Gen. David Petraeus said a church's Quran-burning "is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses."
Gen. David Petraeus said a church's Quran-burning "is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses."


Several weeks ago we put up a thread about a minister in Florida who planned to burn copies of the Quran on 9/11. To date, there seems to be mo change in his misguided plans.

CNN reports:

CNN) — The U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Monday criticized a Florida church’s plan to burn copies of the Quran on September 11, warning the demonstration “could cause significant problems” for American troops overseas.

“It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan,” Gen. David Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday.

The Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, plans to mark the anniversary of al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington by burning copies of the Muslim holy book. The church insists the event is “neither an act of love nor of hate,” but a warning against what it calls the threats posed by Islam.

Good for General Petraeus. Its time someone called out this arrogant man. Who better than the commander of all US troops in Afghanistan.

More from CNN:

With about 120,000 U.S. and NATO-led troops still battling al Qaeda and its allies in the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban movement, Petraeus warned that burning Qurans “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems — not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.”

And one of his deputies, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, told CNN’s “The Situation Room” that event “has already stirred up a lot of discussion and concern” among Afghans.

“We very much feel that this can jeopardize the safety of our men and women that are serving over here in the country,” said Caldwell, the head of NATO efforts to train Afghan security forces.

Caldwell said American troops “are over here to defend the rights of American citizens, and we’re not debating the First Amendment rights that people have.” But he added, “What I will tell you is that their very actions will in fact jeopardize the safety of the young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and also undermine the very mission that we’re trying to accomplish.”

“I would hope they would understand that there are second- and third-order effects that will occur that will affect that young man and woman who’s out there on point for America, serving their nation today, because of their actions back in the United States,” he said

The stupidity and arrogance of this minister is almost unspeakable. When the U.S. Commander tells you that you are endangering the troops, you should listen. If even one of our men or women is killed because of this ignoramous, his entire ministry should be held responsible. How sad that Americans would involve themselves with book burning. Sounds Third Reich to me. I would have no problem with the press being ordered to stay away and the minister barred from his bonfire on 9/11, as a matter of national security. The first amendment is not without some limitations.

Meanwhile, we can only hope that our troops will be safe.

38 Thoughts to “Florida Minister Endangers the Troops”

  1. Wolverine

    It looks like we have another version of those Westboro people on our hands here. In fact, I hear that the Dove World Outreach Center participated with the Westboro group in a demonstration earlier this year at a church of another denomination.

    This is utterly insane. Petraeus is absolutely right to be concerned. When you are engaged in a battle, the last thing you want to do is give the other side a reason for getting angrier and even more determined than they normally are. Moreover, you do not want to damage your chances of gaining an alliance with or at the least preserving the neutrality of those co-religionists on the scene who may not be inclined at the moment to side with the ultra-radicals opposing you. Even without troops in the field, this kind of idiotic stunt can damage just about everything we do on the diplomatic, counterterrorism, and all other fronts in our points of contact with the Islamic world. This book is not holy just to Islamic radicals. There are people all over the world, including many, many of my good Muslim friends in Africa, who will be shocked and angered by this burning caper. If I were there now, I cannot imagine what I would say to them. Given the way many uninformed foreigners, especially those in the Third World, view America, the fact that this is a bizarro, way out there, and unaffiliated religious organization will not register with most of them. We all risk being tarred with the same brush.

  2. e

    i though islam was the religion of peace, but it seems the muslim umma is always mad about something. remember the outrage over the danish mohammed cartoons? did you know that virtually every american news outlet refused to even publish a picture of the cartoon out of fear of retribution from the practitioners of the religion of peace? i believe christopher hitchens is the only liberal with enough common sense to see what’s really going on, may he continue to be with us for many years to come. and how about that close call in times square not too long ago, which was assumed to be intended retribution over south park’s depiction of the prophet? liberals are linguini spined, always ready to take on phantom enemies, straw men boogymen who pose no real threat. christianity and jesus can be trashed, lampooned and disparaged on a daily basis with no consequence. the american flag can be burned and dishonored with impunity, all in the name of free speech. the ten commandments can be torn down from courthouses, no problem.
    this is what happens when you have a policy of trying to win minds and hearts, or whatever. the anniversary of 9/11 is almost upon us, there was no attempt to win over our minds and hearts on that day nine years ago. there were a lot of people cheering around the world over what happened that day.

