Obama to Koran-burning minister: ‘Call off your stunt’

(AFP)

President Barack Obama implored a Florida minister to call off his Quran-burning “stunt,” saying it would jeopardize U.S. troops abroad.

Obama told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview aired Thursday that he hopes the Rev. Terry Jones of Florida listens to “those better angels” and to the individuals and organizations pleading with him to change his mind.

“If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans,” the president said. “That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.”

“And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform,” Obama said.

Said Obama: “Look, this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The president also said Jones’ plan, if carried out, could serve as an incentive for terrorist-minded individuals “to blow themselves up” to kill others.

Jones has said that a call from the Pentagon, State Department or White House might make him reconsider his plan. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said government officials are discussing that possibility, though no final decision has been made. Gibbs said the president has not been involved in those discussions.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morell added Thursday that whether to issue the personal appeal was “not an easy decision” because it could provoke other extremists “who, all they want, is a call from so-and-so.”

Obama has gotten caught up in the burgeoning controversy surrounding the practice of Islam in America, saying at one point that he believed that Muslims had a right to build a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 terror attacks in New York City.

Earlier, several members of his administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, had denounced the Quran-burning plan.

Also, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the ground commander in Afghanistan, has said the act of burning the Quran could endanger troops fighting there.

The State Department is cautioning Americans worldwide that there is a “high potential” for violent anti-American demonstrations if the church goes through with its plans. Officials noted that demonstrations have already been reported in Afghanistan and Indonesia and they urged Americans abroad to avoid areas where protesters might gather.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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4 Responses to "Obama to Koran-burning minister: ‘Call off your stunt’"

  1. griff  September 10, 2010 at 8:40 am

    So burning a Koran (which I don’t believe is wise or appropriate) is a recruitment tool for Al-CIA-duh?

    Nah, hogwash!

    Ummm, how about invading and occupying half the Middle East, and constantly threatening the other half? That can’t possibly fuel any animosity towards the wondrously righteous, pure as the driven snow U.S. of A.

    News Flash! We’re at war. By that very definition, out troops are in harm’s way. It happens to be the job of our armed forces.

    Change our foreign policy and you will change attitudes toward us. Until then, there will always be those that want to do us harm.

    • Carl Nemo  September 10, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      Spot-on succinct commentary Griff! It amazes me that this preacherman nobody threatens to burn the ‘Holy Qu’ran’ and everybody in a leadership position along with hundreds of millions of Muslims and ‘sensitive’ Christians are soiling their skivvies. Talk about “bank for the buck” publicity or what here…!? / : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  2. Carl Nemo  September 10, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    My apologies…”bang for the buck” and not “bank… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Bill  September 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Never before did one man get so much publicity for so cheap.

    I can see the ad agencies planning their next campaign slogans:

    “Buy an Electrolux or Burn a Koran. Its your choice, but your house won’t get cleaned if you burn baby, burn!”

    “You can burn a Koran or buy our Toaster. The heat from the Koran conflagration is higher, but the toaster gives an even, golden crispness to your bread with significantly less mess.”

    Nuff said…

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