In NY, Controversial Pastor Says No Quran Will Be Burned

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Pastor Terry Jones told NBC's "Today" show on Saturday that his church in Gainesville, Fla., would not burn Qurans in protest of the building of an Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks. (Published Saturday, Sep 11, 2010)

    A Florida pastor says his church will never burn a Quran, even if a mosque is built near Ground Zero.

    Pastor Terry Jones had threatened to burn the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks over plans to build an Islamic center near where terrorists brought down the World Trade Center nine years ago.

    He flew to New York and appeared on NBC's "Today'' show. He says that his Gainesville, Fla., church's goal was 'to expose that there is an element of Islam that is very dangerous and very radical.''

    He tells NBC that "we have definitely accomplished that mission.''  Jones has said he wants to meet with the imam overseeing a proposed mosque and Islamic center to be built near ground zero.

    He says no meeting is planned with the imam leading the center but he hopes one will take place.

    Earlier Friday, Jones' son, Luke, said that the Quran-burning won't take place Saturday but couldn't say whether there would be a future event.

    An associate of the pastor said Jones was able to sneak out of his Gainesville church without the media noticing.

    Earlier Friday, Jones' son, Luke, said that the Quran-burning event will not take place Saturday but couldn't say whether there would be a future event.

    Florida Imam Muhammad Musri, had said he had a commitment for Jones and himself to meet in New York with imam Feisal Rauf there.

    But  Rauf said Friday that he has no plans to meet with a Florida pastor who has threatened to burn copies of the Quran.

    "I am prepared to consider meeting with anyone who is seriously committed to pursuing peace," Rauf said in a prepared statement Friday afternoon. "We have no such meeting planned at this time. Our plans for the community center have not changed. With the solemn day of September 11 upon us, I encourage everyone to take time for prayer and reflection."