Controversial right-wing pastor Terry Jones has defiantly torched copies of the Koran outside his Florida church. Jones also set aflame an image of the prophet Muhammad in front of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville. Pentagon officials had urged Jones to refrain from the action out of fear it would endanger American troops in Afghanistan. “The last time Pastor Jones burned a Koran in 2011, more than 16 people died and more than 90 people were injured from the resulting protests,” a Pentagon spokesman told the Guardian earlier this month. “We hope Pastor Jones will take into account the safety and welfare of deployed US military personnel.”
After the torchings, Jones was immediately fined $300 by the Gainesville fire department because he didn't have authorization to burn books, reports the Gainesville Sun. The pastor set aflame the Muslim holy books in a barbeque as some 20 supporters watched to protest the imprisonment in Iran of Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was arrested in 2009, and the "death and destruction Islam has caused," he said.