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Quran burning plan on 9/11 draws Clinton's fire

[ 2010-09-09 13:36]     字号 [] [] []  
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An evangelical pastor insisted his plans to torch the Quran would go ahead after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the act as "disgraceful".

The leader of the little known church found himself in the eye of a rapidly swirling storm on Wednesday with several Muslim and world leaders deploring his plans as fanning flames of intolerance, as well as Muslim hatred of the United States.

Clinton was the most senior US official to speak out against the burning scheduled for the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, saying she was "heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths."

The White House added its voice to warnings that the move could trigger outrage around the Islamic world and endanger the lives of US soldiers.

"It puts our troops in harm's way. And obviously any type of activity like that puts our troops in harm's way would be a concern to this administration," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday.

He was reiterating comments by top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus, who warned burning the holy book of Islam would provide propaganda for insurgents.

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan," said Petraeus of the plan, adding that it could cause significant problems "everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community".

But a small church, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, has vowed to mark Saturday's ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by burning Qurans as they remember the almost 3,000 killed by al-Qaida hijackers.

"We are taking his concerns very seriously," pastor Terry Jones told CNN late on Tuesday, but "we right now have plans to continue."

Although the fire authorities turned down an application from Jones to hold the open-air burning ceremony, police cannot intervene until they actually light the 200 Qurans.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Quran burning plan on 9/11 draws Clinton's fire

About the broadcaster:

Quran burning plan on 9/11 draws Clinton's fire

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.