Religious leaders rally in protest of Quran burning

September 8, 2010 5:30:22 PM PDT
Leaders from various religions came together in Palo Alto Wednesday to condemn the planned burning of Qurans by a small congregation in Gainesville, Florida on Sept. 11. Nearly 50 people gathered at the First Baptist Church as a show of solidarity with the Muslim community.

The Rev. Randle Mixon, president of the Council of Churches, was the first of 13 speakers.

"Hatred is not acceptable in the country," he said. "Hatred is not acceptable in this world and we will always stand together in witness against it."

The Bay Area religious leaders join a growing chorus of people speaking out against the intended actions of Florida minister Terry Jones.

One of the Muslim speakers Wednesday said extremists who call for hatred in the name of any religion are wrong.

"I think Mr. Terry Jones is another Osama Bin Laden; he's dividing rather than binding people together," Samina Sundas said.

Another Muslim, Shaikh Aladdin El-Bakri says the planned Quran burning has brought about strong reaction in the Muslim world, but that that recent statements, including those from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Gen. David Patraeus, are helping to calm emotions.

"Two days ago before all of these statements surfaced, we were all very scared, very nervous, it was very uncertain," El-Bakri said.

In response to the anticipated event in Gainesville, there are several counter events planned across the United States, including many in the Bay Area.

One of those will be celebration of Diversity on Sept.10 at the James McEntee Plaza at the Santa Clara County Administration Building on W. Hedding Street in San Jose from 5 p.m. until 6:30pm. There is also an event called "Honoring Each Other's Scripture Day" at the Grace Presbyterian Church in Walnut Creek. That event starts at 2 p.m.


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