Obama Condemns Plans to Burn Quran

A radical pastor in Florida is planning to lead his congregation in a burning ceremony of the Quran on September 11th to mark the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attack on the USA. To deface or destroy their holy book will cause great offence to the Islam community, and many are concerned that this will give Muslim extremists more fuel to lash out against America.

Reverend Terry Jones is the head of a small Gainesville church, with around 50 people in his Christian fellowship. They are currently going ahead with plans to burn copies of the Quaran in protest of the terrorist attacks, however this reckless act will only incite even more anger between the religious groups. Jones defends his decision by stating “we are not killing anyone”, but his planned actions have been condemned by his own country’s leaders. When speaking to ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’, President Barack Obama said “I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. We’re already seeing protests against Americans just by the mere threat of it”.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has also spoken out calling the plans “disgraceful” and has assured the rest of the world that this behaviour does not reflect America’s views or their government. Even Downing Street and the Vatican have called for this ‘International Quran Burning Day’ to be stopped, along with the leaders of several other countries. Despite the world wide backlash, Jones is sticking to his guns. He obviously hasn’t been phased by the 100 death threats he is reported to have received.

Many of our London escorts are strongly opposing these plans; the reverend may believe that he is justified in retaliating in this way, but it will do nothing for world peace and it’s difficult to see what good can come of it. There are fears that Muslim extremists will target American troops and use this as an incentive to recruit more people to extremist groups such as Al Qaeda. Obama called the plans a “recruitment bonanza” for them.

With only two days to go until September 11th, all we can do is wait and see how the events unfold for Terry Jones and the rest of America.