The leader of a small U.S. Christian church says he has called off his plan to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday.
The Reverand Terry Jones said Thursday he called off his protest because he had reached an agreement with Muslim leaders to move the controversial location of a planned Islamic cultural center and mosque in New York. He said the mosque would be moved away from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
A local Muslim cleric who appeared with Jones to make the announcement said he would be traveling to New York to discuss the proposed mosque. But officials connected with the New York mosque project said there was no agreement to move the location.
Jones said moving the planned Islamic cultural center in New York would accomplish his church's goals because, he said, "the American people do not want the mosque at the ground zero location."
Jones heads the small Dove World Outreach Center church in Gainesville, Florida.
U.S. President Barack Obama and other U.S. and international political and religious leaders have spoken out against the plans to burn copies of the Quran. President Obama said publicly burning the Quran would be a destructive and dangerous act. He called the minister's plan an attention-seeking "stunt" that could endanger U.S. troops, but said it is a valid exercise of free-speech rights under the U.S. legal system.
The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert Thursday warning U.S. citizens of the potential for anti-U.S. demonstrations in other countries in response to the Quran burning plans.
- Thursday, September 9, 2010