Florida Pastor Cancels Koran Burning, Amid Bizarre Claims About “Ground Zero Mosque”

Over the course of a little more than two hours, the "Burn A Koran Day" story merged with the "Ground Zero Mosque" story in a bizarre media circus that seems to have accomplished little other than give press attention to a bigoted Pastor in Florida.


The bizarre and unfortunate saga of the Florida Pastor who wanted to market the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks took yet another odd turn this afternoon when the Pastor himself said he was canceling the event and had obtained a deal to move the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque”:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The pastor planning a burning of the Koran on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks said Thursday he would not go forward with the event, adding he plans to meet with the imam planning to build an Islamic center near ground zero.

Terry Jones, the pastor from Gainesville, Fla., said at a press conference, “We have agreed to cancel the event.”

The pastor’s announcement came after a growing chorus of demands, from President Obama to religious leaders, American generals and others, that he cancel the event planned for Saturday because of the potential imact on Christian-Muslim relations and the effect a Koran burning would have on American troops fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But details of the pastor’s planned meeting with the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf remained elusive. Mr. Jones did say he got a promise to move the New York mosque, but the Imam, in a statement issued shortly afterward, said he had not spoken to the pastor.

“I am glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Qurans. However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones,” the statement said. “I am surprised by their announcement. We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony.”

For a time this afternoon, the media was unquestionably reporting Jones’s claim that he had obtained a deal to move the mosque even though it was fairly obvious that he was not a credible person.

What’s even more apparent, though, is that this entire story has been little more than a publicity stunt by a bigoted Pastor who may or may not have actually intended to ever go forward with his Koran burning, obtained the attention of various high level military and political officials, and, perhaps most outrageously, received a personal telephone call from the Secretary of Defense:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has confirmed that Defense Secretary Robert Gates called a Florida pastor and urged him not to burn copies of the Quran.

Press secretary Geoff Morrell said Thursday’s call to Pastor Terry Jones was very brief. He says Gates expressed “his grave concern” that the burning of the Muslim holy book would put the lives of U.S. troops at risk, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As I said, I’m honestly not even sure that Pastor Jones ever really intended to burn Korans on Saturday. By claiming that he would be, though, he has received weeks worth of media attention, gotten entreaties from the Commanding General of American forces in Afghanistan and comments from politicians ranging from Sarah Palin to Barack Obama, and made media headlines all over the world.

All in all, it’s been a good few weeks for Terry Jones. America, you just got played.

By the way, this wasn’t the only news of the day regarding the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” Earlier in the afternoon, Donald Trump said he had offered to purchase the property on which the community center would be located. Late in the day, that offer was declined.

I am sure it’s possible for this story to get more bizarre, I’m just not sure what it would take at this point.

FILED UNDER: Islam, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    “America, you just got played.”  Sez the guy blogging the issue …

    I’m not sure the story arc looks that bad for America.  If foreign reporting covers the full cycle: we have freedoms, no one took away those freedoms, we just had a big public round of free speech, and ultimately the pastor was convinced.

    (Leaving aside the mosque deal which seems improbable)
     

  2. <blockquote>I am sure it’s possible for this story to get more bizarre, I’m just not sure what it would take at this point.</blockquote>
    The fued reignites as Rosie O’Donnell steps in to buy Park 52 and donates it to the Cordoba House project.

  3. Highlander says:

    Just as the Hard as Nails leaders of Islam imagined.

    With just a little verbage the limp penius white men would fold.

     Doug I don’t mean to be insulting(but the truth is the truth), you are a perfect example.

  4. An Interested Party says:

    I guess it takes a white man with a really hard penis to go through with burning a Qur’an…

  5. SPQR says:

    I was appalled, exasperated and disgusted by the large number of crazies on Wiz Bang and on Ace Of Spades HQ who wanted that lunatic in Gainesville to burn Korans, and who expressed both disappointment and rage that that pastor was backing down.

    Those two websites have the highest concentrations of very sick freaks and genuine, authentic imbeciles and white trash posting anywhere on the entire internet, many of whom are the same jackasses posting on both blogs, and they get away with it because the people who run those two websites are as sleazy and as mean and as vicious and as sick and as twisted as their evil, sick and slimy posters are. 

    All of the hateful sick freaks, morons and fools  on those two websites are as despicable as terrorists are. They are a huge embarrassment to Republicans and they are a disgrace to this country.  They should be heckled by good, decent and rational people at every opportunity. 

  6. JKB says:

    I guess it is only the religion of peace that gets to get upset when their holy book is burned.  Here’s a story from 2009, I don’t remember any threats of murders over: Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan – CNN.com So let’s see we’ve had threats of attacks if the koran is burned, we’ve had implications of attacks if we don’t let the mosque be built.  So much for moderate islam, it was nice knowing ya.  BTW, now that Rauf has started saying the murderers will again attack if we oppose the mosque, we have no choice but to do everything possible to keep that mosque from being built.  No appeasement of terrorists.
     
    Oh and I guess since the developers were hoping for a bit larger payout on their NYC extortion, the burning is back on.  news.yahoo…quran_burning

  7. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Why is it you believe the Muslim and call the Christian pastor a person of questionable honesty Doug?

