the church. The organization later pulls its support, saying the event "does not glorify God."

September 2010

Jones signals that he may reconsider the Quran burning after a warning from Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, that it could put U.S. forces in danger.

The Vatican and others continue to urge the church not to burn Islam's holy book as worldwide protests start to heat up. Meanwhile, the U.S. military prepares for the worst.

Days before the planned event, Jones gives mixed messages about whether he intends to carry out his plans: He calls the Quran burning off, then says the church will "rethink our position."   As the date approaches, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Barack Obama publicly urge him to call off the event. Jones also announces he plans to travel to New York on the day of the planned burning to meet with the imam behind a proposed Islamic center near ground zero, the site of the 9/11 attacks.

On September 11, 2010, Jones tells NBC, "We will definitely not burn the Quran. Not today, not ever."  He heads to New York where he sets up a meeting with the imam in charge of the proposed ground zero Islamic center.   Speculation that Jones called off the Quran burning as part of a deal to move the proposed Islamic center is disputed by a Florida Muslim leader.  Meanwhile, analysts criticize the media coverage of Jones and speculate whether it was all a publicity stunt by a pastor from a small Florida town.

October 2010

A New Jersey dealership gives Jones a free car for calling off the Quran burning.

December 2010-January 2011

Jones is invited to speak at an English Defense League rally in February 2011, but the British government denies him entry.  Jones vows to take legal action.

March  2011

Jones announces he will hold "International Judge the Koran Day" on March 20, in which he stages a mock trial of the Quran, burns the Muslim holy book, and posts photos on his church's website. The incident receives little media attention in the United States, but is publicly condemned by Pakistan's government. The country's interior minister calls for international terrorism charges to be leveled against Jones, according to The Associated Press of Pakistan.

Jones says he plans to take part in an April protest at the American Islamic Community Center, in Dearborn, Michigan, outside Detroit. The protest against "Sharia and Jihad" is scheduled for Good Friday, two days before Easter.  Officials at the Islamic Center of America are still deciding how to respond, though they are leaning toward a Good Friday counter-event that would bring together religious leaders of different backgrounds to encourage tolerance and interfaith dialogue.

April 1, 2011

Protests break out in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan against the March 20 Quran burning in Florida. A United Nations source says an attack on a U.N. building in the city that left 12 people killed - eight U.N. workers and four Afghans - followed those protests.

Jones issues a statement calling the killings “tragic,”  and urging the United States and the United Nations to “hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities.”

- CNN.com Senior Producer

Filed under: Florida • Islam • Pakistan • Quran

soundoff (606 Responses)
  1. Johnj

    This pastor is just as guilty as the people that attacked the UN building. This guy knew something like this would happen if he burned the Kora, but guess what, he went along with it anyway. Both parties are guilty, and it just goes to show you the only thing religion is good for is the spreading of hatred!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  2. puppo

    I wouldn't give a dime for this guy's life. If he wakes up on the other side he better have some sp-35 with him. In all seriousness: "Bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you, and you will heap coals of fire upon their heads". That's what Jesus said. This supposed preacher is a facist. According to the bible he is a false prophet. Glad the msm didn't jump all over it.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  3. jdalco

    Burning the book was dumb, but that said, the protests and killing folks over it show how far gone some of them are. Folks, it is a book, paper, nothing worth killing over. I think they lost their argument with the nut priest by showing exactly why he thinks they are crazy and proving him right. The Muslims need to get with the program and deal with the rest of the world, they don't get to have their way all the time. They really need to learn self control at some point. Radical Muslims have done far worse and no one complained. . . get over it

    April 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  4. pithymcgee

    Maybe if we just pray really hard everything will work out!! /sarcasm

    April 1, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  5. Johnj

    This guy should be held accountable for what HE has done too! That's all religion is good for is spreading hate.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  6. J

    I think Jones should be tried as a terrorist. If it is against the law for other people to blow, burn or otherwise demolish anything 'sacred' to us then we should be held to the same law. But unfortunately, I believe he would be found mentally incompetent to stand trial!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
  7. UKiddingMe

    2011- and people are still dying in the name of religion. All I can say is <WOW!. Pick a better cause to die for!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Just Sayin

      What would you suggest? Progressive liberalsim? Atheism? Perhaps we should all choose the right to see Mickey Mouse in person .... at the governments expense of course......

      Better Idea... how about Truth (not PC truth), Freedom,

      Even Better Idea ... politicians that don't pander, that tell the truth and not the parties slant.....

      Oh well .... that must be heaven!

      April 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  8. John

    What a jerk this Rev. Jones is.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  9. Joann Halpern

    Does he have to give up the car?

    April 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Burned my finger on a flaming Quran

      The car probably broke down. This is how he protests being given a lemon, perhaps. Now he can just hitch a ride from any reporter coming to ask him questions. Very economical.

      April 5, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  10. zazu

    The Right in this country have never met christ to begin with. This is so unchrist like. The Christ of the Bible is known for his love of sinners, hate of hypocrisy (that was why his main detractors were the Pharisees and Saducees–the Religous right of the day). He never cared for the Religous right, was a freedom loving liberal who preached a gospel of love without coercion. His gospel said "who so ever will" (cf. Jn 3:16) and respected peoples right to reject the gospel! He never went around enforcing faith and searching people's woumbs. cared for the poor and confronted those who exploited them. If he was around today he will be a liberal democrat and the Republicans will be the modern Pharisees who would crucify him. Pastor Jones and Jerry Falwell will be leading the mob!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Xlpain

      i think if he were around and cared about politics hed say," why only a two party system? Thats pretty stupid, there probably just working together in the background working towards a common goal. There not giving Americans a choice at all. There just as controlled as any other country."

