GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A Florida church is rebuffing warnings by the U.S. military's top official in Afghanistan to cancel a scheduled Sept. 11 burning of the Muslim holy book.
Pastor Terry Jones told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he agrees his plan to burn the Quran could provoke violent opposition.
However, Jones says America should quit apologizing for its actions and bowing to kings.
Jones is the head of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville.
Gen. David Petraeus says the plan to burn the Quran there could endanger U.S. troops and the safety of Americans worldwide. He says images of the Quran burning would be used by Islamic extremists to inflame and incite violence.
RESPONSE FROM VATICAN CITY:
VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican newspaper says Christians around the world are protesting a plan by an American minister to burn the Quran on the Sept. 11 anniversary.
"No one burns the Quran," read the headline in Tuesday's L'Osservatore Romano.
The article summarized criticism from Catholic bishops, including Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, who condemned the plan as "contrary to the respect owed all religions and against our doctrine and faith."
Pastor Terry Jones of the small, evangelical Dove World Outreach Center has said he will go ahead with plans to burn copies of Islam's holy book to protest the Sept. 11 attacks, despite a warning from the top U.S. general in Afghanistan that U.S. troops would be endangered as a result.
RESPONSE FROM WASHINGTON DC:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says an American church's threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book could endanger U.S. troops serving overseas, and the State Department denounced the
plan as "un-American."
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says that type of activity gets transmitted back to places like Afghanistan, where U.S. forces could be put in harm's way. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, says the images of a burning Quran would be used by extremists to incite violence.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called a Florida church's threat to burn copies of the Quran to mark the Sept. 11
attacks "un-American" and said the plan was "inconsistent with the values of religious tolerance and religious freedom."
WINK NEWS VIEWERS RESPOND ON FACEBOOK:
"Please don't put our troops at risk to promote your own agenda. You would not be pleased if a Bible were the target."
"This pastor does not reflect my Christian beliefs. In this way, he exemplifies how a few islamic terrorists do not reflect all people of Islamic faith."
"I don't believe the church should burn it to endanger our country even more. That's ridiculous. What has this world come too?"
"I believe the pastor needs to show the Love of Christ, not the love of the terrorist. How can we set a Christian example if we act like the terrorist!"
"How would the people of this church feel if Muslims burnt the Holy Bible? Burning or deliberately damaging any holy book of any religion is WRONG!"