Religion in Society

Pastor Terry Jones Won't Burn Koran; Reasoning is Odd

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Florida Pastor Terry Jones made a surprise announcement Thursday afternoon: He has canceled his plans of marking the 9/11 anniversary by burning the Koran. But the reason is even more surprising -- he said he

has reached an agreement to move the proposed Ground Zero mosque farther away from the former World Trade Center site. 

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Jones said he spoke with Imam Muhammad Musri of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, who told him that officials would guarantee that the mosque would be moved.

"I asked him three times, and I have witnesses," Jones said. "If it's not moved, then I think Islam is a very poor example of religion. I think that would be very pitiful. I do not expect that."

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Jones said instead of burning the Koran, he will fly to New York on Saturday to speak to Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf about moving the mosque.

However, both NBC and Reuters are reporting there is no deal to move the Islamic center from its proposed site near Ground Zero. The Associated Press said no agreement could be confirmed.

In any case, Jones sounds like a reformed man. As far as burning Korans is concerned, "We are, of course, now against any other group burning Korans," Jones said during a news conference. "We would right now ask no one to burn Korans. We are absolutely strong on that. It is not the time to do it."