Florida Church planning to burn Qurans on 9/11
The Dove World Outreach Center, a non-denominational church in Gainesville, is charmingly trying to rebrand 9/11 as International Burn A Koran Day. If you’re interested, there’s a Facebook group for it. The info tab has a succinct little mission statement, which you may find illuminative:
Mission: To bring to awareness to the dangers of Islam and that the Koran is leading people to hell. Eternal fire is the only destination the Koran can lead people to so we want to put the Koran in it’s place – the fire!
The Dove Center, which describes itself as ‘a New Testament Church – based on the Bible, the Word of God’, has a bit of a history of making, shall we say, provocative statements about Islam. Its pastor and proprietor Dr Terry Jones recently published a sober treatise entitled Islam Is Of The Devil, while he also has a history of opposing things like homosexuality, same-sex marriage and abortion. If anyone is in Gainsville on 2nd August, for instance, you might like to swing by the City Hall at lunch time and join in the fun at the church’s ‘No Homo Mayor’ protest.
And in case anyone else was wondering what they really felt, they also have a massive sign outside their church, also saying ‘Islam Is Of The Devil’:
It’s all deeply unpleasant, of course, and easy to mock, but unpleasant anti-Islam sentiments like these really do seem to be on the rise in the US. There’s a huge battle going on in New York over whether an entirely benign Muslim community centre – which would also contain a mosque – can be built near Ground Zero, for instance, while a mosque in Jacksonville, also in Florida, was firebombed earlier this year. It’s getting easier to draw parallels between the rise of the religious right and these kinds of tensions, and I really wouldn’t like to say we’ve reached their height, either, not by a long shot: brace yourselves for a good deal more of this unpleasantness as the new American right grows its fangs.
The Dove World Outreach Center, meanwhile, was subjected to an expose about the way it pays its taxes last year in The Gainesville Sun, while they were investigated for potential financial impropriety in March this year. It hasn’t really taken the wind out of their sails, however. You’ll note that, in the picture above, Dr Jones has a picture of himself flanked by Abraham Lincoln and George Washington – a little detail I’ll let speak for itself. His Youtube channel – named, without even a pinch of hubris, the Braveheart Show – is worth a watch if, like me, you relish the demagoguery of hateful maniacs.
Image credit: Idiots Walk Among Us
Recent Posts on The Foreign Desk
- India state elections demand political change without the Gandhis' Congress Party
- India's street kids fight back: with a broadsheet newspaper
- Odisha’s cyclone shows India can handle disasters but longer-term action is needed
- Rahul Gandhi lands Lalu Yadav in jail, but can he be a national leader?
- In UN report on chemical weapons attack, evidence points to the Syrian government
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter