While the Republican right will be leading their Anti-Mosque Rally at Ground Zero in Manhattan this September 11th, Dr. Terry Jones will simultaneously launch what he hopes will become a global Anti-Muslim crusade from his modest church in Gainesville, Florida.
Dr. Jones’ conceives “International Burn a Koran Day” as the point of ignition for a worldwide crusade to stop Islam — apparently by burning all existing copies of the Quran.
Claiming missionary experience in over 30 nations, Dr. Jones is the pastor of a church euphemistically named The Dove World Outreach Center.
In his limited spare time from his ministerial duties, Dr. Jones authored the right-wing bestseller, Islam is of the Devil.
The title of Dr. Jones’ book has become so popular that it has its own FaceBook page now with 6,255 followers.
When he appeared on CNN, Dr. Jones presented himself as a product of that old time fundamentalist religion still popular in the American South.
In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Jones announced that his recent notoriety produced a spike in his church’s fundraising with circa $1,000 in recent donations.
In addition to money, Dr. Jones is soliciting people to donate more Qurans to add to his blazing pyre on September 11th.
Dr. Jones’ original plan for the bonfire of the Korans included the support of a heavily armed militia and security organization that calls itself, “Right Wing Extreme.”
However, after working with Dr. Jones, the leadership of Right Wing Extreme issued a press release yesterday that stated, “After much thought and prayer the organization’s leadership determined this event does not glorify GOD in way that leads the lost to Jesus Christ.”(sic) In other words, Dr. Jones and his flock are too extreme for Right Wing Extreme.
Even after some adverse publicity the members of Dr. Jones’ flock remain enthusiastic about their prospects for International Burn a Koran Day. On their website, Pastor Wayne Sapp observes that their church has received a flood of emails critical of their plans to immolate a growing stack of Qurans.
In a video titled, “The Koran: A Sorcerer’s Scroll, Acts 19,” Pastor Sapp argues that Koran burning is a tradition ordained by the Book of Acts.
Pastor Sapp tortuously interprets the passage from the Book of Acts against sorcery by equating Islam with sorcery even though Islam did not come into being until six hundred years later than the source he cites.
International Burn a Koran Day will take place on September 11, 2010, from 6-9:00 pm at the Church of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. Signs proclaiming “Islam is of the Devil” surround the church making it easy to identify.
A church spokesman declined to comment whether Dr. Jones is concerned about potential reactions that could cost the lives of US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan or provoke more acts of terror in the USA.
Local officials have denied Dr. Jones’ application for a “burn permit,” but a spokesman for the church said, “We are going ahead anyway with the bonfire of the Korans.”
Michael Carmichael is a Senior political consultant, historian, author and broadcaster
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