Koran Burning Uproar Spreads, but Pastor Defiant

Clinton decries it, Bloomberg defends pastor's right
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2010 7:43 AM CDT
Updated Sep 8, 2010 7:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton has joined the chorus decrying a Florida pastor’s plan to burn Korans on Sept. 11. “Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” Clinton said last night at a State Department Iftar meal celebrating Ramadan, according to the Daily Telegraph. She called the proposed burning a “disrespectful, disgraceful act.” With the 11th fast approaching, Dove World Outreach Center says it still intends to burn the books—even though pastor Terry Jones says he’s gotten death threats and now carries a pistol.

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“Instead of us backing down, maybe it's time to stand up,” Jones tells the AP. “Maybe it's time to send a message to radical Islam.” A number of prominent Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders held an emergency summit in Washington yesterday, to say they were “appalled” by the burning, and at the “derision, misinformation and outright bigotry” recently directed at Muslims. “This is not America,” Washington's archbishop told the New York Times. But Michael Bloomberg actually held a press conference defending Jones' right to burn. “I happen to think that it is distasteful,” he said, according to the Wall Street Journal. “But the First Amendment protects everybody.” (Read more Islamophobia stories.)

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