As ThinkProgress has reported, the Dove World Church based out of Gainesville, FL, is organizing an “International Burn a Quran Day” on September 11. Gen. David Petraeus warned yesterday that the hate campaign “could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort.” Gen. William Caldwell — the commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan — echoed Petraeus’ admonition on CNN yesterday afternoon:
CALDWELL: What I will tell you is that their very actions will in fact jeopardize the safety of the young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and also undermine the very mission that we’re trying to accomplish.
I would hope they would understand that there are second- and third-order — second-, really, and third-order effects that will occur that will affect that young man and woman who’s out there on point for America, serving their nation today, because of their actions back in the United States.
The hate pastor leading the Quran burning is Terry Jones, author of the a book called “Islam Is Of The Devil.” During a combative interview with CNN host Kiran Chetry this morning, Jones seemed unwilling to reconsider his “Burn a Quran Day,” and instead offered his prayers to soldiers who might be put at greater risk:
CHETRY: Are you willing to have the blood of soldiers on your hands by this demonstration?
JONES: Yeah, we are actually very concerned of course. We are taking the General’s words very serious. We are continuing to pray about the action on September the 11th. We are indeed very concerned about it. [...]
CHETRY: So you’re saying you might not well go through with this? [...]
JONES: I am saying we are definitely praying about it. We have firmly made up our mind, but at the same time, we are definitely praying about it.
Jones said that he is “weighing the situation,” but emphasized that he’s not backing down from the event. During the interview, he repeatedly conceded that he “would indeed offend” Muslims. But, he claimed, “peaceful Muslims” should be supporting his hate campaign. “Moderate Muslims should be on our side,” Jones argued.
Chetry, unable to restrain herself any longer, indignantly responded: “No moderate Muslim’s going to be on your side when you’re burning their holy book! I mean, that just sounds silly.” Watch it:
Already, the planned Quran burning has incited large protests in Afghanistan. “Several hundred Afghans rallied outside a Kabul mosque, burning American flags and an effigy of Dove World’s pastor and chanting ‘death to America.’ Members of the crowd briefly pelted a passing U.S. military convoy with stones, but were ordered to stop by rally organizers.”
On Saturday, 3,000 Muslims marched through Indonesia’s capital and five other cities to protest in front of the U.S. embassy, carrying signs saying, “Jihad to protect Koran” and “You burn Qu’ran you burn in hell.”