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September 7th, 2010
09:11 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Quran-Burning Controversy

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Tonight on 360°, hear from the Florida pastor who plans a Quran-burning this Saturday - on the 9th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks. Pastor Terry Jones says he plans to continue with the event, even though the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan issued a statement warning against it.

Burning copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, "could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan," Gen. David Petraeus said.

Pastor Terry Jones said his goal is "to send a message to radical Muslims." He went on to say, "We don't consider our message of hate. It's a clear message of warning." Keeping him honest, Anderson will ask Jones if the lives of U.S. troops are less important than the message he wants to send.

Also tonight, the imam of the proposed Islamic center near New York's ground zero is breaking his silence on the controversy. Feisal Abdul Rauf has written an op-ed in the New York Times titled, "Building on Faith."

"We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become," wrote Rauf, who has just returned from a State Department-sponsored Middle East trip to promote U.S.-Muslim relations. "The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship."

Rauf goes on to describe the center that he would like built two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center Towers, which were destroyed on September 11, 2001. "We envision shared space for community activities, like a swimming pool, classrooms and a play space for children. There will be separate prayer space for Muslims, Christians, Jews and men and women of other faiths," Rauf wrote.

We'll have more on the op-ed and give you an up-close look at the man behind the message. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will give an exclusive interview to Soledad O'Brien tomorrow on Larry King. Don't miss that Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

And, join us tonight at 10 p.m. ET for these stories and much more.


Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Elizabeth

    Pastor Terry Jones should be ashamed of himself if he thinks what he is planning to do by burning the Quran is somehow patriotic. It is contrary to the principles of America's foundation. If he wants to talk about extreemism he should look in the miror. It is dispicable that he is willing to put Military members in additional danger.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  2. MB

    While I understand his intention, he will put troops and all Chrstian travellers at risk in all Muslim countries. We need to wonder what Iran might do given nuclear development. In terms of U.S. Muslims, we have extremists here that have committed "honor killings"–even if born and raised here, one never knows who is an extremist until they do something like that or a type of Ft. Hood incident. If given a foothold, would US born Muslims stand a chance of survival–not unless they adhered to extremist ideology. So let's hope we curb immigration because anyone can act nice to get in claiming religious persecution in home country. Bottom line, this pastor wants to send a message only to extremist but that is not how it will be received. All Muslims will take offense. And we don't have enough time to re-deploy more troops to face the on-slaught. Bad method, bad timing.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  3. tia

    Islam is about peace its no evil book plz read the quran n u will no it dosnt say anythin evil or say do evil

    September 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  4. douglas

    so typical that someone wanting to do something that he believes in that might be so called attacking what is considered a minority is being attacked himself , it does not make him a biget, why cant he express himself without getting attacked

    September 7, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  5. Christine

    please don't give this so-called "pastor" of – what – 50? followers – national and international coverage...if the General is concerned the bigoted actions of a small-minded racist will endanger troops, how can CNN add to the fray – Anderson, you are a highly respected war journalist – don't allow your show to propagate hate.... You triumphantly refused to say "Paris Hilton" in that celebrity madness of yesterday...surely this warrants a more profoundly needed voice of "no airtime for bigots".

    September 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  6. Name*Laura hunt

    Anderson u did a fabulous job on interviewing the pastor and covering this story!!!! Very informative and jaw dropping! Thanks for presenting this in a way to educate not escalate! Your awesome!!!!!!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  7. Jim Potts

    I am surprised at the intolerance of both sides. Pastor Jones and Mr. Cooper have no tolerance for the others position. I disagree with, but support the rights of the pastor to burn the books and the rights of the Moslem's to build the temple. Both are insensitive, but are the reason our troops are in harms way.
    Don't use the troops as a reason to bend the rights of an American! Our founders were (to a large degree) Deists, and as free thinkers would assuredly support you both – while holding their respective nose.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  8. Sara

    i dont like you and how you describe muslims and what they are to you but not them. Meaning you're describing muslims that you think all muslims are. I can tell,Terry Jones, that you didnt read he quran write because it's mostly about the prophets life but in a story and animals and many other things. i know this because i read the quran and i know what it means in english.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  9. Chris

