Posted by on September 09, 2010 in Blog
America's leaders spoke in one voice denouncing plans by an attention-seeking pastor who had planned what was described as a "Qur'an burning". While the pastor's plans were aborted, the response of our nation's leaders are worth noting:
President Barack Obama
If he's listening, I just hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values of Americans. That this country has been built on the notions of religious freedom and religious tolerance. And as a very practical matter, as commander of chief of the Armed Forces of the United States I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan. We're already seeing protests against Americans just by the mere threat –
Well, look, the … this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda. You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities. You know and so you know, I just hope that, he says he's . . . he's someone who s motivated by his faith.
I hope he listens to…those better angels . . . And understands that this is a destructive act that he's engaging in.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
It is regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distrustful, disgraceful plan and get the world's attention, but that's the world we live in right now.
It is unfortunate, it is not who we are.
I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths . . . as well as secular U.S. leaders and opinion makers.
Statement Attributed to Attorney General Eric Holder During Private Meeting with Interfaith Leaders
Idiotic and dangerous.
General David Petraeus
It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems -- not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community.
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell: (Commander of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan)
We are over here to defend the rights of American citizens and we are not debating the First Amendment rights people have. But I will tell you their very actions will, in fact, jeopardize the safety of young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and undermine the very mission we are trying to accomplish."
It's their holy book, so when somebody says that they're going to destroy that and cause a desecration to something that's very sacred to them, it's already stirred up a lot of discussion and concern amongst the people..
We very much feel that this could jeopardize the safety of our men and women that are serving over here.
Florida Governor Charlie Crist
I strongly agree with General Petraeus and others who warn that burning Qurans as a form of protest on September 11th puts our fighting men and women overseas in grave danger. In addition to being offensive, the Gainesville protest puts at risk those brave Americans who are fighting abroad for the freedoms and values that we believe in as Americans. As Governor of the great state of Florida, I will be monitoring Saturday’s situation closely to ensure the safety of all Floridians.
The threatened burning of copies of the Holy Qu’ran this Saturday is a particularly egregious offense that demands the strongest possible condemnation by all who value civility in public life and seek to honor the sacred memory of those who lost their lives on September 11. As religious leaders, we are appalled by such disrespect for a sacred text that for centuries has shaped many of the great cultures of our world, and that continues to give spiritual comfort to more than a billion Muslims today.