Florida pastor is focus of Muslim outrage - again

Fri Apr 1, 2011 6:58pm EDT
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By Kevin Gray

MIAMI (Reuters) - An American Christian preacher who caused an international uproar last year by threatening to burn the Koran has put himself back in the spotlight after incinerating Islam's holy book -- again with deadly consequences.

Thousands of protesters in northern Afghanistan, enraged over news that the Florida pastor Terry Jones had overseen a torching of the Koran, stormed a United Nations compound on Friday, killing at least seven U.N. staff.

Jones, a 58-year-old fundamentalist pastor and the head of a small fringe church in Gainesville, Florida, drew worldwide condemnation in September over his plans to burn the Koran on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Several people were killed in protests then in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

Jones eventually canceled that event under intense pressure from the U.S. government, the Pope, and other global leaders.

But he has remained an outspoken critic of Islam, and says parts of the Koran can lead to violence and terrorism.

On March 20, he presided over what he called an "International Judge the Koran Day" in which he supervised the burning of the book in front of some 50 people.

Video posted on the website of his Dove World Outreach Center church showed a kerosene-soaked book going up in bright flames in a metal fire pit similar to those often found in backyards and patios, but located inside the church.   Continued...

<p>Dove World Outreach Center church pastor Terry Jones announces the burning of the korans will continue as planned during a news conference in Gainesville, Florida September 8, 2010. REUTERS/Scott Audette</p>