The pastor of a church sponsoring an "International Burn a Koran Day" says that the event is meant "as a warning" to radical Muslims.
Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational church in Gainesville, Florida, appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Thursday.
Recently, his church announced it would be sponsoring a "Burn a Koran Day" on September 11th. According to the "International Burn a Koran Day" Facebook page, the event is meant to "bring to awareness to the dangers of Islam and that the Koran is leading people to hell," adding that, "eternal fire is the only destination the Koran can lead people to so we want to put the Koran in it's place - the fire!"
On his Thursday appearance, Jones was first questioned who, if anyone, could convince him to stop his "Burn a Koran Day."
"You do like or respect anyone, sir?" questioned Matthews.
"Oh, I guess our last president, President Bush," responded Jones.
"And if George W. Bush, the former president, were to call you up now or visit with you and say I think this is going to cause trouble in the Arab and Islamic world, I will not, I really think you should not be burning Korans in public on that day, it's their holy book, would you not do it?"
"That would not change our plans, no."
Later in the segment, Jones explains why no one could convince him to put an end to the event.
"We want to send a very clear message, we want to remember those who were murdered and killed on 9/11," said Jones. "And we also want to send a very clear message to radical Islam. We see that all over the world, we see that all over Europe. We want to send a very clear message to them, to Muslims, that if they are in America, they are free here to worship, but they must honor and respect our constitution. We want to send a very clear message that we do not want Sharia law and Sharia courts. That is what our international burn a Koran day is about."
"What do you think the reaction will be as this goes on international television?" Matthews asked in response.
"Well, I hope it will send a very clear message..."
"What will be the reaction," interrupted Matthews. "What would be the consequence?"
"That Islam should not try to do what they have done in Europe. You see in Europe as Europe took a lackadaisical attitude, as Europe did not move forward, you see that as the Muslims in Europe, as they gained in population, they also begin to demand Sharia law, Sharia courts, which is a very violent form of punishment and what we hope to accomplish by the burning of the Koran is to send a very clear, it is indeed a radical message, but a very clear, radical message to Muslims, to Sharia law, that that is not welcomed in America."
After being questioned on the consequences of the "International Burn a Koran Day" by Matthews yet again, Jones responded that "we are dealing with a society and with a Sharia law that condones the killing and stoning of homosexuals, the stoning of adulterers."
"We feel that our message to reach those people must be radical and we feel that this message will be received as it is intended, as a warning."