Sarah Palin joins U.S. officials, religious leaders in condemning Koran burning
Wednesday, September 8, 2010; 11:04 PM
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin added her voice Wednesday to the chorus of critics condemning the plan by a tiny Florida church group to burn Korans on Sept. 11, urging organizers to reconsider such a "provocation."
"People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is insensitive and an unnecessary provocation - much like building a mosque at Ground Zero," Palin wrote on her Facebook page.
The protest, Palin wrote, "will feed the fire of caustic rhetoric and appear as nothing more than mean-spirited religious intolerance. Don't feed that fire."
In urging the protest to be canceled, Palin lined up with religious leaders and top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who said Wednesday that the planned burning of the holy book of Islam does not reflect "who we are" as Americans.
"It is regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distrustful, disgraceful plan and get the world's attention, but that's the world we live in right now," Clinton told the Council on Foreign Relations. "It is unfortunate, it is not who we are."
And conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck compared the burning of Korans with "burning the flag or the Bible."
"You can do it," he wrote Monday on his Web site, "but whose heart will you change by doing it?"
But the Rev. Terry Jones, who leads the Dove World Outreach Center, a 50-member evangelical Christian church in Gainesville, said Wednesday, "As of right now, we are not convinced that backing down is the right thing."
Jones said at a news conference that he has received much encouragement, with supporters mailing copies of the Quran to his church. He took no questions from reporters.
Later, he sent a statement to the Orlando Sentinel in which Jones said that he had met with Imam Muhammad Musri, president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, to discuss the protest.
"Our meeting with the imam was pleasant," the statement read. "He was very respectful towards us. He was in agreement with us that it is necessary that both Muslims and Christians condemn acts of terrorism by radical Islam."