US city at centre of Koran burning to step up security

Discussion in 'Americas' started by LETHALFORCE, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    US city at centre of Koran burning to step up security (Extra) - Monsters and Critics

    Washington - Security was stepped up in Gainesville, Florida, the city at the centre of a controversial plan by an obscure pastor to burn Korans on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Centre has declared Saturday as 'International Burn a Koran Day,' attracting widespread condemnation from the White House and religious leaders of all faiths across the United States.

    'To ensure public safety, the city of Gainesville is following the situation very closely ... with planning for a wide assortment of contingencies,' said Bob Woods, the city's communications manager. He wouldn't give further details on the extra measures planned, citing security concerns.

    Outdoor and open burning are prohibited in Gainesville, and require a permit. Jones was denied such a permit by the fire rescue department, Woods told the German Press Agency dpa. If Jones goes ahead with the Koran burning plan, he will be violating the city's ordinances.

    Woods said city officials had repeatedly met with representatives of the Dove centre to call off the plan.

    Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe has been very public about his feelings, 'the mayor speaks for his community and has been public in his dismay about the planned Koran burning,' Woods said.

    In a statement, Lowe said he condemned the 'offensive behaviour that has been directed at our Muslim neighbours and those of the Islamic faith worldwide. Dove is a tiny fringe group and an embarrassment to our community.'

    The mayor described Gainesville as 'a place that values every person. We may be of different religions, sexual orientations, races, genders, national origins or ages, but all are welcome here in out effort to build a better community.'

    He criticized those who 'seek to create anger instead of reason,' adding that 'Gainesville values a sense of community and innovation, which necessarily requires the contributions of people of good will from a myriad of backgrounds.'

    The city of 117,000 is home to the University of Florida.
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Koran-burning planned for 9-11 has Muslim community on edge- The New Haven Register - Serving New Haven, Connecticut

    Koran-burning planned for 9-11 has Muslim community on edge


    GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Before she left her Miami home to return to the University of Florida this fall, Wajiha Akhtar’s parents gave her some unusual advice: Stay indoors as much as possible and, whatever happens, don’t go near the Koran burners.

    “I was fearful,” says Akhtar, 24, a graduate student in epidemiology who says she never had any concerns as a Muslim here until recently. “Will we get singled out?”

    Far from ground zero, where debate over a proposed Islamic center is still roiling, a Gainesville church has aroused anger and tension among Florida’s growing Muslim community and caught the world’s attention — from international headlines to rallies in Indonesia and India — because of its pistol-toting pastor’s plan to ignite a bonfire of Korans on 9-11 to protest what he calls a religion “of the devil.”

    Fearing violence, some Muslims are leaving town on the Sept. 11 weekend to avoid problems.

    Last week in South Florida, 13 mosque leaders issued a call to the region’s Muslims for nonviolence in anticipation of high emotions over the desecration of Islam’s holy book. At UF, administrators have said they’re afraid the protest at the small Dove World Outreach Center will mar the school’s image, while international students and prospective foreign applicants have also expressed concern.

    “Things have escalated,” says Ismail ibn Ali, president of the university’s Islam on Campus student organization, which serves about 600 Muslim students in this city with 1,500 Muslims, a population that’s slowly grown over the last 30 years.

    The city’s two mosques, already packed in recent weeks for the holy Ramadan month, have become the site of frequent discussions between Muslims about how — or if — to react to the church, whose pastor also plans to burn copies of the Talmud, a sacred Jewish text.

    “We’re hoping people will not protest because it might turn into a volatile situation,” says Ali, 21, a biochemistry student from Doral, Fla. “But people still want to do something to show the positive side of Islam.”

    The unexpected attention toward a city that’s little known beyond its university and football team has caused an identity crisis. Gainesville, a relatively liberal and religiously diverse college town in conservative North Central Florida — it elected its first openly gay mayor this year and has made strides in interfaith relations — is trying to protect its image with mixed results.

