Group holds rally in response to Quran burning

September 7, 2010 8:52:31 PM PDT
Bay Area interfaith groups are reacting to a Florida pastor's plan to burn a stack of Qurans on the September 11th anniversary this Saturday. It is a protest that has people concerned across the United States and around the globe.

Signs for a planned Quran burning in Gainesville, Florida on September 11 spurred a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Now Gen. David Patraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has asked the Gainesville church not to do it.

"Well we're very concerned about the implications of a possible Quran burning in the United States. It puts our soldiers in jeopardy, very likely, we've already seen a demonstration here in Kabul just at the rumor that this event could take place," says Patraeus.

Bay Area peace activist and Muslim Samina Sudas, from American Muslim Voice, is organizing an interfaith rally to focus on the positive relationships across different religious groups.

"People are very upset about that because you know this is our holy book, so it is not a small matter," says Sudas.

Sudas calls the burning of anyone's holy book disgusting.

"It has no reflection and bearing on Muslims. It just tells you what's going on in America today and some of the people who have totally gone crazy," says Sudas.

The pastor planning and advertising the book burning is Terry Jones. He leads the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center. He says the burning is a response to the planned Muslim community center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero.

"If we don't do it, when do we stop backing down? When do we stop giving in to Islam?" says Pastor Jones.

Sudas is appealing to all Americans to speak out against the book burning.

"Whether we are Muslims, black, blue, yellow, we are all Americans and we must stand together against ignorance and hate and division," says Sudas.

Sudas and interfaith leaders are planning a press conference for Wednesday.

Friday's rally and interfaith service will be held at 5 p.m. in San Jose at James McEntee Plaza, at the County Building.


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