THE pastor of a small Florida church has promised to hold a Koran burning in defiance of a top US commander who warned his actions will spark violent reactions in the Islamic world.
Terry Jones said he had given "serious" consideration to the concerns expressed by US commander General David Petraeus over plans to torch the Koran, but remained adamant the event would proceed anyway.
Pastor Jones, who heads the Dove World Outreach Centre in the town of Gainesville, said the burning would take place to mark the September 11 terror attacks and would send a message to Muslim extremists.
"We are taking the general's words very serious," he said before noting he had "firmly made up his mind" to go ahead with burning the Muslim holy book.
"I mean, how long, when does America stand for truth?" he asked..
"Instead of us being blamed for what other people will do or might do, why don't we send a warning to them?
"Why don't we send a warning to radical Islam and say, don't do it. If you attack us, if you attack us, we will attack you," he said.
In a statement, Gen Petraeus, who is the US commander of the Afghan war, expressed concern that the planned torching of the Koran would be a propaganda coup for Islamic extremists.
But the pastor insisted that the Koran torching to be held on Saturday aimed "to remember those who were brutally murdered on September 11th" and to send a warning "to the radical element of Islam".
"We wanted to send a very clear message to them that we are not interested in their Sharia law," he said.
"And we do not tolerate their threats, their fear, their radicalness. We live in the United States of America."
The pastor's words sparked violent protest in the Afghan capital of Kabul where hundreds turned out to burn an effigy of the outspoken Christian during a demonstration.
Protesters railed against the US and called for President Barack Obama's death before denouncing the American church's plans to burn the Islamic holy book.
# MasyaAllah, macam-macam perkara jadi di akhir zaman ini. Cukuplah selama ini al-Quran dihina, dicaci, dimaki, dipermainkan, ini pula sampai ke tahap ingin di bakar. Moga Allah balikkan kembali segala perancangan jahat mereka yang berniat buruk kepada Islam. Sesungguhnya, Allah sebaik-baik Pemberi Balasan. As a reminder, we as a Muslim, need to be alert with such a news. If not us, to alert, to respond, to act, who else? Please take a moment and do muhasabah. And do not forget to cite some do'a from Him.