    Last week, 20 Jewish, Christian and Muslim clergy gathered on the steps of City Hall to denounce the nondenominational Dove church, whose 50 members regularly parade through the UF campus with T-shirts and signs in red ink declaring “Islam is of the devil.”

    Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe has declared Sept. 11 as “Interfaith Solidarity Day.”

    Administrators and counselors have been asked to attend a special panel discussion at UF to listen to concerns of international students about church members, whom UF President Bernie Machen has called “purveyors of harm.”

    A ad-hoc group called Gainesville Muslim Initiative has planned several counter events, including an outreach to the homeless on Sept. 11, a “Koran 101” lecture at UF and “Know Your Muslim Neighbor” open houses at the city’s mosques later in the month.

    Muslims in South Florida and across the nation are planning similar efforts in reaction to what’s happening in Gainesville and broader perceptions of anti-Muslim sentiment — from the most extreme opposition to an Islamic center near Ground Zero to protests over mosque projects and attacks on Muslims elsewhere.

    Despite those efforts, “overseas, the story is seen as ’Christian and Americans plan on burning the Koran,“’ says Hassan Baber, 21, a business student who has had several relatives from Pakistan ask him about what’s happening. His experience reflects that of many foreign-born Muslim students interviewed for this report.

    “They say, ’It’s unbelievable the type of things going on there. You have to tell them the truth or do something,“’ says Baber, who will be staying in town on Sept. 11 to join Muslim students to feed the homeless.

    On Saturday, 3,000 Muslim Indonesians rallied outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta in one of six simultaneous demonstrations across the nation against the Koran burning, echoing a smaller protests in late August in that country and India.

    The Organization of the Islamic Conference, a Saudi Arabia-based group representing dozens of Muslim states, has warned that Koran burning will stir up “anger across the Muslim world and provoke unrest.”

    (EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM)

    “This city is flourishing. There are new initiatives in technology and research, but this is how we get on the map?” says Akhtar, the epidemiology student from Miami.

    Since returning to school, she says she is less fearful and has been able to go on about her life as before. But when she talks to relatives in Maryland and California, “They say ’Gainesville? Are you safe there?“’

    (END OPTIONAL TRIM)

    Most Muslims say Terry Jones, Dove Center’s pastor, has a constitutional right to burn their holy book.

    But, “people are feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of anti-Islamic rhetoric recently,” says Aisha Musa, an assistant professor of Islamic Studies at Florida International University.

    The stakes are high: Five years ago, a Newsweek report caused a stir when it said that American interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet to rattle a detainee. The news, later retracted, set off days of deadly anti-American rioting in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The same year, a Danish newspaper’s printing of cartoons of Muhammad — Islam prohibits physical depictions of its prophet — also ignited protests in several Muslim countries.

    Muslims fear Jones’ church could spark similar alarm.

    The Gainesville police department is preparing to beef up patrols on Sept. 11, according to a spokesman. The agency has been getting calls for weeks from concerned residents about the church and possible backlash.

    At Dove Center, Jones also has received several death threats.

    The city has denied the church a permit for the demonstration, saying burning books is against the city’s fire code, and the church’s insurance company canceled its policy in late July after Jones announced his plans.

    Jones says he’ll carry on.

    “I’m not doing this because it’s popular,” says Jones, who has lost about half of his congregation as his actions have become more extreme since he first put up “Islam is of the Devil” signs in the church yard last summer.

    Despite the decline in Gainesville, the church — its anti-Islamic thread went largely ignored outside Florida until this year — has gained thousands of online followers.

    (EDITORS: STORY CAN END HERE)

    Some Muslims believe there could be a silver lining to the controversy.

    “People have been asking me lots of more questions about Islam,” said Mona Younas, a pre-med student from Kendall, after attending evening prayers recently at the Islamic Center of Gainesville, a mosque adjacent to campus that Muslims have used for 20 years.

    On campus, she regularly helps distribute Islamic literature and fields questions on topics from the role of women in Islam to jihad and terrorism.

    Sitting in the parking lot of the two-story building nestled between a gas station and a fraternity house, she expressed a cautious optimism for Islam’s future.

