- (Photo: AP Images / Phil Sandlin)
Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who burned the Quran in March, will hold public meetings in Dearborn, Mich., which has the largest concentration of Arab Muslims, on Sept. 7.
The public meetings will take place the day before Jones appears in the court, which sent him to jail in April, and four days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
“Dr. Terry Jones will be coming to Dearborn/Detroit (Mich.) on September 7th and 8th to hold open meetings,” said a statement by the office of the pastor of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., on Friday.
“On September 8th he will appear in court concerning the ruling by Judge Somers and the Wayne County Courthouse,” the statement added.
A ruling by Dearborn District Court Judge Mark Somers jailed Terry Jones and his associate Pastor Wayne Sapp on April 22 after they refused to pay a $1 peace bond for an attempted Good Friday protest outside the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. A week after his brief arrest, Jones organized another protest on the steps of Dearborn City Hall which was opposed by a large crowd of demonstrators.
The Islamic Center of America is the largest mosque and belongs to Shi’a Muslims. Dearborn has a large Arab American and Muslim population.
Terry Jones, who first announced he would burn the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks last year via Twitter, visited Dearborn again on June 17 when he and a few of his supporters were attacked by a group of protesters from the BAMN, or By Any Means Necessary, outfit near Dearborn City Hall. Jones was reportedly manhandled but did not receive any serious injury.
After several such attempts to burn a copy of the Quran since the July 12, 2010 tweet, Jones and Sapp oversaw the burning of the holy book of Muslims on March 20. Before burning the book, they declared it “guilty of causing murder, rape and terrorism” in a mock trial.
President Barack Obama, U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates, and NATO commander in Afghanistan General David Petraeus had urged Jones not to proceed with his divisive plans. The incident sparked violent demonstrations including in Afghanistan, which led to the killing of U.N. workers, and in India, where churches and Christian schools were burned.
“No matter how much we disagree and find abhorrent the actions of Jones, responding in violence can never be justified,” said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, chief executive officer and secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance, responding to the killing and explaining “that the actions of this tiny extremist group who have burnt the Quran are absolutely condemned by Christians globally.”