    While I do not support the burning of the Kuran, I feel a soldier puts themself in harms way by enlisting in the armed forces. The burden should not be placed on this individual for exercising his freedom of speech. Were supposed to be fighting for democracy and against those who appose it. How can the rest of the world take us seriously if we consistantly contradict ourselves and our own laws?

    September 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  10. Paul Helmer

    This Pastor Terry Jones , is so self-righteous. Wasn't book burning already done in this country ? What did it solve anything ? In May 10 1933 twenty thousand books were burned by students as the Nazis rose to power in Germany, they burned books that were anti-nazis, or Jewish authored and so called degenerate books also, in 1814 the british burned the U S Capitol , the Library of Congress was lost but, Thomas Jefferson rebuilt that. Look at these examples, it solved nothing but, inner pain to those who loved those books and we lost great writers, that we will never read their books, for they are burned. This Pastor(so called) Jones, putting our men & women in the military at risk and even families over-seas, churches will start to get bombed and burned down next because of 1 Man's personal Hatred against Muslims, and that's all it is and his 15 minutes of fame for other's lives. It pains me to see this happening. I pray that he is shown the true light and not do this.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  11. Lisa

    To Whomever,
    This so-called Pastor is acting like a crazy person! What example is he showing to everyone? I am Christian, but this man is not. He is a liar. If he was a true Christian, he would NEVER act like this. I cry thinking about what hatred the people have toward each other.
    Look in the mirror, so-called Pastor...Get your life right with God. Stop judging people. Why not let God be God and let HIM be the judge? What's the matter with you? Do you think you're God or something? You are not a Pastor I would ever follow. You make other Christians look bad! Shame on you-bigot.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  12. Maggie

    This man is a coward.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  13. Al

    the muslims have no respect for any other relgion ,except their own far out ways to exicute all but them selves. Take"em on pastor

    September 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  14. Bill

    AC I don't understand how you can be critical of the man for practicing his 1st amendment right to freedom of speach in relation to bookburning. AC360 seems hypocritical depending on the issue at hand. I don't agree with the man's viewpoint but this is precisely what separates this great country from the others. I assume burning the U.S flag is not objectionable to you huh?

    September 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  15. G. Bridges

    What is the difference between radical Christians, Muslims. or Mormons? They are all hate and fear mongers simply for power because that is what sells. Radical Christians and Mormons have created acts of terror against homosexuals, abortion clinics, and now against muslims. This is so far from the message of a few years ago when Christians were wearing bracelets with WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)printed on it. How is it possible that the message could have changed so radically? This is so sad.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  16. dennis

    where did they find this so called pastor? whos next of this pastors' radar, the jews, because they don't teach faith in christ. or women because they have the right think for them selfs. people like this pastor is the main reason why so many people love ones are not alive today.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  17. Crissy

    I have an idea, Anderson, why dont you have ex-president bush on the show and ask him why he started all of this crap in the first place!!!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  18. Lisa

    The original settlors to the United States were escaping religious persecution in other countries. Maybe Pastor Jones's own ancestors came to the US for these same reasons.

    Also, how would he feel if someone of a different faith burned the bible?

