September 10th, 2010
11:54 AM ET
4 years ago

Obama: Burning Quran 'not what this country stands for'

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Friday that the idea that "we would burn the sacred texts of someone else's religion is contrary to what this country stands for."

He said he hopes the Rev. Terry Jones "prays on it" and refrains from doing it.

The government has to send a "very clear message" that burning the Quran endangers U.S. troops and is a major recruiting tool for al Qaeda," Obama added.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Colorado

    In fact this is exactely what this country was founded on. Freedom of speech, freedom of expression. He has ever right to burn the book just like he has the right to burn the flag or call Obama a socialist. That is what our rights are. Now I also believe the Pastor is wrong but not because it is the koran but it is a symbol for others and as such we should try our best to repect that.

    September 10, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. glib lib

    This is a perfect example of intolerance. Exactly what the Taliban and Al Queida Stand for. Who's side is this moronic preacher on?!

    September 10, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. Archie B

    Oh, but it would be a different story if someone in a foreign country were burning our flag,a bible or an American in effigy. Then the excuse would be "oh , the Americans are arrogant" and we can't offend them by saying you shouldn't do that. Everbody is so worried about being politically correct these days it's sickening.Bunch of wimps.

    September 10, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. CHANGE.COM

    We continue to give this crazy idiot of a man publicity. Jones is no pastor, no man of God. For God is Peace and Love and those who follow him have to behave as such. I don't know what Bible he reads from but methinks Jones needs repentance.

    September 10, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. windrider

    Unfortunately, burning the Quran is EXACTLY what this country stands for...fear, bigotry, ignorance and hypocrisy.

    September 10, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. John Haggard

    I don't think it is wise at all to burn the book. I wouldn't. But I'm sorry. It is a right we all have. You want to play constitution, then play it. The president wants to let those guys build a mosque on ground zero because it is there right, then he shouldn't be interjecting his opinion on this when this guy has the right to burn the book if he wants.

    Funny how everyone plays the "constitution" card when its something they want, and then all of a sudden they forget about it when its something they don't want.

    September 10, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Chuck, Tennessee

    I doubt Pres Obama would say anything if a group were planning to burn Bibles. I don't support was this preacher wants to do, but I defend his right to do it. Just as I don't support a Mosque being built at Ground Zero but do recognize the constitituional right to do so.

    September 10, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Barbara in PA

    So then Colorado, I guess you keep silent when someone burns a flag, or stands up at military funerals and says Thank God for IEDs?

    Sure, he CAN do it, but the whole premise of this country is freedom to practice your religion as you see fit, without harrassment from others. And based on the Park 51 debacle (the building which no one gave a tin fart about for the past 9yrs, and no one cared about Muslims purchasing a year or more ago until some wingnut picked it up and ran with it), there are MANY in this country who want freedom of religion....as long as it's THEIR religion.

    Muslims are here to stay. And technically the only proper way to dispose of a Qur'an is by........burning it. Stupid stuipd Terry Jones.

    September 10, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Kansas is Better than Colorado

    In fact it is exactly (not exactley) what this coutry was founded to prevent. Freedom of Religion (which is the most important and unalienable right of all men). Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech were never intended to be a protectorate of religous intolerance or ignorance. Burning a book, especially a book that someone else deems sacred is not only offensive to every person with any shred of dignity and moral fiber but also incredibly backwards.

    September 10, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Just because you have the right to do something does not exonerate you from moral responsibility and respect for others. My only son is in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

    September 10, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Rose

    Just because you have the right to do something does not exonerate you from moral responsibility and respect for others. My only son is in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

    September 10, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. geecee

    Interesting how 9/11 happened 9 years ago, and now all of a sudden this Country wants to get particularly hostile to the religion of Islam. Why didn't people act out like they are now from 2002 through 2008? It's because Obama is in office and the brainwashed minions of the ultra-conservative right-wing nutjobs, i.e. Beck, Limpbag, Palin, Angle, Paul, etc. etc. have convinced their ignorant, uneducated supporters that our President is a Muslim, and everything else they have tried against our President hasn't worked, and this nonsense about burning the Quran has suddenly come up? I have to hand it to the Repugnantcants. They will try anything, ANYTHING, if they think it might work to get their man in office and get the Democrats defeated. There is no end to their calculated unabashed hateful dirty strategy to get into office!! Remember Dems – vote in the mid-terms. We have to hold on to a majority in Congress or its back to Bush and the policies that got us into two wars and a failed economy!!

    September 10, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. SLB

    Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

    September 10, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Augsbee

    Taliban and Al Queida already won when we stop using our Freedom of Speech in the U.S. to not anger them against us and our troops. Little by little they will manipulate us with their threats into what they want from us Americans.

    September 10, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. Rob in CT

    Can we just expel Florida from the uinion already? Between the 2000 election, Elian Gonzalez, Terri Schiavo and now this I think I've had enough

    September 10, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. D-block

    There is a right time and place for everything but right now is not the time to rock the boat. Our troops are the ones who will have to deal with all the hype created by this foolishness. Listen to the president on this one.

    September 10, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. Gordon Shumway

    Obama is not what this country stands for.

    September 10, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Rob in MD

    Obama seems so pro Muslim based on his actions and comments. That's part of the problem. He defends the mosque near ground zero but condemns this. Both have a right to happen, but that doesn't mean either of them should happen. He should have said he understood why people were angry about the mosque and that it's not a good decision to build it there becuase it's insensitive.

    Obama doesn't seem to worry about Christianity or the burning of US flags. He only cares of minority groups and religions.

    September 10, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Shawn-Ga

    So he will not comment on the wisdom of the Mosc at ground zero however has made several comments about the burning of the Quran?

    He should stay out of BOTH issues!

    Put this right up there with his first interview as President being with Dubai television and it is painfully clear where his heart lies.

    So we are clear I am VERY against burning the Quran, my point is the decision this President is making are very telling.

    September 10, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Shawn-Ga

    I am sorry I misspelled Mosque

    September 10, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. ks

    Great. The president doesn't think we stand for freedom of expression or freedom of speech. Super. Once again, Obama applies a double standard in the interest of political correctness. Betraying our principles so that we don't offend others is a betrayal nonetheless. I don't agree with burning the Koran and consider it risky – but I must be tolerant of both its reader and its burner. THAT'S what this country is founded on – tolerance of both sides whether we agree or not.

    September 10, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Jilli

    Excellent answer Mr. President! Cut through the deliberate hate mongering prevalent during this election season, and that's a common sense, realistic stance on the community center and what this country stands for and is based on. The hate mongers should be shouted down, their tactics are clear and their motives are despicable. Hate and division isn't what makes this country great. Our laws and our tollerance are two components that keep this country the envy of others.

    September 10, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Unfortunately, he is right, but most likely for the wrong reasons.

    September 10, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. KDud

    You can't fight ignorance and hatred with intolerance. @Barbara in PA.. I agree with you, most of these people shouting no 'Ground Zero Mosque' fail to even acknowledge (or probably dont even know) that the Park51 building has been used as a place for Muslims to pray since July 2009. Where was the outrage then? If they have been worshipping there peacefully for the last year, why now all of this outrage? oh I forgot elections are coming up.

    September 10, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. Chuck

    Nobody is saying that this pastor doesn't have the right to burn books. Not the President, not anybody.

    What people are saying is that it's a bad idea, that spreading hate and fear is not the American way, and that it will (scratch that, has) result in deaths.

    First amendment rights work both ways.

    September 10, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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