    SPQR, you are sicker than any of the people you think are sick.  They are standing up against our enemies.  You want to invite them into your homes.  When you disagree with someone, they are sick or crazy.  Look in the mirror.  Is there anything about America you like?  SPQR, how old are you.  They do not allow you to post at Wizbang as your stupid arguement is quickly defeated by fact.  All you can do is call people names.  There are some sick people who post comments on the internet.  Consider yourself one of them.

    The Imam in Florida seems to have lied about not building the Mosque at Park21.  The Pastor agreed to cancel his planned event because he was assured the Mosque would not be built there and he would have an opportunity to meet Rauf.  When the Pastor announce he cancelled the event and why, seems the Muslims stated they did not say what the Pastor said they did.  What do you expect from a religion which teaches it is OK to lie to the non believer?  You trust them.  I’m going to continue to dip my bullets in bacon grease so when the time comes they are on a hell bound train.  It is totally amazing, you are being outsmarted by people who have not evolved from the 6th Century culturally.

  8. rodney dill says:

    I suspect there is more to this than has come out at this point. Either more pressure was applied or a better argument was made to the pastor than has come out in the news. It seems unlikely the pastor was completely hoodwinked, his arm was twisted or he’s getting something out of this. If he goes to New York and its found he was ‘lied’ to, then he gets to claim that an Imam is a liar. (not that a muslim would consider lying to an infidel a sin)

    It will probably be sold in the media that tha pastor was duped, then the real deal if one does exist will take place out of sight.

  9. John Burgess says:

    I suspect that when the pastor realized that if he didn’t go through with his plan, Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist would, he decided he wanted the media attention for himself.
    @rodney dill: May I suggest you take a closer look at the theory of taqiyya? It does not permit a Muslim to lie to a non-Muslim willy-nilly. It, as with the Catholic doctrine of equivocation, permits lying only when the alternative is death.

  10. rodney dill says:

    Maybe you should have taken a close look yourself, John. Also I didn’t say a muslim could lie willy-nilly that was your assertion into my context. I said they wouldn’t consider it a sin.
    If they are allowed to lie only when they can concoct a good excuse that still fits my context as far as I’m concerned.
    Some good references on muslims lying can be found <a href=”http://www.perfspot.com/blogs/blog.asp?blogid=141657″>here.</a> One does jump out.
    Bukhari (49:857) – “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar.” Lying is permitted when the end justifies the means.
    At any rate, if it a sin for the Imam too lie, then the pastor may get the mileage he want out of it if he is duped.
     

  11. SPQR says:

    Aw gee, Zelsdorf, did I hit a nerve?

    You and your kind are delusional sick freaks. You, collectively, don’t defend this country, or serve any useful purpose. You and other blowhards like you sit there in the safety of your homes, diddling on your computers and showing others daily that you are shallow, ignorant, dense and clueless  …, while people like me are out here protecting both your sorry, useless ass and your right to make a fool of yourself. You feel so insecure, so inferior, so inadequate and so stupid  that you shoot off your big mouth and you trash blacks and Muslims so that you can feel better about yourself. You are such a loser. 

    Maybe you feel inferior, inadequate and stupid because you ARE inferior, inadequate and stupid, ya think? Kiss my ass.

  12. SPQR says:

    BTW, Zelsdorf, you need to get a life. You post under different names to conceal your identity. But I’ve noticed that at any given time of the day or night, randomly, every day, one can find you posting your inane comments on a variety of different websites. You and other losers like you are like an infestation of cockroaches on websites.  SOMEONE has to step on you, or chase you scurrying back into the sewers where you came from.. Now y’all have a nice day, ya hear? You little cockroach.

  13. <blockquote>Why is it you believe the Muslim and call the Christian pastor a person of questionable honesty Doug?</blockquote>
    So now Muslims are automatically less trustworthy than Christians?

  14. mantis says:

    Those two websites have the highest concentrations of very sick freaks and genuine, authentic imbeciles and white trash posting anywhere on the entire internet, many of whom are the same jackasses posting on both blogs, and they get away with it because the people who run those two websites are as sleazy and as mean and as vicious and as sick and as twisted as their evil, sick and slimy posters are.

    Hey SPQR, nice to see you come around.

  15. anjin-san says:

    Very interesting reading:
     

    Muslim Prayer Room Was Part of Life at Twin Towers

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/nyregion/11religion.html?_r=1&hp

  16. sam says:

    @Dill
    “Lying is permitted when the end justifies the means.”
     
    Good Lord,  they must have read Plato.

  17. wr says:

    “Either more pressure was applied or a better argument was made to the pastor than has come out in the news. ”

    Because it’s so hard to believe this was just some white trash loser who found himself over his head and desperately searching for a way out?

  18. rodney dill says:

    Because it’s so hard to believe this was just some white trash loser who found himself over his head and desperately searching for a way out?

    It’s easier to believe someone would label him as such, for a false feeling of superiority, without all the facts in evidence. Trying to understand the truth, or waiting for the truth is always more difficult than throwing around disparaging comments.