    September 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  19. stella

    I think this pastor is crazy, he is embarrassing, I hope all Muslim people understand he does not represent all Americans.
    I am a Christian and would never disrespect the Muslim people like he does. In my opinion this so called Christian pastor is no different than the terrorist of 9-11. He is an idiot!!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  20. D. Hawkins

    What you all fail to justify, is the fact that this will not hurt any of you, in your small town, back roads, burning books on your own property. This event will be televised by other churches doing the same. Those of us who are fighting to stop this kind of Islamic behavior, will inevitably be hurt in the end... While your at it burn the flag too, because those that stand in front of that flag, get burned, spit at, yelled at, crucified, stoned, shot, blown up, and even disgraced by others such as yourselves. What you do in the dark always comes to light. – Military Man

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  21. ROSCOE PENDER

    Pastor Terry Jones and his followers are bigots and have no regard for the safety of our men and women in our armed forces of this great nation.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  22. Tim S

    How do we stop radical christianity, should we start burning bibles? Isn't book burning a homage to the Nazis of 1930's Germany. I'm still amazed that this guy thinks his make believe god is better than islam's make believe god, What's next burning the books of other faiths he deems inferior to his. What an idiot.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  23. Bman

    Sorry but just another American christian fanatic moron thinking his fake god is superior to the the other religions fake god. Religious wars will never end until religion is abolished altogether. Its all a bunch of made up shiznet. The worlds 6000 years old yeah cmon start learning some science people and start believing this 2000 year old crap that people made up before they knew the real answers !!!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  24. David

    I am a Christian but am appalled by this story. How are these people any different from the Afghan's that killed the aid workers a few weeks ago that were providing eye care to Afghan citizens? Because they carried a Bible? A fear of another religion?

    The lack of acceptance of another belief system can be the root of the issue. We have the same issues w/ Christianity w/ the violence that has happened to clinics that provide abortions. Are the people that commit those awful acts any different from the radicals who hold Islam as their belief system? They are the same, Radicals.

    They do not hold the same values as the majority of others in that belief system.

    Lets call out ignorance whether it be Christianity or Isalm or Taoism or Hindu or whatever belief system.

    God put us all on this earth for a reason. It wasnt to engage in or promote intolerance in others belief systems.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  25. Crissy

    I completely agree with burning the book! they dont deserve to have anything built for them specially so close to where 9/11 happened!!!
    I also agree with not allowing muslims into america!!!!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  26. Mary Zamboli

    Anderson Cooper, I normally like your coverage of issues, and truly appreciate that you were trying to get a different point across to the Pastor who wants to burn the Quran.
    What I don't understand is the media attention given to the nut? He is one American voicing an opinion that some share, but not all. If he is willing to burn the Quran, then he should stay silent if people want to burn the Bible in protest.
    This is hurtful to all Americans and the media needs to limit is coverage and turn it's attention to local and national memorials to the people who died on 9/11. If no one listens to this man, the message will be clear to the world, that is standing alone, not backed by the majority of american citizens.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  27. Franda

    This Florida man who calls himself a "pastor" does not speak for Christianity. He is planning a very pointless and insulting action that will not only endanger all Americans, whether military or civilian, but also ramp up the amount of hatred and ugliness in this world.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  28. Wade Johnson

    The bill of rights is a package deal. If you enjoy freedom of religion in the US, then you must also support the right to burn the book of your faith (bible or koran). If you enjoy freedom of speech you must also support peoples rights to bear arms. You cannot pick an choose rights which benefit you. The bill of rights is a package deal. Support them all or leave.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  29. Pete Sarris

    I will think of the burning towers when they burn the Quran.I fully support the act and hope that all of Islam sees the books burned!If they can show Americans being beheaded then they should have to watch the books burn!I guess I am a bigot and will never forget or forgive 9/11!The hate will never go away as long as they are burning our flags,screaming death to America and killing Americans all over the Islamic world!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  30. robert bailey

    this guy needs a serious intervention how can he say hes a man of god when he's doing this BS. and causing more resentment on Americans & putting our troops in danger. now the extremist have a motive to attack America & terry jones is gining the, a reason

    September 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  31. Abdulwahab Ayedh

    I am shocked that pastor Jones wants to burn the Qur'an to honor those who died on 9/11; i just want to remind him that Muslims died on 9/11 and that they, nor any true Muslim chose for that to have happened.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm |