Quran-burning pastor calls Islam accountable

The US pastor, whose burning of the Quran sparked deadly violence in Afghanistan, has called for "immediate" US and UN action.

Last Updated: Apr 02, 2011, 18:59 PM IST

Gainesville (Florida): The US pastor,
whose burning of the Quran sparked deadly violence in
Afghanistan, has called for "immediate" US and UN action
against its perpetrators, saying the whole religion of Islam
must be held accountable.

"Islam is not a religion of peace," Dove World
Outreach Centre Pastor Terry Jones said in a statement issued
after seven foreign UN workers had been killed in Afghanistan
by protesters angered by the Quran burning, in the deadliest
attack on the UN there since the 2001 invasion.

"The time has come to hold Islam accountable," he
added.

Four Nepalese, one Swedish, one Norwegian and one
Romanian worker were believed to have been killed yesterday,
and several protesters killed or wounded after a mob
overwhelmed guards at the UN compound in the normally
relatively calm city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Five more people were killed during protests in the
southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Saturday.

Jones called the killings "a very tragic and criminal
action."

"The United States government and the United Nations
itself, must take immediate action," he continued. "We must
hold these countries and people accountable for what they have
done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their
terrorist activities."

The controversial evangelical pastor said he and his
supporters demanded action from the United Nations.

"Muslim-dominated countries can no longer be allowed
to spread their hate against Christians and minorities," he
said.

"They must alter the laws that govern their countries
to allow for individual freedoms and rights, such as the right
to worship, free speech, and to move freely without fear of
being attacked or killed."

Jones presided over the burning of the Islamic holy
book on March 20 at his Florida church, an act he had long
threatened despite warnings it would put American troops and
others in Afghanistan in danger.

In a separate interview with a news agency, he said he was
"devastated" by the killings in Afghanistan but did not feel
responsible for them.

"The radical element of Islam takes that as an excuse
to promote their violent activities... What we would like to
see is the United States government standing up, the UN
standing up.

"It`s time to stop ignoring the violence going on in
Muslim countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan," he said.

Jones said the killings "won`t change anything we`re
doing" but added that there`s no plan to burn another Quran.

"We have, right now, no plans, no," he said to a news agency when
asked if he would burn another Quran.

PTI