You’d think there would be a better way to publicly (and peacefully) condemn terrorist actions than waging a war on an entire religion. One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is assuming one group of people speak for an entire faith. (Here’s looking at you, Westboro Baptist Church.)
And yet, here we go again: Pastor Terry Jones of Florida’s Dove World Outreach Center says that if a pastor currently being held in prison in Iran isn’t released, he will burn Qurans as a symbol of protest this Saturday.
Jones made headlines in 2010 for a similar protest in which he vowed to burn Qurans on the anniversary of 9/11. The protest was cancelled after he and the Dove World Outreach Center received over 100 death threats. “We feel that God is telling us to stop, and we also hope that…maybe that will open up the door to maybe be able to talk to the imam,” he told NBC’s “Today” in an interview after the decision.
Jones also told “Today” at the time that he would not make plans to burn the Quran “not today, not ever.”
But in March of 2011, Jones doubled back on those words and held a mock trial for the Quran at the Dove World Outreach Center. After a six hour trial, Jones and fellow pastor Wayne Sapp found the Quran guilty for responsibility for violence, and “executed” the book by burning it.
Despite protests in Afghanistan over Jones’ actions, threats against Jones and calls for his prosecution in several countries, and warnings from U.S. officials, it looks as if Jones is still moving forward with his next scheduled Quran burning. The move could prompt more violence in the Middle East against Americans, considering the U.S. is already under fire for burning Qurans at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan, as well as images of U.S. soldiers posing with Afghan body parts.