  3. HI e. How have you been?

    Wolverine, I agree with you totally.

    This clown minister is not about winning hearts and minds. There is no reason to insult people, especially people who barely need a reason to hate your guts.

    I feel he also endangers American civilians….you and me….in his rashness.

    It isn’t really about the Quaran. It is about not trashing something that is sacred to a billion people world wide because of a portion of those people are zealots. Its really about respect of sacred texts of any religion. Its sort of the same reason of why we don’t destroy ancient buddist statues from antiquity. Petraeus is right. Terry Jones and crew are like the Taliban.

  4. Elena

    What does your comment have to do with a nutty preacher burning the Quaran? Is General Petreas a “linguini spined” liberal? Even in Iran, the people expressed their sympathy for America. Two wrongs don’t make a right, it never has. Just as WE expected the Muslim community to speak out against extremism so MUST we!

  5. Elena

    Oh, another thing e………….. Why haven’t we heard from you?! We miss you 🙂

  6. While that preacher has every right to burn any book he wishes to, doing so is idiotic and potentially dangerous. General Petraeus is absolutely right.

  7. Totally agree, Cargo. Now the New Black Panthers are down in Gainesville getting in the act. So far, no misbehavior there. They are calling for religious peace.

    I am not so sure that the govt. at some point can’t come in and stop some of this in the interest of the safety of Americans. I see a real collision course here. Jones’ rights vs the safety of millions of Americans? Fire in a crowded theater?

  8. e

    my parole officer only allows me limited access to the outside world

  9. If the minister was true to HIS faith, instead of burning Korans, he should be converting Muslims and convincing them that following the New Testament leads to a better life than following the writings of Muhammed.

    He should be leading the way in his community to make the Muslims actually defend their ideas and faith, as the Muslims do for ours. Show them that there is an alternative to subjugating women, killing apostates, honor killings, and religious intolerance. He should show them a religion that preaches love, not submission.

  10. Excellent plan, Cargo. I hope someone has told him this, since he doesn’t seem to understand. Maybe he doesn’t know any Muslims, therefore he has to poke a stick in the eyes of the ones in Afghanistan, where its someone else’s butt on the line, not his. He is a coward.

    I am glad you have returned.

    How was your vacation? Did you have a good time and what did you do?

  11. I was on a sooper sekrit mission to Cam…um, I mean I went to St. Augustine. Yeah! That’s it! St. Augustine, Fl.

    Came ashore…..I mean, visited the beach. We had a hideou,….I mean, a condo on the beach.
    I infiltrated a sekret missil….um, visited the Kennedy Space Center. Very cool.
    Reconned a high secu….darn it. I mean visited the Castillo de St. Marcos, the spanish fort and St. Augustine’s old town/tourist area/money relieving area.

    We also infiltrated a secret animal control lab….uh, visited Marineland and swam with dolphins. Did you realize that they have belly buttons? Who knew?

    We also snuck into the dictator’s headq….again…..I mean, visited the World of Golf and the Golf Hall of Fame. GREAT Bob Hope Exhibit. Did you know that Clinton and Congress granted him honorary Veteran status? He deserved it. It was interesting even for non golfers like me.

    On our return, we infiltrated via South of the Border. Pedro says Hi.

  12. It sounds like a wonderful trip. My favorite part would have been swimming with dolphins.

    I guess it only makes sense that they have belly buttons. I had never thought about it.

    From stuff I have read, they have some very humanoid sex habits. In fact, women have been injured swimming with the bull dolphins. They get a little agressive.

