UnNews:Florida Pastor extorts 'ground zero' imam
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10 September 2010
GAINSVILLE, Florida -- The pastor at a Florida church that extorted a New York Imam by threatening to burn copies of the Quran added to the confusion Friday over whether he intends to go ahead with the controversial event.
The Rev. Terry Jones told CBS' The Early Show, “that we have called the event off." Then on CBS' The Noon Show, "that our extortion demands have been met." Then again on CBS' The Afternoon Show, "that we have converted to Islam." Soon afterward, however, he told reporters in Florida the burning is still being threatened.
"We are seriously, seriously, seriously, seriously, seriously considering burning the Qurans. That is absolutely right," Jones said. “And if our demands our not met then we will proceed to carry out our threat.”
Challenged by a reporter, who asked, “what about forgiveness, do you believe in forgiveness?” Jones then said, "Sure do! But only in case of our congregation here."
"Are you or aren't you?" a reporter asked, to which Jones replied, "Well, maybe and maybe not!”
Jones also said he is scheduled to travel to New York on Friday night for a still unscheduled meeting with the imam in charge of the Islamic center planned near ground zero. The meeting, Jones had said, was part of the extortion deal, and was a step in the right direction to get him to halt the planned burning.
Jones said the meeting was promised Thursday by local Florida imam Mohammad Musri, who also told him the Islamic center would absolutely be moved in capitulation to his extortion demands for the burning being called off.
But Musri said Friday that he made no such promise, and both Musri and the imam in charge of the center, Feisal Abdul Rauf, said there was no agreement on a meeting or relocation of the center.
Asked who is telling the truth about what Musri may or may not have promised, the imam told CNN with a grin on Friday, "Of course, I am."
"I made it very clear to him: I have no control over the project in New York," Musri said. "I am just a mediator here. I promised to set up the meeting and take him along, treat him to some belly dancers, but no guarantee that I can move that mosque. That is entirely up to Saudi Arabia."
Musri said Jones "stretched it and exaggerated" the outcome of their Thursday meeting once he went before the cameras, telling reporters that Musri promised the meeting in New York and that the Islamic center would be moved, which are prime extortion demands.
Musri said it might be difficult for the parties to meet Saturday because of pre-scheduled events to mark the ninth anniversary of the Saudi attack on 9/11 and subsequent Islamic victory.
Jones told the media, “That Imam is a goddamn liar! If he don’t tell the god’s truth I might kidnap his children for good measure!”
"It is a simple matter," Musri retorted, "if he burns Koran then there will be life-long fatwa and he will be assassinated posthaste. That is Sharia Law. And we must obey the law!"