A group of Christian and Muslim leaders spoke out Monday in a Detroit church against the planned visit of Terry Jones, the Quran-burning pastor from Florida.
Jones told the Free Press last week that he's coming to Dearborn next month to protest outside the Islamic Center of America against Islamic law and rule.
The Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit, said Monday that Jones is bringing "a message of hate" to Michigan.
"We don't need any outside agitators" disrupting good relations in metro Detroit among diverse religions, Williams said.
Williams, other pastors and some Muslim imams gathered Monday at Greater Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Detroit to announce their opposition to Jones.
Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., backed down from burning the Quran on Sept. 11 after many people urged him not to, including President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. But earlier this month, Jones led a Quran burning after he set up a mock trial of the Quran, Islam's holy book. Afterward, a group based in Pakistan put up a $2.2-million reward for his death.
Jones has told the Free Press that he's not against Muslims, saying, "We realize there are millions of peaceful Muslims." But, he added, he wants them to "honor, obey and submit to the Constitution of the United States." He said that he is worried about shari'a, or Islamic law, coming to the U.S., as he says it has in parts of Europe.
Some local Muslims have said that Jones should be welcomed.
"We should show him hospitality," said Eide Alawan, a longtime interfaith leader at the Islamic Center.
Contact Niraj Warikoo: 313-223-4792 or firstname.lastname@example.org
March 22, 2011, Free Press