Angelina Jolie condemns US church`s plan to burn Quran

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 20:33

Islamabad: Hollywood star Angelina Jolie,
currently touring flood-hit areas of Pakistan to drum up
support for victims, on Wednesday condemned a US church`s plan to
burn copies of the Quran on the anniversary of 9/11 terrorist
attacks.

"I have hardly the words (to oppose the fact) that
somebody would do that to somebody`s religious book," Jolie
told a news conference in Islamabad after visiting reliefs
camps in northwest Pakistan, one of the areas hit hardest by
the floods.

Asked if she supported American pastor Terry Jones`
plan to burn the Islamic holy book, she replied: "Of course
not, of course not."

The move by Jones, who heads the little-known Dove
World Outreach Center in Florida, has sparked concerns about
heightened Christian-Muslim tensions in the US and other parts
of the world, especially the Middle East.

The pastor has said he plans to go ahead despite the
concerns.

Jolie, who is visiting Pakistan to highlight the
plight of millions affected by the country`s worst floods and
the need for continuing aid for the displaced, welcomed the US
government`s opposition to Jones` plan.

The planned Quran burning has triggered protests in
neighbouring Afghanistan, where US troops are battling Taliban
fighters.

US military commanders have warned that the move could
endanger American lives in Afghanistan.

In a statement, the US embassy in Islamabad condemned
the Florida church`s plans to burn copies of the Koran on the
anniversary of 9/11.

"We condemn acts that are disrespectful, intolerant
and divisive. We are deeply concerned about all deliberate
attempts to offend members of any religious or ethnic group,"
said charge d`affaires Stephen C Engelken.

"We believe firmly in freedom of religion and freedom
of expression; they are universal rights, enshrined in the US
Constitution and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We reaffirm our position that the deliberate destruction of
any holy book is an abhorrent act," he said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 - 20:33

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