Entries in Pastor Terry Jones (4)


Koran Burning Issue Continues to Smolder in Afghanistan

Mario Tama/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- The Koran burning episode in Florida continues to anger many Afghans.

The latest demonstration took place Thursday in the capital, Kabul. Unlike some of the others over the past week, it was peaceful, but as one activist warns, the issue is not resolved and things could again turn violent.

Some of the demonstrators says pastor Terry Jones should be put on trial.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Did Karzai's Condemnation of Koran Burning Spur Afghan Violence?

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Did Afghan President Hamid Karzai have an indirect hand in causing the deadly riots over the burning of a Koran by a Florida pastor?

There's speculation by Western officials that there would have been no protests leading to violence had Karzai not publicly condemned the March 20 Koran burning, four days after it happened.

The event by Pastor Terry Jones, who runs a Gainesville church with about a dozen congregants, received little notice by the U.S. media.  However, that didn't stop Karzai from publicizing it in Afghanistan, which inflamed a population already upset by the long foreign occupation of their country.

At least 20 people were killed and dozens injured in three days of violence that also cost the lives of seven United Nations workers in northern Afghanistan on Friday.

A spokesman for Karzai said, "This is a very religious Islamic country, and the president is the leader of this Muslim country.  The president saw it as his moral and religious duty on behalf of the Afghan people to condemn this."

The White House, which has strained relations with Karzai, hasn't criticized the Afghan leader for his actions, focusing its condemnation instead to Jones and those who desecrate the Muslim holy book.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Controversial Fla. Pastor: Afghan UN Violence 'Proves My Point'

Mario Tama/Getty Images(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) -- Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who oversaw the burning of a Koran last month, tells ABC News that he does not feel responsible for the violent protest at a United Nations compound in Afghanistan on Friday that left at least 11 dead. Instead, he said the violence proved his point.

"We wanted to raise awareness of this dangerous religion and dangerous element," Jones said. "I think [the attack] proves that there is a radical element of Islam."

As for the 11 dead, which included seven U.N. staffers and guards, Jones told ABC News Nightline anchor Bill Weir, "We do not feel responsible, no."

The deaths followed a protest march in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday against the Koran burning that Jones supervised last month, while another pastor, Wayne Sapp, soaked the Koran in kerosene and burned it.

"We decided to put the Koran on trail," Jones said. "I was the judge but I did not determine the verdict. I was just a type of referee so that people got their time to defend or condemn the Koran."

Jones said that a "jury" of people from all over Florida debated the radicalism of Islam, and the "Koran was found guilty."

Police told ABC News the protest in Afghanistan started peacefully but took a violent turn after a radical leader told those gathered that multiple Korans had been burned. People angrily marched on the nearby U.N. compound, despite police who fired AK-47s into the air in hopes of subduing them.

Police eventually turned their weapons on the protesters, killing at least four, police said, before they were overtaken and had their guns stolen. Using the police weapons, the protesters killed four U.N. guards from Nepal and then three foreign workers in the U.N. building -- a Norwegian, a Romanian and a Swede.

Despite an onslaught of attention Jones got when he initially made his threat to burn the Muslim holy book in September 2010 -- including a personal plea from President Barack Obama -- the actual burning of the Koran last month went relatively unnoticed in western media.

President Obama condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms" in a statement.

Jones initially cancelled his plans for the book burning on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks. The stunt, according to Jones, was a protest for the Muslim-backed community center that was to be built near the site of the September 11 attacks in New York.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Protests in Kandahar Leave At Least Nine Dead

ABC News(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) -- Violent protests in Afghanistan flared for a second day Saturday, enflamed by outrage over the burning of a Koran by Florida pastor Terry Jones.

Nine protesters were killed Saturday in Kandahar, where hundreds marched holding copies of the Koran when security forces shot into the air to disperse the crowd.

Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said it is unclear how the protesters were killed.

Anger over Terry Jones' burning of the Koran began on Friday in the town of Mazar-i-Sharif, when 11 people were killed -- including seven United Nations workers -- at a United Nations compound.

Jones oversaw the burning of a Koran last month and told ABC News that he did not feel responsible for the protests.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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