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. Get A Grip

    Interesting that when a U.S. soldier had his bibles confiscated and burned by U.S. military authorities because Al-jazerry was concerned that these bibles could be given to muslims....Obama and others sure didn't have a problem with that.

    September 10, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Michele from CO

    Obama rocks!!!!! You folks will never be happy...because you need someone to blame!

    September 10, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. aliou in Jacksonville, FL

    Neither is questioning anyone's faith. Yet some people feel that president Obama would spend in 8 years in office answering questions about his faith. Meanwhile, the curan burner wasn't even asked his immigration status, his certificate of baptism or other to prove that he has the right to speak for americans.

    September 10, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. Tulsa

    Freedom of speach? Yes, but what most of the book burners don't want to face is that that freedom comes with responsibility.
    The "they do it to us!" crowd is as low as they come. We stand for freedom and for tolerance. Religious freedom means freedom for ALL religions, not just the one you think is right..

    September 10, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    I support our troops, and if this guy's freedom of expression puts them in more danger than they are already in, then he needs to think about the consequences. The Supreme Court says there are limits to freedom of speech, such as not shouting fire in a crowded theatre if there is not a fire. To me, this fits somewhere in that category. He will turn otherwise moderate Muslim into radicals.

    The last time I looked, the wars were against Al Qaeda, and the Muslims were our allies. Let me know if this has changed.

    September 10, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Brady

    Amen, Mr. President. This country was founded on religious tolerance and freedom, and to see such blatant religious bigotry and persecution in this country is sickening.

    September 10, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Tulsa

    ks,
    You are a complete moron. and not much of an American either.

    September 10, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Dave

    To the comment that President Obama would not comment on the burning of bibles. Why wouldn't he? How do you know he wouldn't?

    Chuck, Tennessee, your comment shows how polarized this country is on religion and politics in general. The demonstration against the Islamic center (it is not a Mosque) was pure and simple racism. Don't color it with any other word. That's what it was.

    Now everyone is asking how I can make this claim. I can make this claim because the demonstrators say it is offensive to put a place of reconciliation near ground zero but it is not offensive to have a strip joint near ground zero. Since when do strip joints trump peace and understanding. I guess I am just plain stupid if I can't reconcile this in my mind. But I guess I am one who would rather see a center for prayer and reconciliation than shops like New York Dolls Gentleman’s Club, Pussycat Lounge and Thunder Lingerie and More (a peep show club).

    Americans need to stop acting like one year olds (actually in most cases this is insulting the one year olds of the world.). Let the center be built. The center is a lot better than some of the seedy establishments in that area.

    September 10, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. katiec

    It is sad that some support taking the rights, honor of our country to the extreme.
    This is not what our United States of America stands for. Because ones beliefs differ, there still is freedom of religion and those who are intolerant, disrespectful, discriminating and full of hate towards any religion that does not follow their narrow minded stances cannot call theirselves true Christians
    It is unfortunate that they media turned this into the circus it has become.

    September 10, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Augsbee

    Jilli – as I see it the White House, others are against the burning of the Quran/Koran because of the threat of the Taliban and Al Queida against our troops and Americans overseas, nothing more. We Americans are giving into the same fear the Taliban, Al Queida have used on other countries to get what they want.

    September 10, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Orlando Patriot

    Burning the Quran is not desired but what this shows us is exactly how intolerant the Islam religion is. Assume a mosque is, say, Saudi Arabia was going to burn bibles. We christians would be upset but would pray for our brethren with a request not to burn. Christians do NOT threaten all over the world the killing of innocent lives. Now we have this Imam basically saying he can't move the mosque now because if he did the U.S. would be in severe danger of a terrorist attack. Excuse me? Are you threatening the U.S.? I got news for you – these stripes don't run!! Don't think for a MOMENT you can threaten this great country!!

    Yes we are at war with RADICAL ISLAM but should the "moderate" Islam followers not stand up and shout from the rafters that the Radical Islamists are not what they believe then, yes, we are at war with all of Islam as well. As George Bush said "If you are not with us then you are against us". BTW, throughout history whenever muslims conquer non-muslims they ALWAYS build something to represent that conquest at the scene. This is not a "community center". This is not a "moderate" muslim location.

    This is clearly a representation of a CONQUEST and this country should NOT allow a building representing conquest at this location.

    September 10, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Bob in PA

    Obama likes the Koran and Islam so much because it is the socialist's dream. Religion and State intermingled with individuals rights squashed by both.

    September 10, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. reese

    Why do they all talk in circles? Burning a Quran will create mass hysteria amongst the 14th century savages that follow Islam.