    “We’ve come far since Sept. 11. There’s an understanding of differences, of faiths and at UF, you can be who you are without being afraid,” said Younas, 21, who had slipped on a silver head scarf over her typically uncovered hair to pray.

    “But this Koran burning is exactly the kind of reason my parents would never let me wear the head scarf full time. As soon as you step outside of campus, the feeling suddenly changes. There is still an uneasiness.”
     
  4. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    France24 - US pastor defiant as Clinton slams Koran-burning

    US pastor defiant as Clinton slams Koran-burning

    AFP - An evangelical pastor insisted his plans for a mass torching of the Koran would go ahead after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the "disgraceful" burning ceremony in Florida.

    Clinton was the most senior US official to speak out against the torching scheduled for the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, saying she was "heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths."

    The White House also added its voice to warnings that the move could trigger outrage around the Islamic world and endanger the lives of US soldiers.

    "It puts our troops in harm's way. And obviously any type of activity like that that puts our troops in harm's way would be a concern to this administration," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

    He was reiterating comments by top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, who warned burning the holy book of Islam would provide propaganda for insurgents.

    "It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan," said Petraeus of the plan, adding that it could cause significant problems "everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."

    But a small church, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, has vowed to mark Saturday's ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks by burning Korans as they remember the almost 3,000 people killed by Al-Qaeda hijackers.

    "We are taking his concerns very seriously," pastor Terry Jones told CNN late Tuesday, referring to Petraeus, but "we right now have plans to continue."

    Although the fire authorities turned down an application a few weeks ago from Jones to hold the open-air burning ceremony, police cannot intervene until they actually light the 200 Korans.

    Even then, no arrests would be made as contravening local ordinances is only a misdemeanor, and citations -- fines and warnings -- are issued in such cases.

    Jones said the Koran torching aimed "to remember those who were brutally murdered on September 11," and to send a warning "to the radical element of Islam."

    The move comes against a backdrop of Islamophobia driven by plans to build an Islamic cultural center in New York close to Ground Zero, the site where the World Trade Center stood before it was destroyed in the 2001 attacks.

    US Attorney General Eric Holder met religious leaders to discuss ways of stemming the anti-Islam tide, with calls from the broad coalition of faiths to make a strong speech condemning hate crimes.

    Muslim Advocates executive director Farhana Khera said after the meeting that Holder had described the Koran-burning plan as "idiotic and dangerous," but regretted the ceremony itself was not a violation of federal law.

    Saturday's anniversary is set to coincide with festivities for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of prayer and fasting for nearly 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.

    Jones remained defiant. "Instead of us being blamed for what other people will do or might do, why don't we send a warning to them?" he said.

    Religious bigotry was roundly condemned at a press conference called by the coalition of inter-faith leaders meeting with Holder.

    "To those who would exercise derision... bigotry, open rejection of our fellow Americans for their religious faith, I say shame on you," said Richard Cizik, one of the country's most prominent evangelical leaders.

    "We are profoundly distressed and deeply saddened by the incidents of violence committed against Muslims in our communities. And by the desecration of Islamic houses of worship," added Rabbi Nancy Kreimer.

    There have already been protests in the Afghan capital Kabul and in Indonesia -- the world's largest Muslim-majority country -- against Jones's plans while Iran has warned it could unleash an uncontrolled Muslim response.
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Hmm bible and quran contain more or less the same thing plus it contains many references to jesus and follow the same god as mentioned in the bible.

    Let idiotic pastor burn the books then tell him he burned jesus and god message as well.

    Muslims should not get upset because the quran is only made up of papaer...let them burn it...important thing is written on the paper. God's message in quran is inside your head where no can burn it.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    War on terror was suppose to be against extremists but actions like this make it seem like it is a war against muslims, a modern day crusades.
     
  7. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    idiotic act ,cant US govt stop that it will send wrong signal to entire Muslim community ..then what he did when US army doing nonsense stuff in Iraq is he sleeping then :angry_10:
     
  8. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

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    the thing i dont understand is that white house is more concerned about the US soldiers coming under fire in afghanistan rather than the secular fabric of US being burned with koran.....its a utter shame that US cant even stop it....!!
     
  9. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    If usa try to stop this and not stop mosque being built in ny then democrats will surely lose next election to republicans.

    This is all politics.
     
  10. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    [​IMG]

    You can apply that to any faith. I'm sure those rednecks behind this Koran-burning definitely fit into this category.
     
  11. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    The government has to stop this, look at what the cartoon controversy in Denmark started and USA is aware of that but still not doing enough. This should be labelled a hate crime and stopped. Obama is being a hypocrite claiming to want better relations with the islamic world and allowing something like this to happen.
     
  12. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    He cant do anything. The govt didn't give the pastor to burn a bornfire but the pastor will still burn because he knows the fine is not much.

    Infact this is a nothing story being blown out of proportion by media.
     
  13. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    The US government has to, and can stop this in the name of "national security," if it wants to. It just has to argue that this Koran-burning creates circumstances that endanger US troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan further.
     
  14. EagleOne

    EagleOne Regular Member

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    US pastor Terry Jones cancels Koran burning

    :emot112:
    pastor of a small US church who planned to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11 has cancelled his protest.
    Terry Jones said he was calling off the event after the group behind a planned Islamic centre near Ground Zero in New York agreed to relocate it.
    But the cultural centre's organisers said they had no plans to move it.
    Mr Jones' plan had been internationally condemned and had already sparked many protests around the world.
    US Defence Secretary Robert Gates had telephoned him to urge him to reconsider his plans. The pastor had also been visited several times by the FBI.
    Mr Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, which has fewer than 50 members, had named Saturday "International Burn a Koran Day".
    But at a news conference, he said he was now dropping the plans and urged his supporters to do the same.
    He said he would travel to New York on Saturday to meet those behind the Islamic centre, saying they had "agreed to move the location".
    "The American people do not want the mosque there, and, of course, Muslims do not want us to burn the Koran," he said.
    "If it's not moved, then I think Islam is a very poor example of religion. I think that would be very pitiful. I do not expect that."
    'No agreement'
    Mr Jones was joined at his news conference by Muhammad Musri from the Islamic Foundation of Central Florida.
    Mr Musri said he and Mr Jones had committed to travelling to New York "to come to a decision on moving the mosque".
    "We are committed to dissolving the situation here and there," he said.
    He also thanked Mr Jones for his "courage and his willingness to take these serious events that are unfolding".
    But the organisers of the New York centre said no agreement had been reached with Mr Jones.
    Leader of the New York project, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf issued a statement saying he welcomed the cancellation of the Koran burning.
    "However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri," he added.
    "We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony."
    Mr Musri clarified to reporters that no guarantees about moving the Islamic centre had been given.
    He and Mr Jones had only agreed to fly to New York to discuss the location of the Islamic centre with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
    Plans for the Islamic centre have prompted fierce debate in the US because of its proximity to the scene of the 9/11 terror attacks.
    President Barack Obama had earlier warned Mr Jones the proposed burning would be "a recruitment bonanza" for al-Qaeda.
    The US State Department had warned US citizens of an increased risk of attack, while international police organisation Interpol also issued a warning of the risk of violent response

    BBC News - US pastor Terry Jones cancels Koran burning
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Pastor is a clot. He is the typical Joe the Plumber material, who is consumed by the Self.

    If he claims to be a Christian pastor, then he is totally out of sync with Christianity as is being understood in the Bible.

    Love, Compassion, Forgiveness are the traits that are touted by the Christian pastors and missionaries as the benchmarks that Jesus left for the World.

    If that is so, this bloke is a mere Pretender and a fraud for he is shunning the goodness that Jesus wanted the world to benefit from.

    He has just a following of 50 and so this is possibly a publicity stunt to increase the followers of his Church since followers means MONEY and POWER!

