A Local Muslim Leader Has Faith that Pastor Jones Will Change His Mind...
As the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville plans to burn copies of the Qur'an on Saturday, condemnation has been pouring in from all over the world, putting heavy pressure on Pastor Terry Jones to change his mind.
Today, he heard a personal appeal that may give him second thoughts.
Media from around the world and even a few concerned citizens and protesters gathered this afternoon in the very place where the Qur'an burning is set to occur. They waited to see if all the passionate pleas made a difference with Pastor Jones.
Before Pastor Jones came out to address the media, all eyes were on this man: Imam Muhammad Musri, President of the Islamic Society of Central Florida.
He stood at the front door of the Dove Outreach Center, ready to peacefully petition Jones. Musri said, "I'm going to speak to him with respect as man of faith....that, that's for sure not what God had asked him to do."
Meanwhile, Jones slipped around cameras to the podium and said, "As of right now, we're not convinced that backing down is the right thing to do."
Jones said that the church has a lot of support is considering the concerns of world leaders. However, he said, "We shall continue with our planned event." Jones then summoned Musri inside the church for a private meeting.
While they were inside, Jones' son Luke came outside to defend their plans for Saturday. He refused to take responsibility for the fall out and said, "No. Radical Islam has to take responsibility...I'm not killing anyone, I'm not attacking anyone...I'm burning a book."
30 minutes later, Musri exited the church, in some ways defending Jones. He said that he feels Jones' motivation is not hate and that God will change his heart before Saturday. Musri said, "I think the man wants to do the right thing, I think he wants to represent his faith and doesn't want to be called a bigot or racist or anti-anything, he is anti-terrorist, we are all...I told him, that the world will admire your courage."
Musri says if Jones calls off the Qur'an burning, it would be because of his faith in Christ, not outside pressure.
As the world watches and waits for the outcome, preparations are being made by law enforcement. Part of their effort is a Rumor Control Hotline. Anyone can call 352- 264 -6557 for up to date information about what to expect.
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