Photo of a church on firs.
U.S. officials warn that there could be grave consequences if Americans burn copies of the Koran. CC by erik9000/Flickr

The Dove World Outreach Center Church, of Gainesville, Fla., made headlines when Pastor Terry Jones that he and the church’s members intended to set copies of the Koran alight in a protest over several issues, including Muslim extremism. Government officials have asked the church call it off. The planned demonstration has led to protests worldwide and strong warnings. General David Petraeus has cautioned the church that should the demonstration of burning the Koran take place, it will put servicemen and women in greater danger than ever before.

Dove World Outreach Center asked to stop threats

The commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, according to the Christian Science Monitor, has asked the church to not partake in any Koran burning. He said that a group of American Christians burning the Koran will accomplish nothing positive. He insists it will only be doing the Taliban and Al Qaeda a favor, as it will be a recruiting tool that highlights perceived American bigotry. He cautioned that American soldiers and civilians abroad will be put in greater danger. He also lamented that winning over hearts and minds in Afghanistan will be next to impossible if these sorts of threats continue. Other outrage related to Muslims in the U.S., such as the Ground Zero mosque controversy, has only increased tension between the Islamic world and the U.S.

Church to dwell on the repercussions

The Dove World Outreach Center Church is weighing the decision to go through with the burnings. Pastor Terry Jones said that the members of the church were concerned about the potential impact and are thinking over the planned demonstration, according to CNN. Some pause was given to the members by the warning from Gen. David Petraeus, as the members intended to hold an “International Burn the Koran Day” on Sept. 11 of this year. The church has maintained all along that the protest was aimed at the radical segments of Islam.

No good for anyone

Though the pastor and the church he ministers to have the right to protest whatever they wish and hold any views they wish, General Petraeus is absolutely correct. This protest, should it be carried out, will be a propaganda victory for extremists and terrorists.

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