Locals react to reverend's threat to burn the Qur'an - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Locals react to reverend's threat to burn the Qur'an

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By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The reverend of a small church in Florida officially called off his initiative to burn the Qur'an on the 9th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

Reverend Terry Jones is a pastor at Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville. His proposal to burn 200 Qur'ans sparked controversy and media attention worldwide.

"He indicated that he had never read the Qur'an," said Executive Director, Okolo Rashid at the International Museum of Muslim Culture in Jackson.

As a Muslim, Rashid says she was disappointed to hear about Jones' plans, but thinks this event will spark curiosity about Islam.

"It has opened up dialogue, it has opened up discussion, it has opened up the reality that there needs to be education."

Reverend Edward O'Connor at Saint Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral agrees, and says Jones' behavior is not what religion, in general, teaches.

"As a Christian, I think reconciliation and unity is what we should be about, even with our brothers and sisters of that faith and all faiths," Rev. O'Connor said.

Though Jones sparred the piles of Qur'ans he and his congregation planned to burn, the reaction and opinions of others still remains.

"He knows that this is not right. He knows, but he is so desperate for attention," said Nonny Stearns.

"It's just going to prove your inability to relate to other humanity," said high school senior Christa Perry.

President Obama and General David Petreus both asked Jones not to follow through with his actions saying it could create retaliation from American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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