The leader of a small Florida church that espouses anti-Islam philosophy said Wednesday he was determined to go through with his plan to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, despite pressure from the White House, religious leaders and others to call it off.
“We are still determined to do it, yes,” the Rev. Terry Jones told the CBS Early Show.
Jones says he has received more than 100 death threats and has started wearing a .40-caliber pistol strapped to his hip since announcing his plan to burn the book Muslims consider the word of God and insist be treated with the utmost respect. The 58-year-old minister proclaimed in July that he would stage “International Burn-a-Quran Day.” [pullquote quote="We are still determined to do it, yes" credit="Rev. Terry Jones"]
Supporters have been mailing copies of the holy text to his Gainesville church of about 50 followers to be incinerated in a bonfire on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on New York and Washington.
A member of the church, Fran Ingram, told msnbc.com that they had a “stack of about 150″ Qurans sent from across the world. “We are expecting to burn about 200 at least,” she said.
“I think we should go ahead personally,” Ingram added. “That’s what I think. I stand with the pastors. We need to go ahead with it.”
However, asked about how she would feel if the church decided to abandon the event, she told msnbc.com: “I would be in agreement … not like a puppet on a string … I believe in the word of God. We are hearing what God wants us to do.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Jones — currently the subject of 4,102 news stories linked to by Google News — told the world that he would press ahead with the publicity stunt he announced in July. *See the Youtube video below.
Source: MSNBC, AP, CBS Early Show, Youtube