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What Obama says about the Quran burning issue

September 09, 2010 20:40 IST

United States President Barack Obama warned that a Florida pastor's plans to torch copies of Quran during the anniversary of 9/11 attacks could lead to a "recruitment bonanza" for Al Qaeda as he asked him to "listen to those better angels" and call off the "stunt".

 

"This is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda. You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or

Afghanistan," Obama told ABC News, in his first comments on the Quran burning controversy.

 

"This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities... I just hope that ... he's someone who's motivated by his faith," he said.

 

His remarks came amid global condemnation of plans of pastor Terry Jones, who is from a small church in Gainesville in Florida, to burn 200 copies of Quran on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the US.

 

The US president hoped that the Florida pastor does not go ahead with his plans on Saturday.

 

"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."

 

"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 that he is making," Obama said.

 

"I hope he listens to those better angels.... and understands that this is a destructive act that he's engaging in," the US President said.

 

Obama acknowledged that he is frustrated that the government is not able to do much as it is following the law. "It, well it is frustrating. Now, on the other hand, we are a government of laws. And so, we have to abide by those laws. And my understanding is that he can be cited for public burning. But that's the extent of the laws that we have available to us," Obama said.

 

"You know, part of this country's history is people doing destructive or offensive or harmful things. And yet, we still have to make sure that we're following the laws. And that's part of what I love about this country," he said. The gun-wielding pastor, who has received death threats, says that his planned move is aimed at sending a message to radical Islamists that "it is possibly time for us in a new way to actually stand up and confront terrorism."

/11 attacks could lead to a "recruitment bonanza" for Al Qaeda as he asked him to "listen to those better angels" and call off the "stunt".

"This is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda. You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan," Obama told ABC News, in his first comments on the Quran burning controversy.

"This could increase the recruitment of individuals who'd be willing to blow themselves up in American cities, or European cities... I just hope that ... he's someone who's motivated by his faith," he said.

His remarks came amid global condemnation of plans of pastor Terry Jones, who is from a small church in Gainesville in Florida, to burn 200 copies of Quran on the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the US.

The US president hoped that the Florida pastor does not go ahead with his plans on Saturday.

"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."

"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 that he is making," Obama said.

"I hope he listens to those better angels.... and understands that this is a destructive act that he's engaging in," the US President said.

Obama acknowledged that he is frustrated that the government is not able to do much as it is following the law. "It, well it is frustrating. Now, on the other hand, we are a government of laws. And so, we have to abide by those laws. And my understanding is that he can be cited for public burning. But that's the extent of the laws that we have available to us," Obama said.

"You know, part of this country's history is people doing destructive or offensive or harmful things. And yet, we still have to make sure that we're following the laws. And that's part of what I love about this country," he said. The gun-wielding pastor, who has received death threats, says that his planned move is aimed at sending a message to radical Islamists that "it is possibly time for us in a new way to actually stand up and confront terrorism."

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