September 9th, 2010
02:27 PM ET
12 years ago

White House blasts Florida church's plan to burn Qurans

Washington (CNN) - A Florida church's plan to burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks is a "monumentally terrible idea," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday.

The "hateful" and "offensive" act would be a "recruiting bonanza for al Qaeda," would endanger U.S. troops and "goes against every one of our values," he said.

Gibbs said there are discussions inside the Obama administration about intervening with the Rev. Terry Jones, pastor of Gainseville's Dove Center, which is organizing the planned Quran burning.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters Thursday it is possible that a senior administration official will call Jones.

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Filed under: Robert Gibbs • White House
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    Stupit is what Stupit does because burning these copies of the Quran doesn't solve anything well Bubby got his two week of fames. on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in an event that costs a minimum of $65 to attend. Who get this money but on the other hand it's better than tickets to this latest Palin-Beck affair run as high as $225

    September 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. Florida Guy

    Be careful Rev. Jones or you will incite the followers of the "peaceful" religion of Islam to cut someone kill someone in the name of Allah.

    September 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Kathleen

    Where is Bush and McCain on this???? It would help if Bush "reminded" American's that Muslim's in the U.S. should NOT be profiled.
    There is a difference between good Muslim citizens of the U.S. and
    terrorists. Bush said it right after 9-11! Just when he could help, where is he. Do we miss him, yet. NO. And Petreaus himself said
    the burning of the Quran's would threaten the lives of our troops! Where is McCain???? When asked, he would not comment? That is the news I have seen on reports of McCain stance on this???????
    And, why is not there a Democrat or even an Independent with some sense running in Arizona?????? Does that mean that McCain can
    already "be the winner????

    September 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Duck Fallas

    Why is this freak getting so much attention? This would not be an issue if this nut was ignored.

    If the radicals retaliate, the blood will be on the hands of the news outlets that give this insignificant dope so much publicity.

    September 9, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. GI Joe

    Let Bush call him. That's his political idol.

    September 9, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. Rob in MO

    The idiots in Florida certainly have the right to burn the Quran. The president is certainly correct that this is a propoganda bonanza for extremists. Extremists on one side are the best enablers of extremists on the other side. The real reason to oppose the burning is that it shows incredible insensitivity to a religion that is extraordinarily important to hundreds of millions of people, a small minority of whom are extremists. We should respect the sincere beliefs of others even when we don't embrace the beliefs themselves.

    September 9, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I have a lot of friends from india and other countrys when my wife got sick they were the firrt ones to help he should meet other people he belongs in a nut farm

    September 9, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Mikey

    What I can't believe is all the Muslim bashing. It is an extreme embarrassment to the United States. Those who do so do not deserve the freedoms afforded by our great country because they simply can't handle the responsibility that goes with it.

    I guess there have always been, and unfortunately probably will always be, hateful narrow-minded fools among us. I just wish that they, along with all the Islamic extremists, would just crawl back into their caves and never come out again.

    September 9, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Shawn-GA

    Sooo let me get this straight... The President will not comment on the wisdom of building a mosque at ground zero. However "blasts" the burning of the Qurans??

    I do not think they should burn these however I find it interesting on what this president decides to have an opinion about and what not to have one about... look at the last 2 years and compare!

    September 9, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Obama should respect the 1st Amendment

    President Obama should stay out of this. The last thing the White House should be doing is blasting somebody from exercising their First Amendment Rights. How many times have we seen an American flag burned in the mideast or a picture of a sitting President burned. Just maybe if al Qaeda is so closely linked to the Quran that we should step back from this. In terms of religious intolerance one only has to look at Turkey and its shunning of the Christian Orthodox, or Saudi Arabia and its stance on Christians and its move to kick out all American troops for fear of as Qaeda reprisals againt the Ruling Family, or Iran's stance on Israel, or the stance of most muslim nations against Christian "infidels" No, in looking at this more deeply, I think the Minister is on to something - no religion, especially an intolerant one and one with radicals hell bent on destroying us should be above rebuke and demonstration ... go ahead and burn them -it is just a book and a symbol - and if the radicals kill because of it, then I guess we have our answer as to how closely linked terorism, al Quaeda, and the Quran are linked.

    September 9, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. D. Bunker

    Why do the rightwing extremists hate America and her troops?

    September 9, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. Bill from GA

    Is there a list of the freedom's our military is fighting to protect? I was under the impression that all of our freedoms were important, including freedoms involving religion and free expression.

    So now offending Muslums is taboo.

    I don't think the mosque should be built in lower Manhattan, but I think they have the right to do it.

    I don't think the Quran should be burned in our country, but I think they have the right to do it.

    A bigger issue, to me, is why the Muslum community is not more upset over the stoning of women over, what in civilized countries, would not be a major offense. Is it acceptable to them based on their religion, in which case I think their religion deserves no respect from civilized people. If it is not a part of their religion's beliefs, why aren't they more outspoken over stoning women.

    Why do they think we should stay out of their business over stoning a women, yet they have the right to tell us how to apply our freedoms?

    Let freedom reign.

    September 9, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Where, oh where are all those flag and Bible burnings around THIS country that Jones keeps claiming happen 'all the time?' All the flag burnings happen overseas, and even there nobody thus far has organized a mass-burning of Bibles... But of course thanks to Jones' provocation that'll likely change...
    You do know that within a single week Iran will announce a Bible burning day, right?

