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. bobster26

    lesson learned: The jews wrote the bible: because: they were always picked on,"Love thy jew" and the script begins.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  2. O Yea

    Let us send him to Pakistan , so they can do whatever they want to him and wash our hands of this trash ....

    April 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  3. LoveOfIgnorance

    APRIL FOOLS! He really burned a copy of SHAZAM! on vhs.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      That can't be allowed to stand. I'm going to burn a copy of "Electra Woman" in retaliation.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  4. MadMo

    Afghan once was a great Hindu country, now it is hell hole on the earth. For anybody who thinks that this cannot/does not happen in US/any modern country think again. Learn the threat/tactics of Islam in
    FaithFreedom OR JihadWatch

    April 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  5. thoughtprocess

    I think pastor Jones should go over to Afganistan and preach his beliefs.......Im sure they would be very welcoming.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  6. Hmmm

    Yes the pastor has the right to do what he did but he is still an attention wh.ore

    April 1, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  7. Mark

    Terry Jones is an IDIOT! A Christian shouldn't Judge others and he clearly does.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  8. Hugh Jarce

    Where today they burn books, tomorrow they burn people.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  9. holycow

    freedom of expression should not enable lunitics to incite large groups of people through inflammatory comments/actions. something our founding fathers didn't consider when they guaranteed us this right: insanity is contagious.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  10. chaos

    Looks like Pastor Jones should have another few drinks and contemplate the Fatwa now issued on him.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  11. Ralph

    This is what hate does... hate is the worse evil... hate will divide us, hate will destroy us- and kill many. In the US hate of immigrants will drive away the SMART ones, in other countries hate will allow the easily influenced to fight us... Hate might be inevidable... weather we hate the bad ones, hate the good ones. hate a coworker, hate a family member, hate a group, or hate god... but in the end you will be judged, and all that hate will be put on the bench.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  12. Just Sayin

    So in judgement you all sit... Judging the perp on both sides or just one? Seems most of you choose to judge Rev. Jones and tend to forget about the people that died... is this what we are comming to?????

    April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  13. Concerned

    Nowar....... You are in Idiot...... Or Islamic...... The same thing

    April 1, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  14. JonathanL

    From his appearance, stranger than a wookie, one serious werewolf, Terry jones must be a religious Christian. Religious Christians have smaller heads than non-religious ones and more facial hair, and they do look kind of frightening. But to be fair to Muslims they have facial hair too, but again the more religious ones have smalller heads (some live in holes in the ground). More evolved humans have larger heads, have lost most of their fur, and their religions, walk more upright, and live above ground and don't suck blood like vampires.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  15. Kendall Lockerman@Decatur, GA

    Jones should be tried for crimes against humanity for the shameless display of his wardrobe.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  16. Reality

    Google "Muslims bible burning" to get all said references about Muslims burning the bible but note that once the "bowers" of Islam see how they have been conned by their imams and ayatollahs for the last 1400 years, they too will burn their copies of the koran i.e. the angel Gabriel never existed so there is no way that the warmongering, womanizing, and hallucinating Mohammed got any koranic passages from some god. Tis the great angelic con game.

    Joe Smith was the latest to pull it off with his "angelic" Moroni. The significant stupidity and gullibility of it all!!!!!

    And ditto when we the "pew peasants" of Christianity finally realize the con that has been pulled on us, we too will burn our bibles. I have not burned my copy but have relegated it to the mostly fictional section of my reference library.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  17. aubrie

    Well, "Pastor" Jones. I certainly hope you're happy. You now have the blood of 12 innocent people on your hands. Great role model you are!!! I hope you suffer the guilt and consequences of your crime and atrocity for the rest of your life and in the afterlife...... It amazes me that people don't consider the consequences of their stupidy. If you're that ignorant, you have no business being a "Pastor".

