The Dove World Outreach Center, a small evangelical church in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida, says it plans to burn copies of the Koran to mark the Anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The church has been denied a government permit to conduct the burning, but has vowed to go ahead with it anyway.
The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has reported that an American church’s plan to burn Korans on September 11 could endanger U.S. troops and damage the overall war effort in that country.
General David Petraeus warned Tuesday that the planned burning of the Muslim holy book “is precisely the kind of action the Taliban would exploit for propaganda purposes.” He said it could stoke anti-U.S. sentiment not only in Afghanistan, but across the Muslim world.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul also condemned the church’s plans, saying the U.S. government in no way condones such “acts of disrespect” against Islam.
The embassy says it is “deeply concerned” about the deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups.