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Terry Jones at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., Monday, Aug. 30, 2010. Jones …
A church in Florida, US, is reportedly planning to host an "International Burn a Quran Day" on the anniversary of the Sep 11, 2001, terror attack, a move that has been condemned by many Christians and Muslims. The Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Florida, would host the event to remember
9/11 victims and take a stand against Islam, which it calls a "deceptive religion" and "of the devil".
The church is promoting the event on its website and Facebook page and has invited Christians to burn the Muslim holy book at its premises from 6 pm to 9 pm.
"We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it's causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times," church pastor Terry Jones was quoted as saying by the CNN.
The Facebook page has more than 1,600 fans. "Eternal fire is the only destination the Quran can lead people to, so we want to put the Quran in its place - the fire!" the page says.
The church also launched a YouTube video to disseminate the message.
"I mean ask yourself, have you ever really seen a really happy Muslim? As they're on the way to Mecca? As they gather together in the mosque on the floor? Does it look like a real religion of joy?" Jones says in the YouTube video. "No, to me it looks like a religion of the devil."
Jones also said he has written a book titled Islam is of the Devil, and that the church sells coffee mugs and shirts featuring the phrase.
Muslim and Christian groups have, meanwhile, launched a protest against the event.
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) issued a statement urging the church to cancel the event, warning it could cause worldwide tension between the two religions.
"The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbours of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect," it said.
Another Facebook group with more than 3,000 fans said it stands "against the disrespect and intolerance that these people have for the Muslim people".
An Islamic advocacy group - Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) - has said it would give out 100,000 copies of the Quran to local, state and national leaders, in a bid to educate the public during the month-long fast of Ramadan.
"American Muslims and other people of conscience should support positive educational efforts to prevent the spread of Islamophobia," CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said.
Burn Koran day endangers US troops
Top US commander: Burning Quran endangers troops
Washington: A Florida church intends to go ahead with a program to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary 9/11 amid worldwide outrage and appeals by US authorities to back down from such extremist actions.
Among the most fervent appeal is one from General David Petraeus,who has warned that the event could endanger American troops in Afghanistan,where already there have been demonstrations against the provocation.
It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems.Not just here,but everywhere in the world,we are engaged with the Islamic community, Petraeus said adding the actions could endanger the lives of American troops.
Separately,Lieutenant-General William Caldwell,commander of the Nato training mission in Afghanistan,told CNN that news of the planned Koran burning by the little-known Florida church was already provoking popular anger in Afghanistan.
Its their holy book,so when somebody says that theyre going to destroy that and cause a desecration to something thats very sacred to them,its already stirred up a lot of discussion and concern amongst the people, he said.
The US embassy in Kabul also pitched in,saying the United States government in no way condones such acts of disrespect against the religion of Islam,and is deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.
But the extremist church leader who has planned the Burn a Koran day in memory of the victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam, is unrepentant.Terry Jones,a preacher in Gainesville,Florida,says Islam is causing billions of people to go to hell,it is a deceptive religion,it is a violent religion and that is proven many,many times.