Florida pastor Terry Jones said his church is suspending plans to burn copies of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11. But it remains unclear if it will take place on another day.
The Rev. Terry Jones defied international condemnation by resisting to drop the plans announced earlier this summer. He said his opinion of Islam hasn’t changed. He also said the prospect of violence overseas and death threats he’s received convince him that the religion is “much more violent than we thought.” But a briefing by the FBI about the threats as well as appeals from Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Obama about the threat the burning would have to U.S. troops influenced his reversal. Also, a deal with a Florida imam to get the Manhattan mosque/community center to move elsewhere also influenced his change in plans. He said he’s going to New York to meet with the imam planning the center.
Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, said on CNN’s “AC360” Thursday night that the minister concocted the story about the Islamic center to “give himself a reason to call this off” because he “was trying to save face.”
“I told the pastor that I personally believe the mosque should not be there, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it is moved,” Musri told the Associated Press. “But there is not any offer from there (New York) that it will be moved. All we have agreed to is a meeting, and I think we would all like to see a peaceful resolution.”
Some media reported late Thursday that Jones was reconsidering canceling the burning.
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