The Burning Question

By Yobie Benjamin
On and off and on again… maybe! Burn, no burn, maybe burn.

Burn-a-Quran zealot Pastor Terry Jones has issued a statement that he has only suspended his decision to burn Qurans. Jones backed off his promise to burn Qurans on 9/11 and then threatened to reconsider burning the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, angrily accusing a Muslim leader of lying to him Thursday with a promise to move the Park51 mosque away from New York’s ground zero. The imam planning the center denied there was ever such a deal.

The reports are saying that Jones offered to stop the burning of Qurans if Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf owner of the Park51 mosque would agree to move the mosque from its current planned location near ground zero to another place farther away. The agreement was supposedly brokered by Florida Muslim leader Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida.

On Thursday evening, Terry Jones emerged from his church in Gainesville, Fla., with Florida Imam Muhammad al-Masri to announce his decision to cancel his Koran burning, saying he had a supposed deal as “a sign from God.” The erratic pastor said that Imam Abdel Rauf, the leader behind the Ground Zero mosque in Manhattan, will meet with him in New York on Saturday. Jones said he relented when Musri assured him that the New York mosque will be moved in exchange for stopping the Koran burning.

“He has agreed to move it,” Jones said referring to the Park51 mosque. “And we have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday. Americans don’t want the mosque there and of course Muslims don’t want us to burn Korans,” said Jones. Musri, however, said after the news conference that the agreement was only for him and Jones to travel to New York and meet Saturday with the imam overseeing plans to build a mosque near ground zero.

Hours after the seemingly collegial joint Musri/Jones press conference, Jones angrily said Musri “clearly, clearly lied to us.”

“Given what we are now hearing, we are forced to rethink our decision,” Jones said. “So as of right now, we are not canceling the event, but we are suspending it.”

Jones did not say whether the Quran burning will happen on Sept 11, 2010. Jones said he expected Musri to keep his word and expected “the imam in New York to back up one of his own men.”

There is confusion though because Imam Rauf said there was no such deal. “I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Korans,” Rauf said. “However, I have not spoken with Pastor Jones or Imam Musri. I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we here to barter. We are here to extend our hand to build peace and harmony,” Rauf said.

The developer of the property also denied there was any deal. “The Muslim Community Center called Park51 in Lower Manhattan is not being moved,” read a statement from SoHo Properties, the developer of the community center that is being called the Ground Zero Mosque.

After Jones accused him of lying, Musri said the pastor “stretched my words” at the press conference. Musri added, “I think there was no confusion to begin with. When we stepped out of the church, we had an agreement to meet in New York. Jones said his main reason for stopping the event was that it would endanger the troops overseas, Americans traveling abroad and others around the world.”

Let’s just hope that Jones comes to his senses as the entire world pleads with him not to burn Islam’s holy book.

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6 Responses to The Burning Question

  1. A lot of Americans feel that the big new Mosque to be built near “ground zero” in New York is the Muslim idea of winning the war with the GREAT SATAN (the USA) by bringing down the WTC towers and putting up a big new Mosque nearby.
    Undoubtedly, some Muslims will see it that way.
    Undoubtedly, some Americans will see it that way.

    So, this Mosque is seen as an insult, a slap in the face and a planting of the victory flag in the mountain top of America.

    You can stop one crackpot from burning Qurans, but when you do 100 more will pop up to burn Qurans.

    In time you will hear a lot of flack and feedback from all sorts of civil liberty groups complaining about the President, the CIA chief, FBI chief and some big shot military leaders for pressuring this preacher to not do what people have been protected doing in this country since the laws were made.

    We haven’t heard the last of this.
    There will be a lot of noise about all these government people trying to stop this man from doing what he is allowed to do in the USA.

    In the end, you can look around YouTube and Google and find a number of other groups that have decided to burn Qurans as a reaction to this government pressure to stop the preacher from burning the book.

    So, stopping Jones from burning the Quran was futile.

    The media owns this mess. They created this circus and now they want to blame something or somebody else.

    • A lot of Americans feel that the big new Mosque to be built near “ground zero” in New York is the Muslim idea of winning the war with the GREAT SATAN (the USA) by bringing down the WTC towers and putting up a big new Mosque nearby.

      Ignorance is the real enemy here. In Kali-yuga it seems all too common that the “most” of any group are ignorant. The fact is that there is a mosque currently 4 blocks from ground zero which has been there for 40 years. Some fanatics of the same religion brought those towers down. We know that muslims have had a hard time since 2001 in publicly exercising their religious freedom. But every religion has some followers they are ashamed of. What about when prominent Christian preachers claimed that the U.S. deserved devastating hurricanes because of homosexuality? And I know a few Hare Krsna’s who have made me ashamed to be associated with and prayed that outsiders don’t identify me with. Thinking outside of the “most” ignorant group should be our goal.

  2. I think the best move for the “media” would be to conceptualize a “new” religion that is a mish-mosh of Islam and Christianity. They must bring out a book with both scriptures intermingled as part of the same “mythology” and market it as if its the best thing since sliced bread!

  3. From a media interview with the reverend:

    Q. And you believe that everything that is not from god is of the devil. Is that right?
    A. Yeah, I guess so. Uh-huh. Then again, it depends on what you’re talking about. I don’t believe necessarily baseball is from the devil because it’s not from god. But I mean, basically in general, I believe that if it’s not from god, it’s from the devil. Right.
    Q. Is Hinduism of the devil?
    A. Yes, of course.
    Q. Buddhism?
    A. Yeah.
    Q. How about Judaism?
    A. Yes.

  4. Looks like somebody else decided to burn the Koran because the preacher didn’t.

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