    September 10, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. XWngLady

    What is wrong with all of these people who are so anti-self-control (anti-politically correct). EVERYTHING THAT IS PERMISSIBLE IS NOT ADVISIBLE!!!!!!

    September 10, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. phoenix86

    Obama's America stands for Racial Profiling, Ignoring Immigation Laws, Allowing voter intimidation, socialized health care, union giveaways, unionized public servants; retreat abroad, and a disregard of individual rights and liberties.

    Not much different from Obama's America and his cousin's Kenya.

    September 10, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. James Denver, CO

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – Bill of Rights, First Amendment
    This preacher is free to practice his religion however it's pretty clear that burning the Quran isn't part of Christianity. In fact it's impeding on Islam worshippers abilities to practice their religion. For everyone claiming he has a right to do this and everything based on our constitution, if you take the time to read it you see it's actually the exact opposite. And this is in no way a practice of free speech.

    September 10, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  17. Michael Wong

    It's interesting that the people who try to prove that Obama is "pro-Muslim" use his failure to be sufficiently ANTI Muslim as evidence. Apparently, you can only be pro or anti-Muslim; there is no such thing as neutrality here. I guess they subscribe to Bush's "you're either with us or you're with the terrorists" black/white dichotomy.

    September 10, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. ART

    I live in New York and we can blame the likes of Peter King, Rick Lazio for all this nonsense.They spew this venum and hate everytime they open their mouths, I'am surprised that burning the koran is the only thing these idiots are doing I'am waiting for them to want to burn Muslims because that is what hate speech is all about and will lead to,keep it up xenophobes

    September 10, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Michael Wong

    Why do people shout "freedom of speech" every time someone says it's a terrible and irresponsible idea to hold a Quran-burning day? Is it not also freedom of speech to criticize their behaviour?

    If Obama were talking about throwing this guy in jail, THEN you could accuse him of ignoring freedom of speech. But calling him out is NOT an attack on freedom of speech, no matter how much the Obama-haters want it to be.

    September 10, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. The Unsub

    It is obvious that some of you simply will not give Obama any credit. It doesn't matter what he does. Let's just call it what it is (fill in blank). This has nothing to do with the economy, wars, environment, religion, etc.

    This country will not progress until some of you simply die off. The prejudice ingrained in your brains needs to die off. Only the youth of today are color-blind and able to see mankind as equal. I have more confidence in a Meaghan McCain, than I do in a Gingrich, or Bachmann anyday!

    September 10, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. XWngLady

    The reason that the President is against the man burning the Qu'ran is not because he's a Muslim (anyone who still believes that he is a hateful, bitter, uninformed individual bent on believing what they want to, no matter how untrue it is) but rather, because it will put our servicepersons overseas in more danger! As the Commander-in-chief it is the President's RESPONSIBILITY to urge the man not to do something that will cause our military more harm. In the end, the pastor STILL has the RIGHT and the CHOICE to do it (in a way that does not break any laws...i.e. he can't burn them in a bonfire if he wasn't approved for a permit to do so) or not . This is America. And just as its the "pastor's" right (by the way, he's a pastor of a church called DOVE World Outreach – yeah right) to express himself by burning the books, it is our right, and I would argue our duty, to call him on the imprudence of his actions....like I said, EVERYTHING THAT IS PERMISSIBLE IS NOT ADVISIBLE!

    September 10, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Bill

    But once the Quran is accepted here .... Obama will be the second most powerfull person in the US .... perhaps the IMAM of the NYC will be his BOSS.... and then we can all behead infidels and burn bibles. Sounds like a plan!

    September 10, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  23. Bob in PA

    Obama anounces that we are not at War with Islam. He is dead wrong. We are at War with a certain sect of Islam. Call them Terrorists all day log if you like, but it comes down to Islam plain and simple.

    September 10, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. jeb bush

    watching that press conference was painful the prez started out like gangbusters and then seen to drift terribly when he got to the halfway point of the press conference. the president has so much on the platter he just can't wing these news conf, and his answers must be paired down to a 2 minute response to a question. towards the end it was a drag to him and the people that was watching. he needs a prep team for these events. he was not on point and repeated answers alot. its to late in the game to wing it. the people and the party wants the prez to send a clear message. i give this press conf a C- . long winded answers just won't cut it now. colin powell and dick cheney were the original toastmasters quick thought out answers to all questions. bam -–next question..............

    September 10, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Jones has had his day, now it's time to take him away. You know, the place where he can't harm himself.

    September 10, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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