Local Muslim and Jewish leaders respond to Quran burning plans

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Local Muslim and Jewish religious leaders are responding to the possible Quran burning event set to take place in Florida this weekend on the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

The President of the Birmingham Islamic society says if Pastor Terry Jones goes through with burning copies of the Muslim holy book, he is doing so out of ignorance. Ashfaq Taufique says the actual burning of the Quran would not bother him because it is protected in his heart. He says what hurts is the growing fear it creates of Muslims and the hate that's being promoted.

"Hate from a lay person minister. People who claim to be serving God. That hurts," said Taufique.

Rabbi Ira Flax of the Levite Jewish Community Center says he fears the burning could incite more violence. "The Jewish people have suffered book burnings throughout our history and usually is a precursor to mob violence," said Flax. "(It is a) way of inciting hatred and antagonism that really has no purpose."

Taufique encourages his fellow Muslims not to resort to violence.

So far, Terry Jones says he will not back down with his plans to burn the Quran.

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