    April 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • Jeffrey Davidson

      100% agree with you! Pastor Terry was onlu in the limelight last year because he proposed such a stupid act and at that time I said the blood guilt would be on his hands for the people that would murdered around the world because oh his actions. Now his spiritual hands are dripping blood. And this most likely is the tip of the iceberg. the rest of the world just looks at the USA like we are a bunch of idiots who let people burn sacred texts without any objection. "Freedom of Speech" and the west pushes so hard to have the rest of the world "BE LIKE US". Well paster Terry is no flashlight highlighting what is the USA. He's an odd ball and no real Christian. This weirdo is actually trying to usher in the Armageddon. Put a sign up outside his church "Wacho inside and other wachos welcome".

      April 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Freedom

      I do not agree with burning the Koran from Jones but burning the Koran or Biblle or Buddist holy book or whatever books should be an excuse for such a babaric act of killing innocent people.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Freedom


      in my previous comment, "...should be..." should be "....should NOT be...".

      I apologize for my typo in my previous comment.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Jeffrey Davidson

      The fact is that here in the USA we do not live our faith as our life. We don't take it seriously. We don't breath the grace that we have been blessed with with reverence. This is the case FOR THE MAJORITY THAT IS. We do not live Christianity as life and law as they do in the middle east and anywhere where Islam is practiced seriously. We do not take off our shoes and bend down to the ground taking up that spot of earth, whatever spot it is, as HOLY GROUND, for the moment while we interface with GOD. Now I'm no Muslim. To me Chistianity is the WAY and all together HOLY. We should feel a fire in our belly if someone or something was to desecrate our belief structure. NOTHING is grounds for understanding or rationalization of what those murdering criminals did to those UN workers but I would say that CHRISTIANS have lost their way and if we were really on the path we would see that actions of this suposed Christian ambassador in the form of TERRY JONES are totally wrong and malicious. The families of the workers should form a class civil litigation associating him with the deaths of their family memebers.

      April 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  18. bobster26

    Regularfella: You are exactly right-on the mark. Napoleon controlled his people, like every other countries leader( Kings, Queens, Marnarchs ) with torcher. put them in the dungens if they don't believe in religion. brain-wash them as children to grow-up as good little christains so as not to commit anarchy against the upper class or royalty. That's what the pope has been doing for centuries. send out the nuns in droves to other countries to convert the heathons, and don't forget about the muslims, islam has the same docternation. like all religions, even the hitler youth was indocternated and look what that produced in wwII, ( and the nazi pope ). and I can't forget about our own good ol' U.S.A. Brain washed church sociaty that produces all the righht wing-nut republicans. Religions cause all of the wars in the world and that is a fact, learn your history .

    April 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  19. Jeena

    Why is this barbaric incident catching media attention? Let this guy burn whatever he wants, why the media people are trying to ignite a fire here. Such incidents should have ignored and should not be bought to limelight. There are so many holy books burnt in various countries. Please ignore the ignorant.

    April 1, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  20. Nowar

    Is there no law in America to punish this man for the death he has caused?

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

      He hasn't "caused" anything.

      Is this guy a self-promoting a.s.s? Yeah. Does burning a book (I don't care which one) warrant this response? HE.LL NO!

      April 1, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • mulsimsux


      April 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Alfonso

      It is not the pastor's fault. Does that mean we have a right to kill Muslims when a Christian missionary is killed in an Arab country? Of course not! Only hateful satan loving people kill other people! Hell sure is going to be overcrowded.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • jgraham

      why does the media give Pastor Terry Jones the attention. He obviously wanted to mix the pot up a little and now he is part of the reason some innocent people have lost their lives. He is guilty as the Afgani people whom committed this heinous crime

      April 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • P-Rod

      The people who did the actual killing "caused" the killings, not this chuckle-head. He surely knew, however, that violent reprisals, including the death of others, might be a result of his childish antics, because those scenarios were raised and discussed last year when this self-absorbed, short-sighted idiot threatened to do the same thing. Way to spread the word of God, jack a.s.s.

      April 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
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