      April 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Frank

      I'm encouraged by your post. Somehow over time the line of faith and religion got blurred. They are not one in the same. There are many – too many and too many with their own agenda – have religion but no faith. This pastor based on his actions is one of them.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  11. laila

    I condemn the killing of UN workers..they were there to help and had nothing to do with Terry jones actions. Afghanistan has been in war since 3 decades..people there not seen anything but violence, devastation, poverty and etc. burning of the qoran was just salt over the wounds to start the violence for these people. Terry jones was told many times over one year not to do it, he was suppose to be the educated one...he knowingly did it regardless of his actions causing loos of life...i hope he is happy now

    April 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  12. peoplecalmdown

    http://www.testifi.webs.com _ If you want to know what true Christians spend their time doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  13. Muneef

    The White House-Muslim Condemnation-Alienaton-Anti Muslim Bigotry....Middle East Wars,Conf-licts....All to serve More than One Purpose;

    April 1, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • J

      you must not be an american. which means you are not tolerant of other persons' beliefs. so keep it to yourself.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  14. Xlpain

    Even though this was a predictable outcome, i have an issue with the retaliation. ITS JUST A BOOK!!! Anyone who follows a religion and is willing to kill for it is a retard. Anyone who wants to burn another religions book because "it is evil" is a hypocrit and also a retard. We should keep in mind some of the teachings that have been handed down from intelligent people of the past. But to worship something so blindly is a mistake. THINK FOR YOURSELF, IMAGINE A WORLD WITH PEACE

    April 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Theoderic

      I like this.....

      April 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  15. EJS

    This is a needless tragedy. Anyone with any sense or remnant of human values, let alone Christian ones, would never have done what Jones did. He is abhorrent to any society or religion and Christians should stand up and denounce him before he verifies those negative comments regarding religion. Jones should be held responsible for inciting (yes – free speech will protect him) those who think differently. There ARE ways to promote understanding among different cultures and religions and Jones's ways are not one of them. And those who have killed are responsible for their actions and should be held accountable.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  16. Trevor

    Another glorious example of why I have fully embraced atheism. You mindless little lemmings!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • holycow

      condescending to those you disagree with doesn't make you sound smart at all.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Theoderic

      I think all religious people should be helped in getting to heaven as quickly as possible. Just say'n....

      April 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  17. zazu

    I think the good pastor should go to Afghanistan and present them with the love of Christ that is compelling him deep in his heart! He should go there asap and explain to them their foolishness and enlighten them with the wisdom that he got from his faith! I am sure he takes the bible so seriously that he did such a heroic act that he is willing to go and face his fellow conservatives there!

    April 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  18. SadieSadie

    As a Christian I think what he did is disgusting. It is not Christ lime.
    I do find it hypocritical that Muslims are freaking out though. How many bibles have been burned ny Muslims without the Christians murdering innocents?
    Deplorable in the extreme Jones and a sad loss of life. May God be with the families

    April 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • SadieSadie

      * Christ like & by Muslims

      April 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • laila

      A good Muslim will never burn a bible...i never heard any Muslim burning a bible...Muslim respect Jesus as one of the prophets they also respect the bible...I remember Muslim protested few years back over this movie that Jesus portrayed in the movie as being insulted. If people learn about each other they will find out there are alot in common than differences.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Seenen

      Just curious. Have you actually ever seen a Muslim burn a bible? Maybe they have but I watch the news regularly and have never seen it.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Freddy

      Can I get some Christ lime pie?

      April 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Just Sayin

      Laila – That is why Coptic Churches were burned recently ... because all Muslims are good Muslims.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Gee

      You mean, some Muslims. I'm Muslim and I could not care less if he burned the Qur'an. In the end, it has little effect on me.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Tazza Jones

      mmmm.... Christ Lime! Sounds delicious!

      April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Xlpain

      Who cares if they do burn a bible. Its just a book written by.....NO ONE KNOWS. Its a bunch of stories to help people without a soul or common sense. I dont need someone to tell me not to kill. I say burn every religious book on the planet and start from scratch. Ill write a bible that people in a thousand years will think was written by an alien that created the universe. Maybe it will bring the human race together finally. What we have now is a way to compete against eachother. Whos religion is more holy than the other.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Frank

      We shouldn't fall into the trap of relevant right or wrong – a key point by Jesus throughout the Bible. If our goal as Christians is to be the light of the world and spread the good news, the act by this pastor doesn't promote that. It only strengthens the arguments of non Christians that Christians are hypocrites.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • universbelongstoallah

      We Muslim we do not burn any of allah books. we believe in all books. Allah said: And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah (Himself) is Guidance. And if thou shouldst follow their desires after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, then wouldst thou have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper. (120)

      April 1, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  19. Muneef

    The White House-Muslim Condemnation-Alienaton-Anti Muslim Bigotry....Middle East Wars,Conf-licts....All to serve More than One Purpose;

    April 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  20. Khancon

    Let's send Pastor Jones on a fact finding trip to Afghanistan. He'll have his book, the TRUE word of God to protect him. 😉

    April 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • The Observer

      @ rational old guy:

      You might be rational, but your reading comprehension skills are a bit shaky.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • weareallgodschildren

      I am sorry, Terry Jones does not speak for the American People. Don't burn the Quran, Burn Terry Jones.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • Toljaso

      Let's not blame the killings on the ones in the mob that did the killing. That would make too much sense. Terry proved himself right, albeit with bad taste.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:38 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.