Simon Wiesenthal Center has joined many in the Evangelical Christian community in condemning a Gainsville, Florida church, the Dove World Outreach Center, for planning an “International Burn a Koran Day” this September 11, “in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!”
|The Center’s logo|
“September 11th should be a day for prayers for the 9/11 victims and their families and redoubling our resolve to defeat Al Qaeda and all other terrorists bent on our nation’s destruction, including all those who validate the culture of death,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s Associate Dean and Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s Interfaith Director.
“The burning of the book holy to the world’s Muslims is morally repugnant,” the Rabbi continued. “We urge leaders of this church to cancel this despicable act, which will certainly spawn a wave of new recruits for Islamist extremism and terrorism,” they concluded.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).
According to story carried on the CNN website, the church has invited Christians to burn the Muslim holy book at the church from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
|Rick Sanchez with Pastor Terry Jones during the CNN interview|
In an interview with CNN’s Rick Sanchez earlier this week, Pastor Terry Jones, said, “We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it’s causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion and that is proven many, many times.”
According to CNN, Jones wrote a book titled “Islam is of the Devil,” and the church sells coffee mugs and shirts featuring the phrase.
“Muslims and many other Christians — including some evangelicals — are fighting the initiative,” the CNN story added.
Now the church has launched a YouTube channel to disseminate its messages.
“I mean, ask yourself, have you ever really seen a really happy Muslim? As they’re on the way to Mecca? As they gather together in the mosque on the floor? Does it look like a real religion of joy?” Jones asks in one of his YouTube posts.
“No, to me it looks like a religion of the devil.”
The CNN story went on to say, “The Islamic advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations has called on Muslims and others to host ‘Share the Koran’ dinners to educate the public during the month long fast of Ramadan beginning in August. In a news release, the group announced a campaign to give out 100,000 copies of the Koran to local, state and national leaders.”
CNN says that The National Association of Evangelicals, the nation’s largest umbrella evangelical group, issued a statement urging the church to cancel the event, warning it could cause worldwide tension between the two religions.
“The NAE calls on its members to cultivate relationships of trust and respect with our neighbors of other faiths. God created human beings in his image, and therefore all should be treated with dignity and respect,” it said in the statement.”
Dove’s Facebook page, set up for the September event, has more than 1,600 fans.
“Eternal fire is the only destination the Koran can lead people to, so we want to put the Koran in it’s [sic] place — the fire!” the page says.
But another Facebook group, according to CNN, with more than 3,100 fans, says it that stands “against the disrespect and intolerance that these people have for the Muslim people” and encourages people to report Dove’s page to Facebook.
CNN said that one of the signs — one reading “Islam” on one side, “Devil” on the other — was recently vandalized. On its blog last week, the church said the sign will be replaced.
Dan Wooding, Assist News Service