Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Koran-Burning Gives Al Qaeda Recruiting Tool, Warns Obama

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Koran-Burning Gives Al Qaeda Recruiting Tool, Warns Obama

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Waugh Deputy Political Editor

BARACK OBAMA urged a US pastor to abandon plans to burn the Koran today and warned that the event would be used as an al Qaeda recruiting tool.

The American president appeared on network television to make a direct appeal to Terry Jones to cancel his stunt.

Downing Street also condemned the pastor, who plans to burn the books in a bonfire at his church in Florida on Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

President Obama told a TV programme that he hoped that Mr Jones listened to the pleas because book burning was "completely contrary to our values as Americans". "This country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance. This is a recruitment bonanza for al Qaeda," he said.

"You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. This could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities. …

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