September 10th, 2010
11:54 AM ET
13 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. Gregory G Wied Jr

    To the people talking about freedom of speech. He's not saying he doesn't have a right to do this. If that was the case, he'd be seeking injunctions to prevent it, and would likely fail.

    What President Obama is saying is that hate-mongering other people's religions directly contradicts the ideals of the founding fathers, and while it can be done, it is wrong to do so.

    September 10, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. angrymob11

    Burn the book. Don't listen to Hussein Bobama he will always defend the muslim animals.

    September 10, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. ron

    Majorities—A majority opposed…
    • abolishing slavery
    • giving women the right to vote
    • ending segregation,
    • ending separate but equal
    • interracial marriage
    And now a majority oppose the building a house of worship NEAR ground zero.
    None of these majorities were/are on the right side of the issue. Learn your/our history so that we can grow, move forward, for once following the teachings of Jesus.

    September 10, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. d

    Obama is a true Christian. A Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Christ. If Christ was in human form, do you think that he would burn the Quaran

    September 10, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Rev. Swenson

    Burning Qurans is an example of Christian Talibainism.

    September 10, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. sheena canada

    KS – so basically your agreeing with what President Obama says!!!

    So why the arguement – its wrong to burn the book – where does he say he does not respect freedom of speech etc

    Or is it merely more of lets bash "Obama" wether we agree or not!!

    September 10, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  7. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Hey, Shawn in Georgia: It is NOT a mosque and it is NOT at Ground Zero. Do your homework Bub!

    September 10, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. Matt

    soooo....he wont speak out against westboro church who protest funerals, but he will speak out against this?......someones priorities are twisted...........

    seems Islam is the only religion libs arent against

    September 10, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Mike

    Why is it ok with Americans – under 'freedom of speech' – to burn the American Flag but not to burn a religious book?

    I think the symbolism of us telling him he can't do this speaks volumes about where we are as a nation.

    What does it say about us when we can bash our own country openly but can't allow 1 person to do something toward another country.

    I want to go back to the days were we realized we are the Global Powerhouse and we were happy to let everyone else know it. THAT is what America was built on!


    September 10, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Joe Sweeney

    Too many people here are equating the building of a community center with the burning of a Koran. Both are absolutely legal under our Constitution, but one is building a place for a religious community to meet and worship and one is provacatively and intentionally insulting a religion of over 1.2 billion people. One offers a place for Americans to worship and one puts American troops in greater danger. While the President has to respect the rights of American citizens to do both, isn't it his responsibility to argue against the hateful condemnation of a religion that many Americans profess.

    September 10, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Rudy Haugeneder, Canada

    Mr. Obama has carelessly stoked the fires of religious intolerance by accidentally, I believe, suggesting Islam is a foreign religion to Americans.
    "The idea that we would burn the sacred text of someone else's religion is contrary to what this country stands for. It is contrary to what this nation was founded on," Obama said during a news conference today.
    The words "somebody else's religion" is a very dangerous comment that anti-Muslim Americans will jump on as a green light to prevent the Islamic faith from expanding and building mosques because it is a foreign religion that is behind 9/11 and endorses terrorism.

    September 10, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |

    Burning the quran is in very very poor taste, I sometimes am tired of being the better guy. Our flag is burned all the time which hurts me deeply. Guess once again we need to set the example to others but my opinion Al Queda and Muslim Terrorists have no values or respect for anything other than their own self-serving cause, too control, hate and treat women less than a dog on the street.

    September 10, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Being a Muslim is no different from being a Lutheran, a Baptist, a Catholic or an Anglican, It is a religion and like all religions it has its share of nutcases. But intelligent people can separate the wheat from the chaff.

