Gainesville, Part II? Burn-the-Koran pastor now planning a “trial” for the book

By Michelle Boorstein Did you really think Florida Pastor Terry Jones was just going to vanish from your life? Six … Continued

By Michelle Boorstein

Did you really think Florida Pastor Terry Jones was just going to vanish from your life?

Six months after the minister of a tiny Gainesville church drew the world’s attention with his threats to burn the Koran, Jones is resurfacing with a slightly more subtle proposal. Jones and his Dove World Outreach Center (this is a place with a few dozen regular members, just to be clear) are now planning an “International Judge the Koran Day” for March 11, when he – according to a youtube clip of the tall, handlebar-moustached minister – will hold a mock trial, complete with defense and prosecuting attorneys, witnesses and a verdict on the Koran.

“We are accusing the Koran of murder, rape, deception and being responsible for terrorist activities all around the world,” he says in the clip, in which he sports a T-shirt, black leather coat and booming voice. “Here’s your opportunity, all you so-called peaceful Muslims … mail us, call us, present to us your defense attorney.”

Jones’ plan to commemorate the Sept. 11 attacks by burning Islam’s holy book set off what many saw as an outsized reaction last fall, with everyone from Hillary Clinton to David Petraeus taking to the airwaves to say he was endangering American soldiers and dangerously inflaming debate about religious pluralism. Reporters from around the world (yes, including yours truly) camped out on Dove’s huge lawn in the baking sun.

Jones cancelled the scripture-burning as part of what he said was an effort to strike a let’s cancel-our-controversial-projects deal with the Manhattan imam who is hoping to build a major Muslim community center near Ground Zero. The whole weird standoff vanished amid all the annual Sept. 11 commemorations and a generally tense year in American discussions about Islam.

But Jones is apparently still open to the idea of burning the Koran. The site for his event allows people to vote on what should happen to the Koran if it is “found guilty,” and options include burning, shredding and drowning. After all, this someone whose Web site sells coffee mugs that say “Islam is of the devil.”

Many people felt Jones’ theology and threats were over-blown by U.S. officials and over-covered by us in the media. We’ll see what happens this time.

  • cpmondello

    Draft two to story:”We are accusing the Bible of murder, rape, deception and being responsible for terrorist activities all around the world”

  • WmarkW

    “We are accusing the Koran of murder, rape, deception and being responsible for terrorist activities all around the world,”I suspect it’s not guilty by reason of insanity.

  • Noni777

    It is funny I have heard the bible blamed for rape and murder and now the Koran is blamed for rape and murder and how about it is man and woman who offend not a book. It is amazing that holy people, no matter the religion, can be so confused. It wearies my soul…the ignorance of it all.

Read More Articles

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

987_00
An Ayatollah’s Gift to Baha’is, Iran’s Largest Religious Minority

An ayatollah offers a beautiful symbolic gesture against a backdrop of violent persecution.

Screenshot 2014-04-23 11.40.54
Atheists Bad, Christians Good: A Review of “God’s Not Dead”

A smug Christian movie about smug atheists leads to an inevitable happy ending.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.