A Gainesville, Florida, church’s plan to burn Qurans on September 11 could endanger U.S. troops and civilians, according to U.S. General David Petraeus.
The Dove World Outreach Chuch, run by Pastor Terry Jones, appears to be set on holding its demonstration regardless of these statements. On the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, they plan to have a book burning, and the book will be the Quran.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called the plan dangerous and idiotic.
Muslims treat copies of the Quran with great reverence. A ritual washing takes place before touching a Quran, and even old, torn or damaged copies are handled with respect. The public desecration of the Quran by burning will be a great offense to Muslims throughout the world.
Protests have already erupted in countries with large Muslim populations, such as Indonesia and Afghanistan. General Petraeus has said the burning will put both U.S. troops and civilians in danger. It will also assist the Taliban, giving them a rallying point to incite their followers to greater extremism and violence. U.S. troops in Afghanistan have already had to endure rock throwing protesters.
Jones has said that these concerns will not sway the church’s decision to hold the Quran burning protest, but that he is praying about it.