I wonder how much attention I could muster up if I announced my church would be burning some Korans. A cranky and crazy old guy in Florida with about 50 followers was able to get the focus of the world by saying he would take torches to the Muslim holy book on 9/11. Politicians cringed and terrorists strapped explosives to their underwear. But at the last minute the so-called pastor of Dover Outreach Center has possibly changed his mind.
When the story of Pastor Terry Jones torching Korans first broke, few folks covered it except some leftist blogs scouring news-wires for examples of Islamaphobia. This story was ideal in that the book burners could be identified with anyone against the Ground Zero mosque. I wrote extensively on the issue over 6 weeks ago. (See that article here.) As more and more people began to discover the story it became a national concern and an international story. Would this ‘church’ burn the Korans and what would be the reaction by terrorists?
This week warnings from General Petraeus, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other leaders were sent out. Clinton even asked the media not to cover the holy book torching as an act of patriotism. There was a real concern that such an incident would lead to greater attacks on US soldiers and citizens abroad. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called Jones on Thursday asking him to throw away the matches. Even President Obama felt it was necessary to speak up.
“This is a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities.” – President Obama
Suprisingly, Terry Jones announced to the press on Thursday that they will not burn the Korans, because they have a promise from Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to move the Park51 mosque further away from Ground Zero.
“The Imam has agreed to move the mosque. We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday, and on Saturday I will be flying up there to meet with him.” – Terry Jones
The problem is that Imam Rauf’s office responded by saying they made no such promise.