*President Barack Obama is hoping a Florida minister will “listen to those better angels” and cancel his plan to engage in a Quran-burning protest to mark the anniversary of Sept. 11th.
In an interview aired today on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the president said he hopes the Rev. Terry Jones of Florida listens to the pleas of people who have asked him to call off the plan. The president called it a “stunt.”
“If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans,” Obama said. “That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.”
“And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform,” the president added. [Scroll down to watch interview.]
Obama added: “Look, this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.” The president also said Jones’ plan, if carried out, could serve as an incentive for terrorist-minded individuals “to blow themselves up” to kill others.
“I hope he listens to those better angels and understands that this is a destructive act that he’s engaging in,” the president said of Jones.
Officials said U.S. diplomatic posts have been instructed to convene “emergency action committees” to determine the potential for protests over the congregation’s plans to burn the Quran to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The posts are to warn American citizens in countries where protests may occur.