Blair and Hague lash out at Koran burning plans

By staff

Foreign secretary William Hague has followed Tony Blair in joining the international chorus of condemnation against a small church in the US which intends to burn copies of the Koran.

Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Centre in Gainesville, plans to hold the mass book burning on September 11th.

The plan has been attacked by religious, military and political leaders from across the world, as well as film stars and celebrities.

“The burning of the Koran would be offensive not just to Muslims but to all supporters of religious freedom and tolerance worldwide,” Mr Hague said.

“Eid is a time of celebration, charitable giving and family gathering. To seek to mar it in this calculated way would be selfish and provocative in the extreme.

Mr Blair, who runs a Faith Foundation, said: “I deplore the act of burning the Koran. It is disrespectful, wrong and will be widely condemned by people of all faiths and none. In no way does this represent the view of any sensible person in the West or any other part of the world.”

“Those who wish to cause religious conflict are small in number but often manage to dominate the headlines.

“You do not have to be a Muslim to share a sense of deep concern at such a disrespectful way to treat the Holy Book of Islam.

“Rather than burn the Koran, I would encourage people to read it.”

Global political analysts believe the burning, which is likely to be shown across the world despite the small numbers of people partaking in it, will result in attacks on Americans and complicate operations in Afghanistan.