On ABC’s Good Morning America, President Obama condemned hate pastor Terry Jones’ plans to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11. Deploring it as a “stunt” and a “destructive act,” Obama argued the planned event “is completely contrary to our values of Americans.” Obama then offered an explicit national security argument against Jones’ hate campaign, even suggesting that it could increase the possibility of suicide bombers on American soil:
And as a very practical matter, as commander of chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. […]
[T]his is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda. You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who’d be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities.
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Jones said he would be willing to reconsider his decision, only if he gets special attention from the U.S. government:
Terry Jones, head of the Dove World Outreach Center, told USA Today he had not been contacted by the White House, Pentagon or State Department about Saturday’s planned ceremony on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.If he were “that would cause us definitely to think it over. That’s what we’re doing now. I don’t think a call from them is something we would ignore,” Jones told the daily.