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Florida pastor will ‘not ever’ burn Qurans

Florida pastor Terry Jones said Saturday that he would never carry out plans to burn copies of the Quran, according to NBC.

Jones had planned to burn the Muslim holy text on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, but now says he’ll never go through with it.

“We will definitely not burn the Quran, no,” he said in an interview with the “Today” show in New York. “Not today, not ever.”

Jones said he would refrain from Quran-burning even if a proposed Islamic community center and mosque is built near Ground Zero, according to NBC. Jones heads a small church in Gainesville called the Dove World Outreach Center.

The pastor’s plan drew warnings from top military officials and President Barack Obama that burning the Quran would endanger the lives of U.S. service members. Obama criticized the plan during a press conference Friday.

“The idea that we would burn the sacred texts of someone else’s religion is contrary to what this country stands for. It’s contrary to what this country, this nation was founded on,” Obama said.

“We’ve got an obligation to send a very clear message that this kind of behavior or threats of action put our young men and women in harm’s way.  And it’s also the best imaginable recruiting tool for al Qaeda,” he added.

Jones is seeking a meeting with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who heads the Cordoba Initiative that’s proposing the Islamic center, but said nothing has been set up, according to NBC.

Jones told the network that his goal was to “expose” that there is “very dangerous and very radical” element to Islam, and claimed, “we have definitely accomplished that mission.”

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