The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan on Sunday condemned a Florida pastor’s recent burning of the Koran, an act that has prompted deadly attacks and protests in recent days.
General David Petraeus said the burning of the sacred Muslim text “was hateful, it was intolerant and it was extremely disrespectful and again, we condemn it in the strongest manner possible,” CNN reports.
The pastor, Terry Jones, made international headlines by threatening a public Koran burning event last year, an event that did not happen. But his church, the Dove World Outreach Center, has recently posted images of burning Korans.
President Obama condemned the pastor's action on Saturday, and on Sunday Republican and Democratic lawmakers spoke out against the church's actions.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) said he was "very concerned" by the pastor's actions.
"I understand what the First Amendment says," Durbin said on "Meet the Press" Sunday. "This pastor with his publicity stunt with the Koran, unfortunately endangers the lives of our troops and a lot of innocent people, and it's time for him to accept the responsibility as an American to help our troops. "He's looking for publicity and as long as he gets that publicity he will continue."
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, echoed Durbin's concern. "It absolutely has consequences," he said. "We've asked Americans in every tough conflict we've had in the history of this country to be thoughtful and mindful of each citizen's responsibility to make sure that you're doing your part for our soldiers to come home safely with an accomplished mission."