Florida pastor says his church will never burn Quran, as protesters chant ‘death to America’ abroad
“Florida Pastor Terry Jones told NBC’s “Today” show on Saturday that his church in Gainesville, Fla., would not burn Qurans in protest to the building of an Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
“We will definitely not burn the Quran, no,” he said. “Not today, not ever,” he said when pressed about whether his planned demonstration might happen at a later date — even if the Islamic center is built near ground zero.
Jones had traveled to New York after ducking out of church late Saturday.
“Jones flew to New York to appear on NBC’s “Today” show and told interviewer Carl Quintanilla that there was no meeting set up with New York Imam Faisal Rauf.
Thousands of people protested in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday against a small American church’s earlier plan to burn the Muslim holy book, chanting “Death to America” and setting shops and police checkpoints on fire, officials said.
Din Mohammad Darwish, spokesman for the governor of Logar province, said police fired warning shots into the air to prevent the protesters from storming the governor’s house. He said no injuries were immediately reported.
He said a highway linking Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan was briefly blocked by the protesters.
Nabi Charkhi, the deputy provincial police chief, said more than 10,000 people took part in the protest in the provincial capital, Puli Alam.
At least 11 people were injured in similar protests in Afghanistan on Friday.
A Florida pastor who had announced plans to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States traveled to New York on Friday.