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U.S. Embassy Condemns Quran Burning at Fla. Church

(RNS) The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan called the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church “abhorrent” as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the act as a “serious setback” to world harmony.

U.S. Ambassador Cameron P. Munter tried to distance the United States from the Sunday (March 20) event overseen by Pastor Terry Jones of Gainesville, who presided at a mock trial of the Quran in which the Islamic holy book was found guilty and set ablaze as punishment.

Last year, Jones’ plans to burn a pile of Qurans on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks sparked protests in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. Jones called off that event after pressure from President Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.


“The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act,” Munter said in a statement Tuesday (March 22). “The U.S. commitment to freedom of religion and freedom of expression goes back to the founding of our nation and is enshrined in the Constitution. We absolutely reject religious intolerance in any form.”

Munter’s statement came on the same day Zardari took up the issue in Pakistan’s parliament and urged the United Nations to address the matter.

“We condemn this act in the strongest possible words,” Zardari said. “It is a serious setback to the efforts at promoting harmony among civilized communities throughout the world.”

– ADELLE M. BANKS, Religion News Service

  • The Buddha

    It should go without saying that decrecration of Christian, Hindu and Buddhist symbols are regular occurences in the Ummah.

    The Buddha called— he’d like his Bamiyan monuments back.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Edgar Emmett

    The hypocrisy of the Pakistani President is glaring. He calls on the UN to condemn the burning of a Koran but is silent at the killing of a Christian Minister of Ethnic Minorities who stood against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are not even supported by the Koran.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Our Ambassador Cameron P. Munter said it all and the Pakistani President should internalize those words. The act of burning the Quran is abhorrent, but Americans have freedom of religion and if this man who is some sort of a pastor wants to have a trial and do his nutty deed he is legally allowed to. You can bring it before the UN, but the UN can’t change our Constitution. It’s very hard for people who are used to controling the actions of their countries peoples to understand how freedom is tolerated in this beautiful America. This is disappointing to have happened in Florida, usually a great state of people, but it doesn’t set anyone back unless that is what you want, to be set back; instead of ignoring this unhealthy exhibit of a religious extremist, and continuing on in harmony.

  • Pingback: The Koran-Burning “Trial” That Started All the Trouble |

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