Florida Church Plans to Burn Korans on 9/11
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Tucked away in rural, north Gainesville, a small, fifty member church is getting international attention for its next church function: The burning of several hundred Korans on September eleventh.
"We wanted to send a message to Islam, especially to the radical factions of Islam, that type of religion violence is not welcome in America," said Terry Jones.
He is the senior pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center and author of "Islam is of the Devil".
A Muslim university thousands of miles away in Cairo, Egypt has condemned the charismatic Christian church's plans to order and then burn hundreds of Muslim holy books. Word has spread though signs on property and social media like Facebook.
We asked Jones if Jesus would burn the Koran. He replied, "Yeah, because it's not a holy book."
He added, "Things like 9/11, Fort Hood, honor killings, these are possibly not isolated incidents. These are things that if we don't stand up now, that they can increase."
It has come at a price to the tiny church. Vandals damaged its cross and signs.
The two signs that the church had put up announcing this event had been torn down by vandals, and so they got a third, much bigger sign.
Death threats are now pouring into the church from in and out of the United States prompting the FBI and local police to visit the pastor, who are advising him on how to prevent a potentially deadly attack.
"We feel that it is that important, and that the times call for some type of radical measure and standing up," Jones said.
The pastor, who has a concealed weapons permit, says he is taking measures to protect himself, his church, and their controversial event.
We asked him if he will feel responsible if anyone is harmed. He answered, "I will not feel responsible, no, because it has been made very, very clear, the dangers and what could happen."