The New York Daily News is reporting that “Hate pastor Terry Jones’ Koran burning is one hundred percent off.”
|Terry Jones addresses the media|
The paper said that the controversial rally planned by the Florida pastor on Saturday’s 9/11 anniversary has been “one hundred” percent cancelled, church ally and evangelical leader K.A. Paul told Agence Free Presse (AFP).
Paul, an evangelical minister orginally from Andhra Pradesh in South India, said at a Friday press conference, “I want to be clear and confirm one hundred percent that there will not be Korans burning tomorrow at 6 p.m. as was planned.”
Jones’ son Luke also confirmed the rally’s cancellation to the Associated Press (AP.)
Earlier Friday, Rev. Jones threatened to go through with the burning unless he received a call from New York imam Feisal Abdul Rauf confirming that he would move the location of a mosque set to be built two blocks from Ground Zero. He set a two-hour deadline for Rauf to make contact.
Though the call never came, Jones backed down on his Koran-torching plan, which President Barack Obama publicly slapped Friday without uttering the reverend’s name.
“With respect to the individual down in Florida,” Obama said, referring to Jones, “the idea that we would burn the sacred texts of somebody else’s religion is contrary to what this country stands for.”
The New York Daily News went on to say that the announcement of the cancelled holy book burning came hours after Jones’ estranged daughter begged her dad to abandon the stunt.
“Papa don’t do it,” Emma Jones said she wrote in an e-mail to her father.
“I think his plan is so awful,” she told the German magazine Der Spiegel. “I implored him to consider the consequences, not just for him but for the whole world.”
Jones, who lives in Germany, where her dad ran a church in Cologne until moving to Gainesville in 2008, said her father has not responded.
“I don’t know what’s going through his head,” she told the magazine. “I think he has gone crazy. But I am convinced that he thinks his plan is both correct and good.”
The New York paper said that on Thursday, Jones claimed that he received a “sign from God” and that Rauf had agreed to move the controversial Islamic Center from its proposed site in Lower Manhattan.
Rauf said he never ever spoke with the preacher and reiterated Friday that no meeting had been set up.
“I am prepared to consider meeting with anyone who is seriously committed to pursuing peace,” Rauf said. “We have no such meeting planned at this time.” Rev. Jones said Friday he still planned to fly to New York to meet with Rauf.
In his Friday speech, Obama also denied that he had elevated the obscure preacher by having Defense Secretary Robert Gates call the preacher personally to stop the book burning. He said the call was made to protect U.S. forces serving in Islamic countries.
|Afghan protesters shout slogans during a protest against an American church’s plans to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, in Kabul, September 6, 2010.
(Photo credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ishaq)
“I am also the commander-in-chief and today we are seeing riots” in Afghanistan and Pakistan “that threaten our young men and woman in uniform,” Obama said.
A Koran burning “can cause us profound damage,” the president went on to say. “It is the best imaginable recruiting tool for Al Qaeda.”
Some Muslim extremists have already seized on the Florida pastor’s threat to promote their own agenda.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called Jones a “religious criminal” and “retard that expresses a Western-retarded mentality” CNN reported.
Gainesville pastor Terry Jones previously led evangelicals in Germany
In a story that appeared today (Friday, September 10, 2010) by Tara Bahrampour and Michelle Boorstein in the Washington Post, said: “Terry Jones, the pastor with the handlebar mustache whose plan to burn Korans on Sept. 11 caused international outrage, has left a colorful trail that spans the Atlantic Ocean, culminating in a surreal gathering in front of his church in Gainesville, Fla.”
They went on to say, that he had a “complicated past in Europe,” adding, “Although Terry Jones, 58, has been connected to Dove since the 1980s, he returned full time last year after he reportedly was kicked out of a charismatic evangelical church that he led for almost three decades in Cologne, Germany. He was sent to Germany by Dove founder Donald Northrup, and founded the Christian Community Cologne, according to the Gainesville Sun.
“As a new church with ‘challenging teaching and modern music,’ it appealed to young people, so much that by the mid-1990s, the number of churchgoers grew to nearly 1,000, according to Pro, a Christian magazine in Germany that interviewed several former members. By then, they said, Jones was no longer spreading the Gospel so much as ‘creating his own empire.’
“According to an article the magazine published this week, Jones introduced a strict hierarchical structure that ‘functioned on the basis of command and obedience and created a climate of fear and control.’ The magazine said Jones and his wife, Sylvia, saw themselves as ‘the divinely ordained head of the community, which could not be undone by anyone mortal.’”
After the circus-like atmosphere that has swirled around this controversy, many of Jones’ critics will no doubt hope that he will disappear from the scene so those who lost loved-ones in the 9/11 attacks nine years ago, can remember them with the dignity that they deserve.