Mar 21, 2011
Quran burnt in Florida church
Iranian men clench their fists as they hold-up and open copy of the Muslim holy book, the Quran, during a protest against the earlier threats by a US pastor, Terry Jones, to burn copies of the Quran. — PHOTO: AFP
GAINESVILLE (Florida) – A CONTROVERSIAL US evangelical preacher on Sunday oversaw the burning of a copy of the Quran in a small Florida church after finding the Muslim holy book ‘guilty’ of crimes.
The burning was carried out by pastor Wayne Sapp under the supervision of Terry Jones, who last September drew sweeping condemnation over his plan to ignite a pile of Qurans on the anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks.
Sunday’s event was presented as a trial of the book in which the Quran was found ‘guilty’ and ‘executed.’ The jury deliberated for about eight minutes. The book, which had been soaking for an hour in kerosene, was put in a metal tray in the centre of the church, and Mr Sapp started the fire with a barbecue lighter.
The book burned for around 10 minutes while some onlookers posed for photos.
Mr Jones had drawn trenchant condemnation from many people, including US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, over his plan to burn the Muslim holy book in September.
He did not carry out his plan then and vowed he never would, saying he had made his point. But this time, he said he had been ‘trying to give the Muslim world an opportunity to defend their book,’ but did not receive any answer. He said he felt that he couldn’t have a real trial without a real punishment. — AFP