By CBC News, cbc.ca, Updated: September 8, 2010 5:23 PM

Qur’an burning puts Canadians at risk: MacKay

Qur'an burning puts Canadians at risk: MacKay

Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay says a U.S. church’s plan to burn the Qur’an on Saturday — the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks — will put soldiers from Canada and other countries at risk in Afghanistan.

MacKay’s comments regarding the plan by the Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, Fla., echo those made earlier this week by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.

Petraeus said images of a burning Qur’an could be used for the extremist cause.

“I do believe that in Canada we are quick to embrace people’s expressions of freedom, but burning a Qur’an is no different than burning a Bible,” MacKay said Wednesday. “This is a book of faith.”

“It’s important to point out that we are not fighting Islam or Muslims [at] large in Afghanistan. We are fighting extremists,” he said from Victoria.

Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs has also condemned the plan.

The White House and the U.S. State Department slammed the church’s plan on Tuesday, saying it would jeopardize U.S. lives in Afghanistan.

‘Something’s wrong’: pastor

Terry Jones, the pastor at the heart of the controversy, acknowledged at a press conference Wednesday that he and his supporters had received “much pressure in the direction of canceling the event” but said they’d also received some support.

He then recounted a somewhat rambling tale of a retired United States Army Special Forces member who said he’d witnessed church burnings by “radical Muslims” while fighting in Yugoslavia, presumably in the early 1990s.

“Our burning of the Qur’an is to call the attention that something’s wrong,” Jones told reporters. “We are not convinced that backing down is the right thing.”

“Earlier Wednesday, associate pastor Wayne Sapp told CBC News “people have to be accountable for their own actions.”

“I don’t believe that anyone would die as a result of something we do,” Sapp said. “If a radical element of Islam is violent, if it’s out to take American lives, today it will use this as an excuse. Tomorrow it will find something else.”

Other religious groups are firing back, planning their own events in response.

‘Represents virtually no one’

Larry Reimer, a pastor at the United Church of Gainesville, said Jones leads a group of about 30 worshippers only. “He represents virtually no one.”

Reimer called the plan dangerous, hurtful and harmful.

“It’s disrespectful and has nothing to do with God, who tells us to love one another,” Reimer said.

He planned to deliver a 3,000-signature petition to Jones on Friday asking him not to burn the Muslim holy book.

In addition, Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders say they will read passages from the Qur’an at services this weekend.

cbc.ca (Copyright: (C) Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, http://www.cbc.ca/aboutcbc/discover/termsofuse.html#Rss)


4 thoughts on “HEY, HERE’S A NOVEL IDEA…

  1. That’s why I support this pastor on this one aspect. It will show muslims that not all Westerners are cowards and it will show them that we have a right to free speech, whether they like it or not .

    It will also display the behavior of Westerners who don’t like what Dove church is doing up against the behavior of muslims who object to quran’s being burned. It should be interesting and enlightening.

    Let’s see who the barbarians are.

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