Small Florida church stirs up a world of controversy
A small church in Florida is stirring up a world of controversy with its plans to burn copies of the Qur'an on the anniversary of 9/11.
Calgary Islamic leader, Syed Soharwardy says the planned actions are pure and simple hatred.
"Every Muslim will see this as an insult, as blasphemy, as hate mongering," says Soharwardy who is the president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.
The burning plan has been condemned all around the world.
"It's regrettable that a pastor can make this outrageous, distressful, disgraceful plan, and get the world's attention," says Hillary Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state.
The pastor's comments have already sparked heated protests including one in Afghanistan where hundreds gathered on the streets of Kabul chanting "Long live Islam," and "Death to America."
The Florida preacher says the world's reaction will not change his plans to burn a couple hundred copies of Qur'an on Saturday.
"We have received very much pressure in the direction of cancelling the event. As of this time, we have no intention of cancelling," says Pastor Terry Jones from the Dove World Outreach Centre.
The fiercest criticism, so far, has come from the American military leaders who worry their troops will face retaliation.
Canada's Defense Minister, Peter MacKay echoes that sentiment and says he is concerned about the safety of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.
"By burning the Qur'an, it sends a horrible message of intolerance. It will, in some fashion, encourage further violence," says MacKay.
Most legal analysts say the pastor and his followers have the right to burn the religious book but they also say that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.