Quran Burning Suspended For Now, But Red-Hot Story Remains

September 9, 2010

Author: Liz Halloran

Source: National Public Radio


The Rev. Terry Jones of Gainesville, Fla., had gotten the world's attention with his vow to burn Islam's holy book on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

And despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's musings (accompanied by a rueful laugh) that a patriotic media could choose to pay no attention, the provocative act by the pastor of a tiny church would have gotten ample coverage — more, most agree, than it deserves.

Now it will merit even more coverage: Late Thursday afternoon, Jones announced that he'd given up the Quran-burning plan in favor of flying to New York City. There, Jones said, he will meet with Muslim leaders, who he claimed are amenable to a deal: Don't burn our holy book, and we'll scrap our unpopular proposal to build an Islamic community center and mosque a few blocks from ground zero.

Jones' plans could certainly take more unexpected turns. The imam who has led the effort to build the New York City Islamic center and mosque said in a statement released to CNN that he had not spoken with Jones and was "surprised" by the pastor's announcement. While "willing to extend our hands and build peace and harmony," Feisal Abdul Rauf said, he will not "barter."