Congregation Calls Off Quran Burning

Facing pressure from both Muslims and non-Muslims, a Florida congregation has decided not to push through with a planned burning of the Quran to mark the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Rev. Terry Jones, the leader of the small Gainesville congregation, announced on Friday that he decided to cancel the Quran burning after he was able to set-up a planned meeting with the imam leading the campaign for the construction of an Islamic center a couple of blocks from Ground Zero.

Jones’ plan to burn the Muslim holy book had sparked outrage from the Islamic world, with several leaders calling on President Barack Obama to stop the event. Earlier Friday, Obama issued a statement condemning the plan, saying that to “burn the sacred texts of someone else’s religion…is contrary to what this country stands for.”

The New York police also said that they would be keeping close watch on Jones for his own protection. Jones arrived in New York late Friday to arrange the meeting with the Islamic center imam.