    I went to the old fort when I was a kid. I remember it was built of a coquina shell mortar?

  13. Yep, those Cambodia, um Spanish found it to be quite effective….

  14. Elena

    e :my parole officer only allows me limited access to the outside world

    hehehehehe 😉

  15. marinm

    Elena :

    e :my parole officer only allows me limited access to the outside world


    I used something similar when I was training federales to find/arrest kid touchers over the interwebs. “As a condition of my parole, I will be your instructor today……” and “Please contact my PO and tell him I was here and I did a good job, thanks”.

    Had a convo about this today and while I support the 1A rights of a group to burn a symbol in protest I think it both sends the wrong message and sends it to the wrong people. I doubt we would look so kindly if the civilian population of any ME country burned Bibles or any other western symbols. I’m no neo-con but I’d say “bomb ’em” if I saw that on CNN or FoxNews.

  16. Wolverine

    The First Amendment is one of our greatest treasures. Like what is happening or not, to intervene in something like this officially is, in my opinion, a great constitutional danger. However, I would suggest that this is the time for some of our most prominent ultra-conservatives to try to talk some common sense into this guy. There are people on the national radar like Hannity and Beck who strive everyday and in multiple ways to support our troops in the field or anywhere. Moreover, no one can seriously dispute their personal creds on the issue of the battle against Islamic radicals. They might just have a chance to convince the Dove people that they are feeding the flames of the foe in the field in Afghanistan, Iraq, and many other places absolutely unneccesarily and without any real strategic or tactical purpose. Preach a dose of reality to them. You do not have to step all over their views of the dangers of the Islamic jihad. You just have to convince them that the potential loss of the lives of good Americans, military and possibly even civilian, may be the result of what is only a symbolic act. Convince them that we have to play our game in this religo-cultural conflict smartly. There are times when you smash back fiercely and times when you use cunning and craftiness. The key to success is knowing when to use either.

    Having pontificated thusly, I must opine that e’s comments in his first post carry much truth. I would recommend a read or re-read of “Londonistan”, the book by award-winning columnist Melanie Phillips of the London Daily Mail (Encounter Books, New York 2006). She posits that the Brits are losing their end of this religio-cultural battle and are at risk even of losing a sigificant part of their culture, including the great heritage of The Common Law. She believes that the Brits have played too softly, being led astray by certain elements of their own socio-political system. She makes a good and well-documented case. I can see how such analyses can lead others like the Dove people into reacting with extreme harshness when the conflict comes to our own turf. But I maintain that we cannot react blindly to the actions of others. As I posited above, we have to play this thing very smart. We have to be as smart as Truman and MacArthur were in 1945-1946, when they realized that we had to effect a sea change in the way Japan governed itself but that we would be smart to leave the Japanese with their revered and ultra-symbolic Emporer in place. By golly, it worked.

  17. I believe the flaw in your logic, Wolverine, is to assume anyone can talk sense into someone like Terry Jones. Mission impossible.

    Are we to just let someone endanger American lives? During WWII that would not have been handled like today, I don’t think. Of course, that era is no great bastion of civil liberties.

  18. Wolverine

    You might be right, Moon; but it is worth a try. You never know.

    The First Amendment has always given ground to some extent during our major wars. But here we are in a situation where some refuse to even admit that we are engaged in a very different and often confusing conflict with worldwide dimensions. I am willing to bet that, if you tried officially to shut down the Dove people on this, you would soon find a very unusual alliance between them and the ACLU.

  19. Emma

    Just like locating a mosque on Ground Zero and insisting that it open on 9/11/11, burning Qu’rans is a needless provocation. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. But it is the very same First Amendment that protects the Ground Zero mosque builders and the Qu’ran burners, flag and bra burners and swastika-tattoo wearers

    But I would like to think that most decent, educated and evolved American people do not go around organizing book burnings of any kind.

  20. I think that the ACLU backed the Westover (Bendover) Baptists. Ugh! Vile people. @ Wolverine (Mr. Gift-wrapped)

    Bras are too expensive to burn, even on sale.
    But I agree, Emma.

    I am just not worked up over the mosque near GZ. It’s up to the New Yorkers. *I* wouldn’t put it there….but that’s me.

  21. Morris Davis

    Emma : Just like locating a mosque on Ground Zero and insisting that it open on 9/11/11, burning Qu’rans is a needless provocation. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.

    Just because I CAN be hostile about those who distort the truth doesn’t mean I SHOULD, so I won’t, but to be accurate: (1) It is not “on Ground Zero,” it is 2 blocks north, which is a little further away from the sacred ground than the nudie bar and the off-track gambling site that are going full tilt at this very moment, and (2) as far as “insisting that it open on 9/11/11,” if they can’t finish the Linton Hall widening project in 5 years I don’t think they can tear down the old Burlington Coat Factory and build a 13-story building in 12 months.

    I agree with you on the book burning and I’m hoping the whole bra burning craze makes a comeback.

  22. The White House and the State Dept have both spoken out against what Terry Jones is threatening to do. He is now saying he will think about it.

    Meanwhile, every zealot in the world is plotting our demise. Not too scary if you are in Gainesville, Florida. Definitely on one’s look out if one is in Afghanistan or Iraq or other unstable parts of the world.

    Jones is now packing heat. He says he has gotten 100 death threats. How many have our troops gotten because of Mr. Terry “Taliban” Jones?

  23. Morris Davis

    If he was really walking with the Lord the Good Lord would have cured that mustache. That’s a devil of a stache.

  24. Wolverine

    I understand that the FBI is now in Gainesville trying to keep “The Stache” from getting whacked.

  25. Emma

    Where does it end? Will the radical Muslims threaten harm to our troops if someone writes a critical editorial? If protestors gather in front of the Ground Zero mosque? If us women do not start wearing veils in public?

    As reprehensible as I find burning anyone’s holy books, I find it even more reprehensible that our government would cower in fear and pressure citizens to cede their First Amendment rights to appease our enemies. It’s a slippery slope.

  26. I don’t see it as cowering in fear. I see it as standing up to something that is wrong. There is no reason to let some jerk stir up people when you KNOW it is going to stir them up. Why taunt people?

    I think Petraeus knows what he is talking about.

  27. Wolverine

    Emma, there are already more Islamic “fatwahs” out there than you can shake a stick at. Fortunately, most Muslims do not take them seriously enough to follow up on on them, although poor old Theodore Van Gogh paid a price, and there are some other serious, outstanding threats such as those over the cartoons in that Danish paper. I agree that many radical Muslims do not need much of a reason to declare a fatwah,; but this one, in my opinion, could become the granddaddy of them all since it touches virtually every Muslim on Earth. I don’t see any positives for us whatsoever in carrying out this stunt. It just makes our own situation harder for zero tactical or strategic gain. Any satisfaction anyone might garner from jabbing a stick into the eye of the foe like this might soon be overshadowed by an ever increasing need to keep looking over our shoulders, whether you are working with the Afghan military or police or just taking in a play on Broadway.

  28. RingDangDoo

    @Morris Davis

    > …and I’m hoping the whole bra burning craze makes a comeback.

    Whoa! Be careful for what you wish for! 😉

  29. Wolverine, I think those are wise words.

  30. Emma

    @Wolverine As I said earlier, I do not in any way sanction the burning of any kind of books in the US, particularly books that some regard as holy. But I did take notice of the evening news, where radicals were chanting and burning an American flag before a single Qu’ran had even been burned. Should anti-Muslim sentiment really be such a surprise to those radicals?

  31. @Emma
    Its not a surprise. That’s their intent. Any excuse to “fight the great Satan” is valid. They have also found that preemptive threats and violence are very effective.

    And they cannot conceive that anti-Muslim sentiment is valid. It is OUR responsibility to submit. No other action is allowable. Nothing they do against perceived opponents of Islam is wrong. It is outside their world view that they could be the cause of the “anti-Muslim” sentiment.