    September 10, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. SLP

    If all of you tone deaf liberals will stop hurling insults and listen for a minute, you might learn that there aren't many who are questioning the legality of this mosque. Under the constitution, muslims have the right to build a mosque where they please. However, there are many unanswered quesitons about how this mosque is being funded. This Imam Rauf whatever his name is has made some very inflammatory remarks against the US. He will not come out and openly condemn Hamas. He has also been quoted as saying that Sharia law should be implemented here in the US. There is legitimate concern that this mosque is being funded by terrorist money which is coming from the very same people who killed over 3,000 of our citizens on September 11. If an investigation is done and these suspicions are found to be baseless then the mosque can be built.
    This leads me to my next point. Just because something is legal doesn't make it right. If this Imam and all of the other muslims wanting this mosque cared about repairing relations between muslims and those of other faiths then they wouldn't even be considering building in a place that is considered hallow ground to most of us here in the US. This goes for this idiot preacher who wants to burn Korans. I am a christian, but I do not support this. First, this is only going to anger muslims in the middle east especiallly those radical terrorist muslims which will only put our military more in harms way. Second of all, freedom of religion is one of the tenants that this country was founded on. God gives us free will. We, as people, shouldn't have the right to take that away. However, you can't use the objections of this mosque as your reason for condemning the actions of this misguided preacher. Both actions are wrong.

    September 10, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Lousy Biased Coverage

    If Obama feels he has the constitutional right to burn the Koran and openly states that he should think twice about doing it, then why is he silent on the fact that people who are upset about the mosque know they have the constitutional right to build the Mosque in question but they should think twice about it as well? Why is he weighing in on one but keeping silent about the other? Why?

    September 10, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. really!

    OK, who burned the Koran on 9/10/2001?

    September 10, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. d

    Obama is a true Christian. A Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Christ. If Christ was in human form, do you think that he would burn the Quran? This pastor took the words of the Bible and turned the turned them into a message of hate.

    September 10, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. J in NJ

    Quite the opposite Mr. President. This contry has been burning books for ages!!! This country stands for freedom and if some yahoo wants to burn a book or a hundred books he has every right.

    There is a very big difference between government sponsored intolerence and that of a private citizen. It is the national government that guarantees religious freedom. However, Ithe good Rev. as a citizen and not a government official does not have to afford anyone anything.

    September 10, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. L

    To clarify a few points:

    The president, as a US citizen:
    a. is allowed to criticize the Koran burning
    b. is NOT allowed to order the govt. to stop the burning.
    Free speech protects the president as well as the crackpots.

    As for trying to make the Islamic Cultural Center in NYC equivalent to the Koran burnings...

    The Cultural Center was
    a. Proposed at least a couple of years ago
    b. Is going through all proper zoning review
    c. Despite what Fox says, is not intended to foster violence.
    d. Is NOT at ground zero.

    The Koran burning is
    a. Deliberately intended to enrage people
    b. Is being done in spite of public criticism
    c. Is the renegade action of a crackpot reverend.

    Book burnings evoke a negative cultural response regardless of whether it's the Koran, Bible, or any other book. It's an act associated with Nazis and other bigots usually done by those afraid of education and learning.

    September 10, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. alan

    burning the Qur-An is the biggest dumbest decision to be happend in US.. comes with a lot of consequences. Think America before you make such step, after the step is made ... no regrets

    September 10, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. D. Bunker

    It's amazing how a bunch of low-IQ teatard extremists, enabled by our so-called "liberal media" try to distract our country with stupid non-issues like a Muslim community center. Your corporate masters are quite pleased that you have kept the focus away from their rape of the middle class and their corporate welfare programs. Fortunately, the saner members of Mainstreet America see through your empty hypocrisy.

    September 10, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. Willa-PA

    "ks September 10th, 2010 12:47 pm ET
    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."

    ks-it's people like you that see no responsibilities and morals to the freedoms we have. There are responsibilities and morals which come with freedoms and if it takes to keep one's mouth shut or not acting upon a certain act that could involve death and distruction to others, one should refrain from that freedom, eventhough one has the right to do or say it.

    September 10, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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