Book burning bigot’s plans “on hold”

The pastor at the centre of the Qur'an book burning controversy has said his plans are "on hold", saying "as of right now, we are not cancelling the event, but we are suspending it".

The pastor at the centre of the Qur’an book burning controversy has said his plans are “on hold“, saying “as of right now, we are not cancelling the event, but we are suspending it”, following a meeting with a representative of the Islamic Society of Central Florida and in the wake of a storm of protest led by President Obama, who said Pastor Jones’s actions would be a “recruitment bonanza” for al-Qaeda.

Yesterday, Left Foot Forward reported on how the media had turned the story into a big issue, something Tony Blair spoke about in an interview on Channel 4 News last night. Mr Blair, who described Pastor Jones as “stupid, disgraceful, disrespectful” and his planned actions as “unfortunate, counter-productive, plain wrong… shouldn’t happen”, said of the coverage:

“The responsibility for this lies with people who do foolish things, in a world in which, and I think this is the difference today, with the television and technology and means of communication of 30 years ago, something like this wouldn’t have the same impact.

“The difficulty now is, things like this become spread worldwide very, very quickly, they cause an immediate reaction, and then, if you’re not careful, things then start to spiral out of control, so, the truth is, there is that fragility, in the relationship between the west and Islam, but what’s important for Muslims to hear today, in the sense particularly from people like me, is this does not represent countries like us, and it certainly doesn’t represent the overwhelming majority of people of the Christian faith, who abhor this, who think it’s wrong, it’s disrespectful and shouldn’t happen.

“In one sense, all of this has given him enormous publicity, in another sense, if he’s going to do it and we don’t step up and condemn it, then people will try and use our absence of condemnation to try and make us complicit or agree with it in some way and that’s why it’s really important actually that President Obama and Hilary Clinton and everyone’s come out and said it’s wrong, and I hope that message, it’s actually more important that message goes out in the media in the world of Islam so that people see very clearly this is not something that represents true Christian thought.”

Watch it:

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.