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Quran row: Canada appeals for peace

September 10, 2010 02:49 IST

Responding to the threat from small town church Pastor Terry Jones (of Gainesville, Florida) to mark the 9th anniversary of 9/11 as 'Burn the Quran Day, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, 'My God and is a tolerant god, and that's what we want to see in this world."

 "So in terms of this incident … let me just say, you know, I unequivocally condemn it. You know, we all enjoy freedom of religion, and that freedom of religion comes from a tolerant spirit, and I don't think that's the way you treat other faiths, as different as those faiths may be from your own,' he told a local TV channel.

"There's undoubtedly a global outcry with leaders all over asking Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center, to desist from burning the Holy Book. This initiative of Rev Jones 'is insulting to Muslims and Canadians of all faiths who understand the freedom of thought and freedom of religion are fundamental to our way of living,' said Peter MacKay,

Canada's Minister for National Defense, who's deeply concerned as to the negative reactions on the NATO forces (Canadian forces included) now in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

"We call on this pastor to bring people together, not break them apart,' he said. MacKay said Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are not fighting Islam or Islamic beliefs, but rather an extremist and brutal enemy - that condones public stoning, pours acid in the faces of Muslim schoolgirls who want a better future and wishes to rule people by fear, intimidation and violence.'

The Muslim Canadian Congress has sent an urgent appeal to Pastor Terry Jones, imploring him to reconsider his decision to burn the Muslim holy book, The Quran, on the ninth anniversary of 9/11. In the letter, Sohail Raza, president of the MCC wrote, "We appeal to your better angels to not let anger and hate affect your judgment. We understand the pain of America as it mourns its dead, but the jihadis who have declared war on America are not inspired by Islam or the Quran, but rather extremism. These jihadis are not just the enemies of America, but all of human civilization, including Muslims. In fact, their primary targets are Muslims."

In a separate statement, Raza also appealed to the leaders of the American Islamic organizations to end their belligerence and arrogant attitude toward their non-Muslim compatriots.

 "Today we Muslims are reaping the harvest of the seeds of mischief and covert anti-Americanism that Islamists have sown over the last ten years. Instead of joining the fight against the doctrine of armed jihad, America's traditional Islamic leaders have endorsed sharia law that promotes hatred towards western secular democracy, " MCC president added.

Ajit Jain