    He has been able to garner attention since the South of the US is a haven for the Rednecks and Hilbillies, who are basically illiterates. And illiterates are the mostly the ones who are attracted to radicalism in all religions. The sneaky chaps become self styled preachers to spread hatred and find some meaning, perverted that it maybe, to their lives so that they can bask in a few minutes of ill fame!!

    That he is a stupid man and who is a traitor actually to the US is so evident because his idiocy has put the US and ISAF troops (mostly Christians) in harm's way, as the Americans so quaintly put for danger.

    The US law protects such fools since they exercise the First Amendment and they are safe from any police or govt action!!
     
  16. Solid Beast

    Solid Beast New Member

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    The event has not been canceled apparently. Just checked the latest news.

    By the way I think this is an important issue but it is being blown out of proportion for all the wrong reasons. America has lost it's sense of why it was founded. You would have thought that after persecuting Africans for 200 years, they would be a sensitive bunch. This will only pander to extremists oversees who will find easy it easy filling the ranks up of terror cells. This event will have far ranging consequences from Gaza to Kabul and back. It is also disgracing the memory of what happened on 9/11, where a bunch of religious thugs took matters in their own hands and displayed to the world a symbol of their hatred. This pastor has got to be the biggest Yosemite Sam jackass I have seen preaching the word of salvation and peace.
     
  17. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    I think this was done deliberately.

    Its all politics...i bet someone in the republican party contacted this pastor to do his act and get him media attention (seriously why would media give a loony like him attention ?) with instructions to call it off at the last moment to put more pressure on mosque builders in new york by showing that we stopped burning quran and now you must stop building mosque.

    Why else would the pastor bring us mosque issue when he cancelled the event ?

    or maybe im fantasizing!
     
  18. lurker

    lurker Regular Member

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    how so? This isn't a government sanctioned action. This is the action of a private citizen/ private group, and a small one at that. This also doesn't destroy the secular fabric of the US. In fact, the government actually interfering to stop it could be construed as destroying the secular fabric of the US by showing preferential treatment to the Islamic holy text.

    It would be an even bigger shame if the US govt could stop a non-violent protests due to issues of 'national security'.

    Perhaps the Mosque issue was the final straw which gave the idea to the preacher? There are any number of reasons that the pastor would bring up the mosque, not least his espoused beliefs that Islam is a religion of hate, and that that 'religion of hate' is building a mosque near the site of a terrorist attack from practicers of the 'religion of hate', desecrating the memories of the victims of that attack.

    The pastor holding this twisted point of view seems more plausible than the repub party searching for a nobody preacher to burn Qurans in front of television cameras in order to put pressure on a project that is not election related in an election year. Especially when the ones who would get the credit for causing the pastor to call off the burning would be Democrats!
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  19. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    What a outrageous behaviour!

    I just can't even imagine someone with sanity can come up with such a crazy idea. These people must have lost their mind.
    "Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad."------Euripides

    By doing this, they are challenging the whole Muslim civilization. These barbarians are going to pay a great price for this.
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Westboro Baptish Church to burn Qurans if Dove doesn't

    By Chad Smith
    Staff writer

    Published: Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 2:42 p.m.
    Last Modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.

    Westboro Baptist Church, the small Topeka, Kan., church that pickets funerals of American soldiers to spread its message that God is punishing the country for being tolerant of homosexuals, has vowed to hold a Quran burning if Gainesville's Dove World Outreach Center calls its off.


    "WBC burned the Koran once – and if you sissy brats of Doomed america bully Terry Jones and the Dove World Outreach Center until they change their plans to burn that blasphemous tripe called the Koran, then WBC will burn it (again), to clearly show you some things," the church announced in a news release this week.

    more: Westboro Baptist Church has vowed to hold a Quran burning if Gainesville's Dove World calls its off

    Latest

    Check SauceDoctor's post #159.
     
  21. nimo_cn

    nimo_cn Senior Member Senior Member

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    You call this non-violent? How innocent you are to say that.

    They are declaring a war against another civilization by doing this, in which thousands of people may die. This is utter violence.
    It seems Americans still fail to learn a lesson from the 9.11.
     

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