    September 9, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. MAhole

    Terry Jones and his bunch are a curse on this country. And he calls himself a Christian pastor????

    What is burning copies of the Quran going to serve?? Other than to ramp up the extreme elements that want to harm those of us in the "ifidel" world.

    I hate to say this – and CNN probably won't print it – but HE is the one that should be burned..........

    September 9, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Lib Hunter

    Its funny that Obama feels that its totally ok to comment on the wisdom of the constitutional act of burning the Koran, but not the ground zero trophy mosque. So, the koran burning will add terrorist recruits according to Imam Obama, but as far as the anti American trophy mosque adding anti muslim sentiment, well, lets just ignore that. (hell Imam Obozo practically called the majority of the population who is against the location of the trophy mosque intolerant racists) Imam Obama is the first anti American President this country has had to deal with. And the media continues to wonder how a major portion of the population thinks Imam Obama is a muslim. Well to steal a line from candidate Imam Obama, "You could put lipstick on a pig but its still a pig"
    Thank God (Allah for all u Obama supporters) this disgraceful President will definitel be a lame duck come November. Can't wait to witness the bloodbath.

    September 9, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Drake

    If they only knew what another centuries-old compendium of religious "wisdom" says about Gentiles a/k/a "goyim" ... they'd go into "does not compute"/excuse-generating mode in a picosecond.

    September 9, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Peter E

    People who claim that 'the Taliban would use any excuse to attack us anyway' are completely missing the point. The reason we should not burn the Quran is not because it would be offensive to extremists. You are correct that extremists don't need an excuse. However moderates can be turned into extremists through this provocation. Muslims who did not care for Al Quaida before will now be more easy for the terrorists to recruit if we burn their holiest of books.
    Imagine if muslims organized a defile-the-Bible day. Can you even remotely imagine that even otherwise pacifist and moderate Christians would just turn the other cheek for that? This is nothing but senseless provocation.

    September 9, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Shannon James

    While i may not agree with burning any sacred texts the pastor has a constitutional right to do so. Christians are tired of having the cross covered up at the presidents request The manger scene not allowed at Christmas, not being able to say Merry Christmas because it might be offensive and watching muslums burn our flag and our bibles. The president wants tolerance for Muslims but heaven forbid Christianity should be on display or mentioned. Americans are TIRED of tolerance for everyone else but what the majority believe here. Terrorists will kill our troops not because of the Quran being burned but because they hate the US and Christianity. We watch as muslims blow up our buildings,ships,and take our money. I can't stand anymore. If the terrorists are going to pose a threat if they don't build the mosque so what? We live with the threat everyday. They're still planning an attack against us on our soil. If the Muslims wanted Peace they would listen to the voice of the majority people in AMERICA instead of shoving they're victory mosque in our face.

    September 9, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. The right is wrong

    How about a special shout out to all the Islamaphobes that have been stoking the hate for brown people lately – Fox, Beck, Palin, Gaffney, Geller. Job well done!!! You've fired up the crackpots, mission accomplished. It's unfortunate that those causing the problems won't be paying the consequences of their actions. You yelled fire, and then scattered like cockroaches when the blowback took place. Nice job.

    September 9, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. Carl

    I don't think it would be hard for the government to ban the coverage of this event. Let it happen, and happen quietly. The day of global media is making a big hype over this. If reporters stop covering it then there won't be anything to show for it and they can just do there own silly protest in the dark.

    It is there right to burn them, but the government's duty to ban video coverage – I'm pretty sure the safety of American's oversees trumps the freedom of the press in this case or maybe they would all like to be charged as accessories?

    September 9, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  21. D.

    Now let's turn our attention pass this outrageousness. We can view children fighting illnesses or making strides to help other American.
    We need to stop letting anything stupid take cener stage and pulling everyone and everyone into the conversation. Let things go.

    September 9, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  22. Bill

    Dear Mr. Gibbs, The problem is that Islam is being represented by a handful of radicals. These radicals are speaking very clearly how they as representatives of Islam detest the infidels. How they should be eradicated from the earth. You can think what you will, but until Islam changes from within, until peaceful Muslims the world over remove this festering sore from their religion, Islam will always be precieved as a religon of violence and intolerance. I will not stand by and allow this intolerant sect to run roughshod over my beliefs. I don't care if you worship magic mushrooms... but if I am not tolerated in return then I have no sympathy for you or your religion. You Mr. Gibbs are enabling this behavior, you are showing these radicals that they can have their way and we will bow and scrape our way out of existence.

    September 9, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Dennis

    Why would this jerk Jones, say he will consider calling it off if he hears from Obama. Obama is not God. Why doesn't this idiot preacher of a small time church just listen to God. This is not what God asks us to do. This stupid fool makes me proud to be a Christian.

    September 9, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Marcus

    More and more it looks like this 'priest' was after some spotlight on him, even if he had to use 9/11 to achieve it...
    Shame on him!

    September 9, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Bruce

    The White House is going to "intervene"? Oh they mean they are going to harass this man in direct contrast to the Constitution giving him the right to protest. Obviously they take great pride in making sure that saving the Quran is much more important than his right to free speech. if they want tio do something, go after the bad guys. He isn't one of them. Obozo and his band of thieves are ridiculous. BURN ALL THE QURAN'S!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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