  32. Just a note: the great majority of conservative blogs that are opining on the Koran burning are against it. And those for it tend to state that its wrong in general, but they’re tired of the double standard of Muslims are able to get away with, well, most anything, while threats to burn Korans bring condemnation.

  33. Thanks for bringing that info in Cargo. I am against it for several reasons. First off, in American, we don’t burn books. That right there should settle it. Secondly, I don’t want a stupid act committed in Florida to endanger our men and women in uniform in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere in the world.

    I accept that for many radicalized Muslims, it isn’t a 2 way street. I don’t accept it because I like the idea. I acccept it the same as I accept that the young male schnauzer lifts his leg on the bush at the bottom of the steps. That’s just what dogs do.

    I also realize that there are good and decent Muslims here and in other parts of the world. They need to be careful to distance themselves from the bad apples.

  34. Thank goodness Jones has dropped his plans. I am sorry there will be copy cats.

  35. Apparently its back on. And you know what? I don’t care anymore. The Muslims threatened death and rioted BEFORE it happened. Imam Rauf states that if his mosque is not built there, Muslims will become dangerous to Americans. He claims that having it moved will be a propaganda victory for the radicals. Building it there will also be a victory for the radicals. And either way, they continue to threaten Americans. Since they are already trying to kill us, it doesn’t matter what we do.
    The US liberates millions of Iraqis and Afghanis. Defends Muslims in the Balkans. Saves hundreds of thousands, if not millions, from natural disasters, gives government aid to Palestinians. Defends freaking Saudi Arabia, and therefore MECCA, from Saddam. Assisted in the defense of Afghanistan from the USSR. Bends over backwards to not offend the sensitivities of Muslims in the US. And then elects a President that is sympathetic to the very people trying to kill us.

    And they want to kill us because some jackass wants publicity. And I don’t blame him if the Muslims turn violent. I blame the Muslims. One always has a choice. And I blame the press for giving publicity to this jackass. Where is the publicity for all of those churches that do good works. If this church of 50 people had been ignored to burn the books as they please, NO ONE WOULD HAVE KNOWN.

    From Gateway Pundit:
    Standing outside his 50-member Pentecostal church, the Dove Outreach Center, alongside Imam Muhammad Musri, the president of the Islamic Society of Central Florida, Jones said he relented when Musri assured him that the New York mosque will be moved.

    Musri, however, said after the news conference that the agreement was only for him and Jones to travel to New York and meet Saturday with the imam overseeing plans to build a mosque near ground zero.

    Hours later, Jones said Musri “clearly, clearly lied to us.”

  36. Wolverine

    I think it may be becoming harder and harder for many of those “good and decent Muslims” to effectively distance themselves from their more radical co-religionists and to let the rest of us know that they are doing so. It is a not so little thing known as “fear” — fear of retaliation by those co-religionists from whom they are separating themselves. Being labelled as an “apostate” these days looks to me like it goes beyond the actual tenets of the Koran and into the realm of how the radicals see you in light of their own interpretations of the commands of the Holy Book. On recalling the many Muslims with whom I once lived and worked, I can imagine that they would assure me that they were not radical and had no radical intentions whatsoever toward me and mine and then ask me not to tell anybody they said this. This I do not criticize. Courage is much easier to display when you are not yourself in acute danger.

  37. Wolverine makes a very good point. If radical Muslims want to kill us, then they certainly want to kill UNradical muslims. That is the reason it is so difficult for those who arent trecherous to speak out. They will get their throats slit also.

    I understand keeping your eyes down and your mouth shut. It is a survival skill.

    I don’t know why Jones wants to do this at all. It is UN-American. Americans don’t burn books.

  38. Wolverine, that is DEAD ON. Unfortunately, the unradical Muslims don’t seem to understand that they outnumber the terrorists, nor can they self-organize. In fact, if they did, their gov’t’s would probably arrest them. They are screwed, blued, and tattooed.

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